Mixtape – Great Songs by Awful Artists

 
 

Even a stopped clock will tell the correct time twice a day. Stephen Connolly demonstrates how even the worst artist can stumble upon greatness

The Sweet – ‘Fox On the Run’

Even The Sweet’s glittery loyalists were taken aback when their idols finally rearranged Bowie and Bolan’s leftovers into something even crudely resembling a classic. One of the few justifiable causes for pit stops along 1974’s aptly-monikered Desolation Boulevard, save perhaps to take a U-turn.

Mott The Hoople- ‘All the Young Dudes’

Herefordshire’s curliest were snatched from the mandibles of obscurity at the last moment, when they finally delivered the glorious ‘All The Young Dudes’. We see the question form on your cracked lips: ‘What expanses had these minstrels travelled, what rivers crossed, and sorcerers’ counsel sought in order to pen such finery?’ David Bowie wrote it for them.

Will Smith – ‘Miami’

Under a microscope, cells exposed to the flaccid lyrical belchings of this man have been seen to disenchant cells of the ear’s epidermis to such an extent that they opt out of the normal cell cycle, morphing into rancid growths of comparable malignancy. But, eh, this is fine.

Cream – ‘White Room’

Any distant-eyed uncle at the quiet end of a dinner table will mumble to you that unless tragically buggered on acid, the only way one could elute a gram of pleasure from Eric Clapton and the boys’ 1960s concerts was to be one of the moustached virtuosos indulging in instrument-assisted onanisms onstage.

Rod Stewart- ‘Do You Think I’m Sexy?’

While his strip mining of the Great American Songbook may have many vomiting into their own cupped hands, this is gold, uncomfortable gold. Politely ignore the slurred question and pop a chocolate into his mouth by way of encouragement.

Babyshambles – ‘Fuck Forever’

Emerging from the fumes of his own pungent self-mysticism and wet-eyed nationalism, Doherty initially promised to be an artist both vital and listenable. That promise was not honoured and had he not had written this, our pound of flesh would have been exacted. You can guess which pound.

Ringo Starr – ‘It Don’t Come Easy’

Like that of an ill-treated seed potato kept in a dark loft, Ringo Starr’s efforts under the lengthy shadow of his bandmates in the 1970s were pale and spindly, not to mention musty. This piece, however, thrived in reflected light of its co-writer, George Harrison. Fitting extended metaphor, we think, as Ringo Starr does resemble a potato.

Kaiser Chiefs – ‘Love’s Not a Competition (But I’m Winning)’

Always handy to have up one’s sleeve when trying to contend that The Kaiser Chiefs communicated something more transcendental than the spirit and ethos of the Bash Street Kids.

Cher – ‘Believe’

If you, in a smoky bar back in the day, had suggested that the pinnacle of Cher’s artistic endeavour would be both at the end of the century and recorded in a pint glass, we would have laughed uproariously and advised the barman to hide your keys. Now who’s laughing? Absolutely no one, actually.

Razorlight – ‘The Golden Touch’

Johnny Borrell is just the sort of guy who your parents steer you away from. He’s the sort of anarchist who, on a class trip to Newgrange, will pass around a sneaky can of beer at the back of the bus, and deliberately wear his Doc Martens on PE day. Should their efforts fail, and you become ensconced in the circle of friends orbiting his colossal sense of entitlement, make sure he doesn’t remove this gem from his setlist.

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