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The Friday 5 – Top 5 ‘How The Fuck Did That Happen?’ Successes

It’s Friday ELMers! Yes, it’s time to kick back, to work less than usual, to plan ahead a weekend of debauchery which would make Bacchus look like Mary Whitehouse after a debilitating stroke. And, as is the tradition round these parts, we bring you another fantastic five. Well, actually, that’s a bit of a misnomer. This weeks selection come from the lands of ignominy. They are the pop stars who achieved a reasonable amount of success which, when looked at with the never-wrong benefit of smug hindsight, looks absolutely incomprehensible from this distance. How did it happen? Did people actually have posters of these people on their walls? Did anyone masturbate about these guys? In other words, seriously, what the fuck?

Howard Jones – Ah, Ho-Jo. Average looking, average musical skills, average songwriting. Curiously soulless eyes, sort of similar to Robert Patrick in Terminator 2. And he was all over Top of the Pops in the 80s! He even got to do Live Aid. But fair play, the songs, they will live forever. If by forever we mean May 1986.

Seal – Yes, Seal who was cruelly but accurately referred to by Viz as ‘Seal out of Adamski’. Released ‘Killer’ about 27 times on the grounds that it had been a hit for someone else once. Then hit massive success with his debut album, despite it being shite. Responsible for ‘Kiss From A Rose’, a song even worse than the film it was written for…and that film was ‘Batman Forever’. I know. Just when you thought you were rid of the irritatingly successful talent-free-zone, he pops up on TV last year and he’s only gone and married Heidi Klum. That’s just taking the piss, that.

Soul Asylum – Good God, where do you start? Looked like GAP’s idea of a grunge band. Lead singer had dreadlocks (note; never trust a white man in dreadlocks. They are, invariably, cunts.) He also dated Winona Ryder, and I reckon he put her up to having that bracelet. But no matter how bad those crimes were – and they were – nothing could top ‘Runaway Train’. The most cloying, awful, ersatz-rock song ever, deadened further by a lyric so stupid that if Jim Davidson fucked Paris Hilton and they had a kid, it still wouldn’t be as stupid as this. To top it off, they then cynically included clips of missing teenagers from every location on the globe, thus ensuring massive airplay on MTV worldwide. I hope they burn in hell.

Gun – Scottish bands, when they fail, generally do so because they never have ambitions further than being their idols. This was the case with Glaswegian rockers Gun. Sadly though, they appeared not so much to want to be Led Zeppelin as Little Angels. They were truly shite, which was a shame as they seemed like nice blokes. It’s actually hard to remember them for anything other than their anodyne cover of Cameo’s ‘Word Up’. When Mel B has recorded a better cover of a song than you, well, it’s maybe a sign that you just weren’t cut out for this rock star schtick.

Pink – Emerged as the ugly one in the Moulin Rouge version of ‘Lady Marmalade’, the one you thought you could pot after all the hot ones had left with the rich blokes. Next appeared as a chunky rock chick, a sort of Avril Lavigne-but-you’d-need-a-good-few -more-pints-first style rock chick. Recorded a few clunky nuggets which idiots bought. Seems to have died on her arse a bit lately. We’ll put her success down to post-millenia ennui and letting Tesco sell CD’s.

So there we have a few. I’d considered The Spin Doctors, but come on, ‘Two Princes’ is a top tune. And those poor bastards have suffered enough, especially if anyone ever bought them a mirror.


28 Responses

  1. Been thinking of a few suggestions,which Ill get to in due course.
    However, while cogitating on this I thunk to myself ” ELM- meister ,you gotta get a post going on the crazy world of one hit wonders – so many fantastic ones we occasionally need reminded of.
    Anyway,on with further cogitation.

  2. Cliff Richard.

    How in the name of Satan and all his demons did this anodyne ,ersatz , offence to all that is sacred in rock and roll become salable by the shed load WHILE PRETENDING TO BE ROCK AND ROLL !!!!!!

    and chuck Hermanns Helmets on the same bonfire !

    “How do you do what you do to me”.


    but Ill need a red hot poker, a flagon of sulphuric acid,a car battery ,some jump leads,smelling salts ,an isolated location and a beautiful assistant.

  3. ‘Devil Woman’ is a tune though Dusty!

    I’d also have to nominate Erasure. Euuurrgh.

  4. Its about Sue Barker you know.

  5. Yeah, butter wouldn’t melt these days, but in the 70’s Barker was a cock-crazed slut drinking innocent virgin’s first spendings. Maybe.

  6. Some others for consideration ;

    Fergal Sharkeys solo career ( ” a good heart is hard too find ? so was a good song apparently)

    Frankie goes to Hollywood.( Fairy `Cross The Mersey – and no one laughed at them for it????)

    James Blunt. war criminal.

    .Bryan Adams.( Twat,really what was the point? To make radio – friendly stadium rock for people who dont like music?)

    Jon Bon Jovi. (See above; although,he is due some credit for being a pioneer of midget – rock).

    Kenny Rogers ( who is now seen as a post-country comedy situationist who was always ahead of his time.)

    Ride .( well, they named themselves well enough I suppose)

  7. I’m not having Kenny Rogers. The man is Country music royalty. He did ‘The Gambler’ which makes him immortal.

    And Ride were magic.

    I’ll give you the rest though!

  8. Ride were an excellent group.

  9. Kept Creation going in 1991 when My Bloody Valentine were bleeding them dry. ‘Nowhere’ sold 100,000 copies out of, well, nowhere and gave them a much needed cash injection.

    Shame to see Andy Bell reduced to playing bass in Oasis, though I daresay his bank manager disagrees with me.

  10. I always thought Andy Bells’ songs were the weakest… Mark Gardener (or however you spell it) was a real talent.

    Interview with him here, on a mate’s blog:


  11. ….oh, yes, another monday brightened by ELM genius. Pissing meself here.
    On the subject of Gun, what about those offshoots that are a Kid Creole/Prince/Rock kinda thing? Always in the Daily Retard, pop up at awards things in Scotland…..what the fucks their name again? They’re shite, anyway.

  12. and don’t forget the kaiser chiefs, they’re pish too.

  13. El presidente ?

  14. I dunno Swineshead – Andy Bell wrote ‘Twisterella’ did he not? that was a top tune.

    Did like Mark Gardner, must admit.

  15. Why, thank you HowlinWhippet, you are very kind. i think Dusty is right, it was the fabulously useless El presidente. Adopted by the musically-incompetent Scottish press as the new Beatles, when everyone could see they weren’t even the new Dave Clark 5.

  16. What about UB40, Reggae for elevators.

  17. Agreed. Awful band. Rat in Mi Kitchen? Dick on the mic more like.

  18. El Presidente, yip thats them. Beyond shite. Uber shite. Ur-shite.

  19. just been reading some of my posts. I’d like to point out that I DO actually like some music, despite the ranting and negativity. I feel that what one hates is a better indicator of taste, however.

  20. It’s easier to write about what you hate howlin whippet – you don’t need to put your arse on the line and say ‘this is part of what defines me’…

    This is why Watch With Mothers is full of bad reviews… I’m a coward too. But at least I am a PC coward..!

  21. PC-ness is for social workers.

  22. Pretty much all novelty singles

    Grandma, we don’t love you, we actually stole your pension and sold your cat, bitch!

    Supergran ….see above

    Aqua ….. your pseudo pornographic euro pish kicked off my trepanning habit!

    2-unlimited….. unlimited in how gobsmackingly fucking awful it was, aye

    Levi ad songs, exactly how did a bunch of sweatshop bastards suddenly become an authority on punting one hitters. Saw stiltskin playing covers in a tiny pub a couple years later, about their level I’d say, cunts!

    I get apoplectic when I think of the cardigan wearing church…ney, Cult of England fuckwits buying Cliff Dickchards ‘Lords Prayer’ singles, may you all rot in your fictional hell motherfuckers. 🙂

    Toodles, now where did I put my lithium?

  23. I’ve never understood why some song used to punt shite denims always HAD to make it to number 1.

    though iPod appear to have nicked that honour from them.

  24. HW – I’m guilty of it too. Reading about love is boring! Give me a good hammering of a shite band/TV Show/Movie any day of the week!

  25. ” I don`t` like music…”

    ” comical little geezer……..you`ll look funny when youre fifty”.

    name that anyone????

  26. That’ll be out of a Big Audio Dynamite song that is. Dialogue from some 60’s britflick…..”Poor Cow”, maybe??

  27. Get a room you two!

    Here’s one;

    ‘He used to bring me flowers….I wish he would again’?

  28. close ; ” performance “, with mick jagger/edward fox.

    ” He used to bring me flowers… I wish he would again”?

    Terminator 3 ?

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