Freelance Writer
The Essential List for Deejays (to poop on)
03.28.06 | No Comments
Category: A&E

Originally ran in Worcester Magazine, 2003

Musical beauty is in the ear of the listener, and I certainly don’t mean to belie that notion.

But as a fairly consistent complainer about certain songs (many of which don’t qualify for this article), the editor of this section asked me to spin my whines into words – and create a little roundup of tunes that are begging to hit “out of print” status. Unfortunately, these are not songs that are going to go away any time soon, as they are some of the most popular cover tunes and wedding reception songs out there.

I’m in a cover band (let’s get that out of the way), and I occasionally argue that we teeter on the fence between doing good songs and just songs that people think

they need to hear. I write this article, yet some might protest that because my band includes “Play That Funky Music,” “Bad Case of Loving You,” “Son of a Preacher Man” and “Brick House,” it disqualifies me from being an authority. So be it. It’s still fun to complain.

And we all cave sometimes.

Below please find, in no particular order, the ultimate bad wedding reception and cover songs list – a group of numbers that should be stuffed into a flimsy piñata and bashed to a pulp. It is a compilation that must be photocopied and faxed to every deejay in the country, so they can promptly weed it from their collection.

“Wonderful Tonight” – This song is hardly wonderful tonight, or any night – even the eve of your high school prom (80 percent of you can claim this one). Clapton’s droning, flat voice only mucks up further this dull melody. One really bad song on an otherwise great album.

“Crocodile Rock” – Too goofy. And what the hell is “Crocodile Rock” anyway? This one was in close running with “Only the Good Die Young.”

“Some Kind of Wonderful” – The bass line is some kind of awful. Like that nauseating “Black Velvet” (or even “I’m The Only One” by Melissa Etheridge), the bass tedium just hangs out nakedly to annoy and assault the listener for a good three and a half minutes. Grand Funk stunk.

“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” – Picturing all the feathered-hair cheesies and mullet-heads pointing at one another yelling “stop right there!” is hysterical. But when the entire song is dramatized in front of us – from Meat Loaf swearing he’d love that girl ‘til the end of time to sleeping on it to praying for the end of time, we’re praying for the song to end.

“Mustang Sally” – Does this one really require an explanation as to why it ought to be recalled? Does not everyone hate this song?

“Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll” – Just take this old record off the shelf, and throw it in the garbage. Usually the “party starter” at most weddings, the opening piano riff is meant to bring us to our feet, but instead sends us to the bar for another shot.

“Brown Eyed Girl” – I feel bad sometimes about damning this song to death. Van Morrison is a monster songwriter, and one of the most soulful white singers on the planet. However, this tune has entered a stage where if I hear one more band break into those easy chords, I’ll – well, I’ll stay and play pool, but I won’t like it.

“Celebration” – End this song some time, come on! There is so much better out there in the disco/dance category that we shouldn’t have to bear this weak entry by Kool and his Gang. “Ladies Night” would be much more welcomed.

“Mony Mony” – Hey you? Hey what? … get Raid… this sucks! Let’s spray this drunken bug of a song-chant along with the “So good, so good!” in “Sweet Caroline.”

“Love Shack” – If we had some separation for awhile, this one might not be so bad. But as with the “stop right there!” during “Dashboard,” it’s just hard to deal with the “tin roof … rusted!” theatrics on the dance floor.

“YMCA” – We’ve all proven we can form those letters (though everyone makes the “M” a little differently). Let’s shelve this baby for awhile.

That “Shout/Twist” medley – Now waiiiiit a minute. This pesky mix does makes us want to shout, at the deejay, to turn it off and put on something superior like “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” or “Best of My Love.”

And lastly, we line ‘em up: Bring back the “Alley Cat!” Thoroughly revive “The Hustle!” “The Electric Slide,” the “Chicken Dance” and the “Macarena” have become sad attempts to pluck wedding guests from their assigned seating. Usually, however, three or four women and a guy or two fumble through the steps enough to annoy that one person who knows the dance by heart – their “Achey Breaky Heart,” a song we’d welcome back over many on this list.

And a few suggestions from the staff: “Lady in Red,” “I Will Always Love You,” “Always and Forever,” “December 1963 (Oh What a Night)” and “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

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