Ever hear a piece of trite, lacklustre pop music and wonder who is to blame for its existence? Cormac Duffy outlines the great songs that influenced terrible music.
Joni Mitchell – ‘A Case of You’
Are you sick of self-pitying singer-songwriters? Think there are too many vapidly introspective songs polluting our airwaves? Blame Joni. Blame this song. Blame Canada.
The Ronettes – ‘Be My Baby’
It says a lot about the sheer lousiness of girl bands that the first one was arguably the best. The breadth of this song’s influence spans countless awful covers, the Phil Spector murder case, and worst of all, Amy Winehouse.
The Beatles – ‘Please Please Me’
Four young lads from Liverpool sing a badly concealed ode to oral sex, establish popular music as a legitimate art form and kick-start social revolution, only to undo it all by influencing Oasis.
Bob Dylan – ‘Mr Tambourine Man’
The legendary Minnesotan troubadour persuades music community to pass motion to give up on lyrics that made sense. Blurred the already hazy line between the symbolic and the pure bollocks.
Led Zeppelin – ‘The Battle of Evermore’
Long hair! Mandolins! Tolkien! This six-minute tribute to Middle Earth is responsible for four decades of self-important, fantasy-referencing concept albums as well as such wonderful genres as folk metal. Cheers.
Rites of Spring – ‘For Want Of’
By cross-breeding confessional songwriting and hardcore punk, the DC legends created the godawful genre that is emo. Maybe they could have stayed at home that day.
Kraftwerk – ‘Autobahn’
Pioneering German geniuses open the Pandora’s box of electronic music. A million awful trance and rave “musicians” crawl out.
Ramones – ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’
These New York legends proved that anyone could make iconic music with a few chords and a 4/4 beat. Turns out they couldn’t. Yes, we’re talking about your band. Give up now.
Queen & David Bowie – ‘Under Pressure’
A known accomplice of wanted criminals Vanilla Ice and Jedward, this song was on the scene at the disappearance of David Bowie’s talent. The police are appealing for any information.
Sugarhill Gang – ‘Apache’
An undeniably fun slice of classic hip-hop, yes, but one that legitimised sampling (see plagiarism), and which was apparently playing when Flo-Rida was conceived.
Descendents – ‘Hope’
These SoCal punks made caffeinated energy, puerile humour and ex-girlfriend hating the norm. They could sue every single pop punk band into poverty, and yet they make us suffer them instead.
Nirvana – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’
This tune’s success cemented the 90s as a decade of low grade, angsty alternative rock. One wonders how Kurt Cobain lives with the guilt. Oh, wait.