dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

'Rolling Stone' Readers Vote Aqua's "Barbie Girl" The Worst Song Of The '90s

Rolling Stone is on a real "worst" kick. After the publication's readers recently selected Miley Cyrus' rendition of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as the Worst Cover Song Of All Time, they've now gone and given a similar honor to her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus. His "Achy Breaky Heart" ranks high on the mag's new Worst Songs Of The '90s tally.

Upon "Achy Breaky" heart landing at #3 on the Worst Songs Of The '90s poll, the magazine stated the following:
"A hit like that should have forever destroyed Billy Ray's career, but he started acting in the early 2000s – and in 2005 his daughter Miley landed the role of Hannah Montana and Billy Ray was cast as her father. He's now a TV icon to teenagers all across the country, most of whom have probably never heard 'Achy Breaky Heart'."
Global hit "Barbie Girl" by Aqua had the misfortune of landing at the top of the heap. Though the song crowned the charts in the UK, Australia, Germany and Sweden in 1997 — and landed at a respectable #7 here on the Hot 100 — Rolling Stone readers looked past the dance-pop jam's irony and pegged it as a bad relic of the 1990s. Or maybe they got the irony and still just felt it was a big pile of doll parts?

Interestingly, nearly half of the songs here ("Barbie Girl," "Tubthumping," "My Heart Will Go On" and "MMMBop") were released in 1997. Also, I'm totally crying foul on Baha Men's "Who Let The Dog's Out?" being included, since it was released in the latter half of 2000.

Oh, well — I proudly admit that I bought one of the limited copies of Aqua's CD single when it was released 14 years ago, and totally stanned for the band through the whole run of their first album Aquarium

Says Rolling Stone about "Barbie Girl":
"Many people were offended by the portrayal of a woman as a man's plastic doll, begging him to 'undress me everywhere.' Others loved the over-the-top cartoonish video and bizarre sound of the song. Mattel (the makers of Barbie) were less than pleased that their product was being presented in such an overtly sexual way and filed a lawsuit."
This probably won't do much to aid the band's comeback. Feel the glamor and pain, Aqua.

Final thought: how the fuck did trash like Snow's "Informer" and All-4-One's "I Swear" escape this list?


1. Aqua, "Barbie Girl"
2. Los Del Rio, "Macarena"
3. Billy Ray Cyrus, "Achy Breaky Heart"
4. Vanilla Ice, "Ice Ice Baby"
5. Chumbawamba, "Tubthumping"
6. Hanson, "MMMBop"
7. Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On"
8. Baha Men, "Who Let The Dogs Out?"
9. Right Said Fred, "I'm Too Sexy"
10. 4 Non Blondes, "What's Up?"

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  • At 6:04 PM, Blogger Mel said…

    "Barbie Girl" over "Macarena"? Ouch.

    What about Color Me Badd? How did they escape this list?

    Was "Mambo No. 5" released in the 90's? My brain hurts just thinking about it.

    "What's Up" is a crime though -- that's a classic, I don't care what anyone says.

  • At 6:27 PM, Blogger Dan said…

    The only crime any of these songs committed was being overplayed. OK, except maybe for "Macarena." Yeech.

    Personally, the worst song of the 90s for me was "Mr. Jones." Dear God in heaven, if I hear that song again...

  • At 6:34 PM, Anonymous shaun said…

    Mel, I totally agree about "What's Up"...I mean, I get that it's not for everyone and that it definitely is of its era...however, it came on today when I had my ipod set to random, and I was happy as a pig in mud...ain't nothing wrong with that song...nothing egregious enough to land it on this list.

  • At 7:48 PM, Blogger D'luv said…

    A bit off topic, but from the 4 Non Blondes era - I've totally been getting into The Breeders' Last Splash album this week! "No Aloha" is my jam!

    Okay, back on topic - as I said on the CR Facebook wall, there are a TON of Michael Bolton singles that also deserved to be on this list more than Aqua or 4NB...except for "Said I Loved You...But I Lied," which is a total guilty pleasure.

  • At 9:45 AM, Anonymous "Well Barbie, You're Just Getting Started! said…

    I read an article that pointed out how none of the songs on the "bad" list were guitar-driven white American male music, and the majority of the songs that did make the list were either by non-American and/or female-driven acts.


    To the Aquarium to regroup!!!!!

  • At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Pranav said…

    Barbie Girl was shite and definitely deserves to be on the list of worst 90s songs. I don't know about it being on the top. As far as Michael Bolton is concerned, I liked almost all singles in the 90s up until "go the distance". Everything else after has been underwhelming at best.

  • At 9:18 AM, Anonymous shaun said…

    D'luv, I'm working on a 20-year affair with "Last Splash"...it really has held up. Title TK also is great, though not as good as LS...love "No Aloha," "Invisible Man," "Do You Love Me Now"...great stuff!

  • At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Bobdob said…

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