In a moment of idle curiosity, I asked Twitter for some nominations.
|The moment that torpedoed my next 72 hours|
It is safe to say that I had never anticipated what would happen next. By Sunday afternoon, my Twitter notifications were giving me a microcosmic indication of what it might be like to be famous. It turns out that being famous isn't all cocaine and hookers: or rather, if it is, those people aren't on Twitter. You wouldn't have the time: it turns what is normally a desert of anguish and boredom into a full-time occupation. I tried to imagine what it would be like if a significant proportion of each new tranche of notifications were abusive, quickly concluding that it would be straight up bullshit. Gary Lineker is an admirable man.
If I'm honest, I expected my tweet to go much the same way as all the other 68-odd thousand I'd done: shout into the abyss, wait for echo, forget it entirely, repeat until death. This time, however, I had touched a nerve. The medium was prepared just right: time of day, day of the week and subject matter all made for an extremely fertile thread. Overwhelmingly so, at times.
However, it was all entirely positive. One hundred percent. Not one single response was even slightly antagonistic, let alone insulting or to tell me that I had done a poo on a football pitch. It was a reminder of the goodness in people, and that social media is just as capable of reflecting this goodness as it is the badness. The whole thing was a genuine pleasure and if you are one of the many people who contributed, thank you.
So far, 337 songs have been nominated for the list. Some have been mentioned countless times - countless because I didn't realise that I should probably have been counting them and now I just don't have the time nor the inclination to wade back through. Others are outliers, including some entries that provoked astonishment at their inclusion.
Overall, it is a thrilling glimpse into the fragility of the human mind. I hope that some people were heartened to find themselves a ready-made online support community while others were just able to get something off their chest. The resultant Spotify playlist, which I have called Kryptonite Songs, is perhaps the most tantalising song roulette anyone could ever play. If you are anything like me, you probably like a significant percentage of the following songs and can tolerate a large rump of the remainder. But it's in there, isn't it? Just waiting for you.
Without any further waffle from me, here is the list. Free from the (admittedly slim) restraints of Spotify's library, it appears in its unexpurgated form. There is one small rider to this, which is that I will have almost certainly forgotten to include some of the songs: things were coming so thick and fast on Sunday afternoon that in the time it took to write up the latest 50 replies, there would be 65 more. So, if I missed yours off, I apologise. However, the list - and my Twitter - remains open, so I can almost certainly be nudged to fix any mistakes. Finally, if you haven't contributed yet and would like to, the original Twitter thread can be found here, or you can leave your nomination in the comments below.
10cc – Dreadlock Holiday
10cc – I'm Not In Love
The 88 – At Least It Was Here
Ace Of Base - All That She Wants
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun
The inclusion of this song riled up one respondent's teenage daughter. This delighted me: people were playing the Spotify list to their children. Hearts and minds.
4 Non Blondes - What's Up?
ABBA – Dancing Queen
I love this song. More updates on this as we get them.
Aerosmith – I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
Aerosmith – Janie's Got A Gun
Aerosmith. Music for people who like to be uplifted but hate music.
Akon – Lonely
Amy Grant – Big Yellow Taxi
The Big Yellow Taxi saga was interesting. Many replies just said "anything by [artist]" or "any version of [song]". Big Yellow Taxi, however, was unique. Initially picked with the stipulation that it was any except the Counting Crows version. Within an hour this, too, was on the list.
Andrew Gold – Lonely Boy
Anohni – 4 Degrees
Aqua – Lollipop (Candyman)
Artful Dodger ft. Craig David – Re Rewind
The B52's - Love Shack
Oh, this one is really, REALLY unpopular
B*Witched – C'est La Vie
Babybird – You're Gorgeous
Babylon Zoo – Spaceman
The most disappointing song of all time?
Bananarama - I Can't Help It
Band Aid – Do They Know It's Christmas?
Barry Manilow – Mandy
The Beatles - Across The Universe
The Beatles - Hey Jude
The Beatles - She's Leaving Home
The Beatles - When I'm 64
The Beatles - Yellow Submarine
The Beatles – Yesterday
The Beatles, objectively the greatest pop group in history. Just accept it. However, I can't particularly argue with any of these selections.
The Beautiful South – Perfect 10
BUT SHE WEARS A TWELVE
Belinda Carlisle – Circle In The Sand
Belinda Carlisle – Heaven Is A Place On Earth
Belinda Carlisle – Leave The Light On For Me
Some have queried whether Belinda Carlisle deserved such shoddy treatment. But the people have spoken and what they said was, do our ears deserve such shoddy treatment?
Beyonce – Single Ladies
Billy Joel – My Life
Billy Joel – Piano Man
Billy Joel – Uptown Girl
Billy Ocean – When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Get Going
Billy Ray Cyrus – Achy Breaky Heart
Bjork - It's Oh So Quiet
Black Crowes – Hard To Handle
The person who nominated this song tells me it is an FM radio staple in America. No wonder things are getting so fraught over there.
Black Eyed Peas – I've Gotta Feeling
This is one of the most nominated songs. The level of angst that it inspires, if harnessed properly, could end our reliance on fossil fuels.
Black Lace – Agadoo
Blondie - Heart of Glass
Blondie – Rapture
I was glad these were nominated. It's nice to have some great songs in any playlist.
Blue Mink - Melting Pot
The Bluebirds - Young At Heart
Blur - Song 2
Bobby McFerrin – Don't Worry Be Happy
Two songs by otherwise popular acts, completely ruined by their ubiquity.
Bobby Pickett - Monster Mash
Bon Jovi – Livin' On A Prayer
These two are on rotation as the elevator music in hell.
Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart
Brand New Heavies – Midnight At The Oasis
Bruce Hornsby – The Way It Is
Bryan Adams - Everything I Do, I Do It For You
Sixteen weeks at number 1. Sixteen! Someone must have been switching out the HRT pills for M&Ms that summer.
Bryan Adams - Summer of '69
Bryan Ferry – Let's Stick Together
Crap, warbled by a prick.
Buckcherry – Crazy Bitch
The Byrds – Mr. Tambourine Man
The worst band in history.
Carl Douglas – Kung Fu Fighting
Carly Simon – You're So Vain
Carly-Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
The Carpenters – Yesterday Once More
A brother and sister, singing love songs to one another.
Catatonia – Road Rage
Celine Dion – My Heart Will Go On
Chas & Dave – Rabbit
Cher - Believe
Dance music for people who don't like dance music.
Cher - The Shoop Shoop Song
Cher - Walking In Memphis
My own personal choice. A song of irredeemable awfulness.
Chris De Burgh – A Spaceman Came Travelling
Chris De Burgh – The Lady In Red
Christina Aguilera - Lady Marmalade
Chumbawamba - Tubthumping
Cliff Richard – Mistletoe and Wine
Cliff Richard – The Millennium Prayer
The first Christmas songs on the list. They will not be the last.
Coldplay – Clocks
Coldplay – Yellow
Coldplay invoke all kinds of ire, but these were the only two specific songs chosen. (Update: someone nominated every single song Coldplay have recorded, in alphabetical order of the title. Is this what my life has become?)
Coolio ft. L.V. – Gangsta's Paradise
The Coral – In The Morning
Counting Crows – Big Yellow Taxi
Courtney Barnett – Pickles From The Jar
The Cranberries – Zombie
Crash Test Dummies – Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
Hnngh hnngh hnngh hnngh.
Crazy Town – Butterfly
The stink of RHCP all over it. Music for the tattoo parlour where you caught hepatitis.
Crystal Waters - Gypsy Woman
Cutting Crew – (I Just) Died In Your Arms
Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun
D:Ream – Things Can Only Get Better
Danny Wilson – Mary's Prayer
I'd forgotten about this one. One of my favourite choices on the list, it is a howler.
David Bowie – Across The Universe
David Bowie – The Jean Genie
Dead Or Alive – You Spin Me Round
The curse of 2016 stuck just a day later. Sorry, Pete.
Deee Lite – Groove Is In The Heart
Deep Blue Something – Breakfast At Tiffany's
Of all the songs nominated, this one inspired the most hatred and anger.
Des'ree - Life
Dexys Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
A brilliant song by a brilliant band, so there.
Diana Ross – Chain Reaction
My mum's least favourite song.
Dire Straits – Money For Nothing
Dire Straits – Romeo and Juliet
DJ Otzi – Hey Baby
Perhaps the only good argument as to why leaving the EU was a good idea after all.
Dobie Gray – Drift Away
Dodgy – Good Enough
Don McLean – American Pie
Doobie Brothers - What A Fool Believes
I sang this tunelessly the entire morning after it was mentioned. My wife left me.
Doop – Doop
Dream Academy – Life In A Northern Town
"President Kennedy... and The Beatles (scream)...". A sackcloth full of watery cum.
The Eagles – Hotel California
The other worst band in history.
Edwyn Collins – A Girl Like You
Eiffel 65 – Blue
Elbow - One Day Like This
Ellie Goulding – On My Mind
A friend played this to his 4-year old daughter. Her response? "Why's she saying that? This isn't even a song, dad".
Elton John – Candle In The Wind (1997)
Elton John – Crocodile Rock
Elton John – Your Song
Elvis Presley - Return To Sender
Eminem – Lose Yourself
Enigma – Sadness
For when your ambient dance track needs more Gregorian Chant.
Eve ft. Gwen Stefani – Let Me Blow Ya Mind
The theme tune from Everything's Rosie
The curse of cBeebies.
Fairground Attraction – Perfect
Fountains of Wayne - Stacey's Mom
Frank Sinatra - My Way
The Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger
The sound of losing your virginity in a public toilet at a darts match as they counted up the results of the EU referendum.
Fun ft. Janelle Monae – We Are Young
Gary Puckett and Union Gap – Young Girl
A brilliant choice. I applaud whoever it was who suggested this one.
George Ezra – Drawing Board
Gerry & The Pacemakers – You'll Never Walk Alone
Full disclosure: the person who nominated this song's Twitter avatar is the badge of Everton Football Club. However, it all checks out. This song is bobbins.
Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street
Extraordinarily popular choice. Because no-one likes saxophones.
Glasvegas – Daddy's Gone
Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
The most nominated song to include the qualifier "I'm sure no-one else has said this, but..."
The Goo-Goo Dolls – Iris
Green Day – Good Riddance (Time of your Life)
Guns 'n' Roses – Sweet Child o Mine
Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl
Hinder – Lips Of An Angel
House of Pain - Jump Around
The early leader in the popular vote. The party song for people who don't go to parties.
Idina Menzel – Let It Go
Inner Circle - Sweat
The Jam - A Town Called Malice
James Blunt – You're Beautiful
James Brown – I Feel Good
Someone was obviously having a bad day.
Jamie Lawson – Wasn't Expecting That
Jamiroquai – Canned Heat
Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation
Janis Joplin – Mercedes Benz
Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind
Surprisingly, this is not on Spotify. So you all dodged a bullet there.
Jennifer Rush – The Power of Love
Jim Diamond – I Should Have Known Better
JJ Barrie – No Charge
Joe Dolce – Shaddap You Face
John Lennon – Imagine
John Mayer – Your Body Is A Wonderland
Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi
Journey – Don't Stop Believin'
I have a long-standing suspicion of songs with abbreviated words in their title.
Justin Bieber – Baby
Baby baby baby, ooh (repeat x1 fucking trillion)
Kate Nash – Foundations
Kate Tempest – Circles
Katie Melua – Closest Thing To Crazy
Katie Melua – Nine Million Bicycles
Katrina and the Waves – Walking On Sunshine
Some people don't like to be happy.
Katy Perry – California Gurls
Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl
Katy Perry – Roar
Katy Perry has three songs on the list, representing 50% of her entire artistic output.
The Killers - Mr. Brightside
An outstandingly unpopular and awful record.
Kings of Leon - Sex On Fire
Kings Of Leon – Use Somebody
The La's – There She Goes
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
Lighthouse Family - Lifted
Lighthouse Family – Ocean Drive
The elevator music in Purgatory.
Limp Bizkit – My Generation
Lisa Stansfield – Around The World
Little Eva – The Locomotion
Lo-Fang – You're The One That I Want
Los Del Rio – Macarena
Lou Bega – Mambo No. 5
Lukas Graham – 7 Years
Lulu - Shout
Lulu - The Boat That I Row
Lulu is not nearly as popular as Absolutely Fabulous would have you believe.
Madness – Baggy Trousers
Madonna – Like A Virgin
MAGIC! - Rude
Manfred Mann's Earth Band – Blinded By The Light
A solid choice.
Manic Street Preachers – SYMM
A song. About writing a song. About Hillsborough. A song about writing a song about Hillsborough.
Marc Cohn – Walking In Memphis
The worst song ever written, performed by the culprit.
Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
Maroon 5 – Animals
Maroon 5 – Moves Like Jagger
Maroon 5 – This Love
No-one likes Maroon 5.
Meatloaf – I'd Do Anything For Love
Do it and get off.
Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
Men At Work – Down Under
Mercury Rev - Goddess On A Hiway
Michael Buble – It's A Beautiful Day
Michael Jackson – Earth Song
Considering his enormous popularity, ubiquity and cultural significance, a surprising solitary vote for Michael Jackson. Then again, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen didn't get any. But then again, neither of them recorded Earth Song.
MIKA – Grace Kelly
Mike and the Mechanics – The Living Years
This one made me nod my head so hard I think something broke off inside.
MN8 - I've Got A Little Something For You
Mousse T ft. Tom Jones – Sex Bomb
Mr. Big – To Be With You
Mumford and Sons – I Will Wait
Natasha Bedingfield – These Words
The New Radicals – You Only Get What You Give
Inspires nought but rage.
Nicki Minaj – Anaconda
Nickleback - Rockstar
Oasis - Champagne Supernova
I think the original nomination sums this one up better than I ever could:
Oasis - Shakermaker
Oasis - Wonderwall
One of the most nominated songs of them all. Is it because it has been over-played? Or just because it is shit? Or both?
Oasis – All Around The World
"IT NEVER FUCKING ENDS" argues the nominator.
Ocean Colour Scene – The Day We Caught The Train
Offspring - Come Out and Play
OMC – How Bizarre
This song inspires such ire that it renders a lot of people speechless.
Paolo Nutini – New Shoes
Paul McCartney – We All Stand Together
Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime
Peter Sarstedt – Where Do You Go To My Lovely?
An exceedingly popular choice.
Pharrell Williams – Happy
Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight
Phil Collins - You Can't Hurry Love
Phil Collins – Easy Lover
You couldn't not have a bit of Phil.
Picture House – Sunburst
The Pogues and Kirsty McColl - The Fairytale of New York
The Proclaimers – I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)
The Prodigy – Firestarter
Psy - Gangnam Style
This song is the national anthem of the list.
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Queen – Don't Stop Me Now
Queen – We Are The Champions
Queen – We Will Rock You
I like one of these songs, but you'll have to guess which one while I go and throw up.
R.E.M. - Shiny Happy People
My mate Kev's choice, the first song committed to the list.
Razorlight - America
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Californication
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Under The Bridge
"Whenever anyone hears a song and asks 'what is THIS shit?', the answer is always Red Hot Chilli Peppers"
Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe
The Cast of Rent – Seasons of Love
Reverend and The Makers – Heavyweight Champion of the World
Richard Harris – Macarthur Park
Ricky Martin – Livin' La Vida Loca
The Righteous Brothers – You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
Rihanna – Take A Bow
Robbie Williams - Angels
Robbie Williams - Millennium
Robbie Williams - Rock DJ
Robbie Williams – Candy
Robbie Williams – Freedom
Robbie Williams – Mack The Knife
Robbie Williams – Rudebox
No-one has as many entries on this list than Robbie. He has touched many lives.
Robert Palmer - Addicted To Love
Robin S – Show Me Love
Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines
One of the most frequent choices. A dumb-as-shit, rape apologist, piece of fucking garbage sung by a peenarse.
The Cast of The Rocky Horror Show – The Time Warp
Rod Stewart – Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?
Roy Orbison – Oh, Pretty Woman
Run DMC ft. Aerosmith – Walk This Way
Rupert Holmes - Escape
Sacred Reich - 31 Flavors
Sam Smith – Money On My Mind
Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker
Santana – Smooth
The soundtrack to trying to pick up a really runny dog shit.
Sash – Encore Un Fois
Savage Garden – Truly, Madly, Deeply
Music for, and by, virgins.
The Scorpions - Winds Of Change
The Scorpions – Still Loving You
The band that made people want to rebuild the Berlin Wall. Not on Spotify, you lucky people.
Scouting For Girls – She's So Lovely
The Script – The Man Who Couldn't Be Moved
Shaggy – It Wasn't Me
Shania Twain - Man! I Feel Like A Woman!
Songs with unnecessary exclamation marks in the title.
Shanice – I Love Your Smile
Shut Up And Dance – Raving I'm Raving
A rave track that samples Walking In Memphis. What's not to like?
Simply Red – Fairground
You know how smug Hucknall's face must have been when he finished this one.
Simply Red – Stars
Sister Sledge - Frankie
Sixpence None The Richer – Kiss Me
Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody
I like this one and I don't care. Although, not in October.
Smash Mouth – All Star
Snap - Rhythm is a Dancer
Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
Social Distortion - Story of my Life
Sophie Ellis Bextor – Murder On The Dancefloor
Space ft. Cerys Matthews – The Ballad of Tom Jones
No nomination made me laugh as much as this one. It is perfect, brilliant and entirely correct.
Spice Girls - Wannabe
The Spin Doctors – Two Princes
One of the most magnificently unpopular songs on the list. I guarantee that when I go back to Twitter after finishing this post, there'll be a new tweet nominating this. Probably with the word "fucking" in it.
Starship - Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now
Starship – We Built This City
Stereophonics - Hurry Up and Wait
Stereophonics – Have A Nice Day
If you ever doubt how much people hate these two groups, just read the Twitter thread.
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)
Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra
Steve Walsh – I Found Lovin'
Stevie Wonder – I Just Called To Say I Love You
Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney – Ebony and Ivory
Perhaps the two most hateful songs ever written, for any fans of irony out there.
Stiltskin – Inside
The Stranglers – Golden Brown
Supertramp – The Logical Song
Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
Sweet – Wig Wam Bam
The fucking Sweet. The other, other worst band in history.
T'Pau – China In Your Hand
I like this, so nur.
Take That ft. Lulu – Relight My Fire
Tammy Wynette – Stand By Your Man
Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble
Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
Taylor Swift is not on Spotify so you won't be able to enjoy what a brilliant song Shake It Off is. Or how arse-clenchingly dreadful the other one is.
Terence Trent D'arby – Wishing Well
Terry Jacks – Seasons In The Sun
They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul
The inclusion of this one sparked controversy in my timeline, with calls to name and shame. Cards on the table, I like it. Many, many others do not.
Tina Turner – The Best
TLC – No Scrubs
Tom Petty – Free Fallin'
Tony Christie – Is This The Way To Amarillo?
Toploader - Dancing In The Moonlight
Hands down, this is the popular choice for the most hated song in history. The sound of Hard Brexit happening as Jamie Oliver runs over your dog in his VW camper van.
Traditional - Jerusalem
"...when it is sung by old posh ladies".
Traditional - Little Drummer Boy
Traditional – I'm Proud To Be An American
Trio – Da Da Da
Twista ft. Anthony Hamilton – Sunshine
U2 – Beautiful Day
A song so cataclysmically awful that it drew the fire from the remainder of the U2 canon.
UB40 - Red Red Wine
Ultrabeat – Pretty Green Eyes
Ultravox – Vienna
Van Morrison - Brown-Eyed Girl
Vance Joy – Riptide
Waterboys – The Whole of the Moon
The overwhelming choice from Irish and Scottish respondents.
The Weathergirls – It's Raining Men
Westlife – You Raise Me Up
Wet Wet Wet – Love Is All Around
Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag
Whigfield - Saturday Night
Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
My dad's least favourite song.
Wings – Mull Of Kintyre
Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day
Yello – Oh Yeah
++ LATE NEWS ++
There continues to be significant interest in this project, significant enough to increase the 337 songs to 373 and then to 380. Which is more. For the benefit of science, here are the new entries:
Anohni - 4 Degrees
Basement Jaxx - Do Your Thing
The Beatles - Octopus's Garden
And yet, still nothing for Rocky Raccoon. Or Oh-Bla-Di, Oh-Bla-Dah.
Benny Mardones - Into The Night
Beverly Knight - Shoulda Woulda Coulda
Billy Swan - I Can Help
Bran Van 3000 - Drinking In L.A.
Songs from adverts, a surefire recipe for resentment and anger.
Bros - When Will I Be Famous?
Caro Emerald - Liquid Lunch
Charlene - I've Never Been To Me
Colbie Caillat - Bubbly
Corinne Bailey-Rae - Put Your Records On
The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary
Donna Fargo - The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.
Elton John - Passengers
Eternal - I Wanna Be The Only One
Europe - The Final Countdown
Dur dur dur dur, dur dur dur dur dur.
Flying Machine - Smile A Little Smile For Me
Fools Garden - Lemon Tree
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
Look, I don't choose these songs, OK?
Jeff Beck - Hi Ho Silver Lining
Although if I could, I would.
LMFAO - Sexy And I Know It
Madonna - Die Another Day
The Mavericks - Dance The Night Away
The creeping menace of modern country music.
M.C. Hammer - U Can't Touch This
Midnight Oil - Beds Are Burning
Nelly Furtado - I'm Like A Bird
Okkervil Rover - A Girl In Port
Outkast - Hey Ya!
Prefab Sprout - The King of Rock and Roll
Procul Harem - A Whiter Shade of Pale
R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts
Rod Stewart - Sailing
The Rolling Stones - Sympathy For The Devil
I fundamentally disagree with three out of these four choices. I will leave you to guess which is the odd one out. (It's Rod Stewart).
Sheryl Crow - All I Wanna Do
Stan Ridgway - Camouflage
Steve Winwood - Higher Love
Southern Sound FM, Woodingdean 1991, representing.
The Streets - Fit But You Know It
Swing Out Sister - Breakout
Tight Fit - The Lion Sleeps Tonight
I can see how these could wear you down.