Chris de Burgh, “Lady In Red”
It ’ s kind of fitting that this sung was a collision in 1986, the altitude of the greed-is-good, conspicuous consumption Eighties ; it ’ s the ultimate trophy-wife ballad ( barely edging out Eric Clapton ’ s “ Wonderful Tonight ” ). The fake-glitz muzak sound is perfect for a stingily bathetic song about a guy whose taste of the woman beside him seems to work in direct sexual intercourse to how many other guys hit on her at a party. then again, Google Image yourself some Chris de Burgh and you excessively may wonder why the lady In Red was dancing with him at all .
Joe Cocker, “You Are So Beautiful”
allegedly dashed off by Beach Boy Dennis Wilson and fifth Beatle Billy Preston at a party, this song makes you wonder what those two were huffing. A longstanding punchline for exaggerated situation comedy courtship routines, it strings its clichés — “ a guiding light in the nox, ” “ heaven ’ randomness endowment to me ” — around a claim refrain qualified by “ to me, ” like the shameless singer is hedging his count. Joe Cocker gives it his best spazzy Ray Charles croon. But we ’ ll take the Cows ’ sludge-metal profanation any day .
Elton John, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
Erm, no, actually. possibly if you ’ re one of the animize big cats in The Lion King, the Disney film Sir Elton penned this cornball ballad for. “ It ’ randomness adequate to make kings and vagabonds/Believe the very best ” he croons. If you say so, Reg. The stay of us believe this could be your all-time bum moment .
Extreme, “More Than Words”
With their Rapunzel hair and chiseled cheekbones, you wouldn ’ triiodothyronine kick Extreme out of bed for eating crackers. But you might kick them out of sleep together for being assholes. “ More Than Words ” packages metal-creep chauvinism in sensible acoustic shrink-wrap. “ ‘ I love you ’ is not the words I want to hear from you, ” they sing. What is the words they want to hear ? How about something along the lines of fuck me. Just don ’ t say it with your mouth. Say it with your passive, mute submission .
One Direction, “Little Things”
On this acoustic valentine ( written by Fiona Bevan and Ed Sheeran ), the teen-pop gods congratulate themselves for loving you despite your manifest imperfections. Harry Styles sings : “ You never want/To know how much you weigh/You still have to squeeze into your jeans/But you ’ rhenium perfect to me. ” Well, not perfect perfective. More like, ya know, fat. Harry, your depth frightens us .
Dave Matthews Band, “Crash Into Me”
Dave Matthews has constantly had kind of had a sex-panther side, and there ’ s nothing wrong with that. But his most popular love song obliterates the fine line between sexy and icky. The melody is reasonably, the rage undeniable, the vocals fragile and hopeful. But when he sings, “ hike up your skirt a little more and show your global to me, ” he abruptly flips from sweet singer-songwriter to pervy happy-hour prowler. Hey ladies, on the means to the parking lot, don ’ t forget your mace !
Phil Collins, “Groovy Kind of Love”
A hit for british Invasion band the Mindbenders in 1965, “ Groovy Kind of Love ” was a dessert, rebuff Brill Building pop music ballad. Collins must ’ ve have thought he was adding seriousness and sophistication by replacing the original ’ mho buoyant purity with a impassive delivery and weirdly dolorous, painfully Eighties synths. But all he did was give a groovy little song a full-on grooviness enema .
Bad English, “When I See You Smile”
When Journey went on suspension toward the goal of the Eighties, keyboardist Jonathan Cain and guitarist Neil Schon formed Bad English with John Waite of the Babys on vocals — and went on to achieve levels of bum terribleness their other set had barely approached. No blow-dried might ballad ever did it bigger, dense, empty, or gloppier than “ When I See You Smile, ” a love letter to a girl who never forgets to bring an umbrella along on dates ( “ And when the rain is falling, I don ’ t feel it ’ cause you ’ re here with me now ” ). Waite ’ s herniated vocals make Steve Perry strait like Al Green .
Celine Dion, “My Heart Will Go On”
Kate Winslet recently admitted that Celine Dion ’ s heinously popular subject sung from Titanic makes her “ feel like throwing up, ” and even Dion herself didn ’ metric ton want to record the song when she beginning heard it. Hearing that brumous, leprechaun-tinged flute intro is sort of the diametric opposition of hearing the hatchway chords of “ Satisfaction ” or the trap hit that starts “ Like a Rolling Stone ” — instantaneous recognition followed by immediate terror .
Jim Croce, “Time in a Bottle”
A sugar-crusted, plinky-plonky slowly waltz in which the singer would like to “ Save every day/ ’ Til eternity passes away/Just to spend them with you ” — and makes you feel that eternity crawl as you wait for the song to end. Unlike Croce ’ s “ I ’ ve Got a name, ” which received a new lease on life in Django Unchained, not even Tarantino could redeem this one .
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John Mayer, “Your Body Is a Wonderland”
Riding a featherweight groove with scantily enough reggae bulge to catch a secondhand buzz, this teddy-bear bait tosses out greeting-card metaphors ( “ porcelain peel ” is lazy, but “ bubblegum spit ” ? – coulomb ’ mon, fellow ), then lapses into a fluff-jazz implemental break in that might put tied Katy Perry to sleep. As noon hookup anthems go, give us “ Afternoon Delight ” any day .
Stevie Wonder, “I Just Called to Say I Love You”
Stevie Wonder has constantly had a taste for treacle. ( All together now : “ There ’ s a ribbon in the sky for our looove… ” ) But in most cases, his melodic deck and all-around musical brilliance redeems the schmaltz. not so this 1984 smash, whose ticky-tacky rhythm track sounds like a Casio keyboard preset. Toss in the unfortunate lyrics, which range from laughably bathetic ( “ No chocolate-covered candy hearts to give away ” ) to cryptic ( “ No Libra sun/No Halloween ” ) .
Bryan Adams, “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”
“ There ’ south nowhere unless you ’ re there, ” bleats Bryan Adams, sounding like a hybridization between an asthmatic batch capricorn and, uh, Bryan Adams. How dependable that was in the summer of 1991, when this soul-crushing theme song from Robin Hood : prince of Thieves was ineluctable, topping the charts worldwide. ( Its 16 straight weeks at Number One in Britain was an all-time U.K chart record. ) Bonus demerits for the video, which features many clips of Kevin Costner, looking childlike, “ romantic, ” and wearing tights .
Dan Fogelberg, “Longer”
Fogelberg told an interviewer that he wrote his biggest hit while lying in a knoll in Hawaii “ looking up at the stars. ” “ This song was drifting around the universe, ” Fogelberg recalled, “ and I decided I ’ d give it a effective home. ” Somebody — the stars, the universe — effed-up bad. “ Longer ” plays like a spoof of a parody of medium singer-songwriter schlock, from the Folg ’ s wimped-out vocals to its “ poetry. ” ( “ Mountain cathedral ” rhymes with “ forest primeval. ” ) The birdcall clocks in at 3:15 but feels — you guessed it — much, much longer .
Jewel, “You Were Meant for Me”
here are some things Jewel does in her 1996 folk-pop blockbuster : She paints a smiley font on her breakfast plate with egg yolks. She puts on her coat in the pour rain. ( normally good to put on the coat before heading out, but no matter. ) She consoles a cup of chocolate. Yep, consoles. She puts on her “ PJs. ” She brushes her teeth and puts the cap back on. Who said romance was dead ?
James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”
“ My life is bright, ” declares James Blunt. Good for you, holmes, but your song is wack. When it comes to the squishiest unanswered love ballad of the twenty-first century, it ’ sulfur street fighter to say what ’ south more annoying : the drama-queen stalker lyrics, the fretful vocal tone, or the honeyed melody. And that ’ s not to mention the absurd beefcake television, where Blunt strips in the snow and then jumps off a cliff — an act that might feel more tragic if it wasn ’ thymine snapshot like an underwear ad .
Seal, “Kiss From a Rose”
“ A Kiss From a Rose ” works its soar, soft-soul magic by slamming together some rightfully epic metaphor mixology : “ Love remained a drug that ’ s the high and not the pill. ” “ Did you know, that when it snows my eyes become big and the easy that you shine can be seen. ” Maybe Heidi Klum not being a native English loudspeaker had something to do with Seal ’ s achiever wooing her .
All-4-One, “I Swear”
Originally a country hit for singer John Michael Montgomery, the became one of the biggest songs of the Nineties when All 4 One remake it as an R & B slow-jam. The melisma at the end is absolutely out of restraint and there ’ s something odd about the distance between the youthful, puppy-love delivery and the iron-clad endless promise of the lyrics : “ for better or worse/Til death do us part. ” Um, very ? Death ? Let ’ s see how junior promenade goes and work from there .
‘N Sync, “(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You”
That God, always thinking of Justin Timberlake and his specifications for datable women. What a bro. weirdly, though, ‘ N Sync chose to honor God ’ s girl-making glory with this white, wafer-thin ballad, proof that the soulman deep down inside young J.T. was a few years aside from assuming self-control over his bodily self .
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Savage Garden, “Truly Madly Deeply”
With a Calgon, take me away synth-suds track, an aromantic classical guitar solo, and the indelible poetry “ I want to stand with you on a mountain/I want to bathe with you in the sea/I want to lay like this forever/Until the flip falls down on me, ” Australian dad couple Savage Garden oozed their way to the top of the charts in the bounce of 1997. And the sky just refused to fall on it ; “ Truly Madly Deeply ” stayed on the charts for 123 weeks. Stupid flip .
And just in encase you want to listen to these 20 schmaltzy sweetheart tunes one last, frightful time, we made you a playlist. You ’ ve been warned .