5 songs I dislike against all odds

Saul HudsonAdmit it, you’re like this too. You like a band, and almost all of their discography- but there are simply some songs you can’t stand. By all the “rules” of your music taste, you should like those songs. But you don’t.

And you see you’re very alone in your thinking. Everyone else is charmed. Even the people who dislike said band are crazy about it (sure, this can backfire, because fans tend to dislike stuff that is popular with non-fans). And you just don’t get the hype.

I made this list using bands I currently like, or I used to like, or like enough to expect to like a specific song, but for some reason, that doesn’t happen. Also, another criteria for forming the list was the song’s popularity. Everybody else had to like it (preferably non-fans also).

Scar Tissue (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

I love this band. Yes, even after their… questionable concert in Indjija (not to be confused with India) in 2007. And just for the record, I love Flea. One of my fav musicians. A great bass player indeed. I like almost all of their songs, even the “WTF?!” ones. But not “Scar Tissue”.

I know I am alone in my thinking. Also, I do know this song posses a certain quality, if nothing else, the way John and Flea are complementing each other. But something is missing. It’s just… I don’t know- boring? Yes, that might be a good word. No building, no passion. I am not saying they didn’t make the song with a passion- but to me it just falls flat.

Once (Pearl Jam)

Given the fact this song is basically the first thing we hear on their FIRST album (save for Master/Slave intro), one would think the song is a great opener. It isn’t. It’s not a bad song per se. So I blame the production. Or perhaps Eddie Vedder really didn’t know what to do about sing-screaming on this one. Don’t get me wrong, I like that man’s voice (I could listen him read mumble a telephone book), and his singing in the 90s was quite good. But “Once”? He failed. But the song sounds pretty decent live (or so I heard), so I think we should indeed blame the production. Several songs from “Ten” have the same problem (“Why Go”, anybody?).

Also, if “Alive”, “Once” and “Footsteps” are, indeed, a trilogy, don’t you think they should… I don’t know? All appear on the record? And is there a significance behind choosing “Once” to be the first we hear- while, according to most (if not, all) sources, “Alive” is the first one? Or is there some actual meaning behind this (for example, “Once” really being the beginning). I’d like to know.

Always (Bon Jovi)

True, Bon Jovi is not one of my favourite bands, but it’s not like I don’t know their songs. I even like some of them. I like enough of them you might think I should like this one. But it doesn’t work that way.

Originally written for the film “Romeo is Bleeding”, the song never appeared on the soundtrack because the band disliked the film. Can’t blame them- not many people would find a quality in said movie. But the film’s absurd premise, film-noir-but-not-really style and hilarious execution quickly made it some sort of an underground cult movie status. It looks like Bon Jovi didn’t want to be associated with that. Fair enough, but it’s their loss.

“Always” is just… Way too soft for my taste. And not soft in a cute kind of way, but cheesy. Musically, it’s ok but nothing special. But what made this song a big fail to me are the lyrics. Yes, I do have a prejudice when it comes to using a word “baby” in lyrics, unless you’re referring to an infant. But even without it… “I’ll be there forever and a day, Always”. Oh, gimme a break. This is a type of songs teenage couples choose to be “their” song. I wonder what they would think if the song was, indeed, included on “Romeo is Bleeding” soundtrack.

I Want to Break Free (Queen)

Gotta love this band, with all their flamboyant harmonies and borderline-kitsch-but-not-really (kitsch, not borderline) style and Freddie’s voice.

But “I Want to Break Free” does nothing for me. Simple as that. It’s not trash per see, but I fail to see its appeal. It’s simply not working for me.

November Rain (short version) (Guns N’ Roses)

“November Rain, the short version” happens when they cut the outro of the album version of the song. That’s what I’m talking about. I don’t get it, especially given the fact last 2 minutes feature one of the best guitar solos known to man. But let’s start from the beginning.

The song was written sometimes in early to mid 80s and, for all we know, represents Axl Rose’s deepest and most serious feelings/beliefs/memories. He wanted to include this song on a GNR record so badly, and he worked on it for years and played it on any piano he could find, anywhere. Nothing wrong with that.

The other guys were less than eager to ever make it a GNR song, but Slash was happy to play a solo for it (or so they say). About a decade (or a little less) later, we got album version of “November Rain”, neatly packed in 8 minutes and 57 seconds. There was an iconic video to go with it, too.

So, here’s the thing. If a song is 8 minutes and 57 seconds long, you don’t cut it 2 minutes early. Especially if what happens in those two minutes is the best thing about the song. I know I am alone here, but I simply don’t get “November Rain” appeal without the outro solo. The song is good- but nothing special. Musically, it’s good- but nothing special. Nothing that would tell you there was almost a decade of work behind it. When 13 year old romantic and gentle girls find something adorable, that’s usually not a good sign for a rock song, not even a rock ballad. Oh, more people than 13 year old girls adore this song, I know. But there’s nothing pass the “ok” for me there, not without the outro.

And yes, I know many people consider the first song solo to be the better one, and THE “November Rain” solo (and it’s still unclear on which solo Slash actually means when he’s talking about “the solo”). I don’t care. Cut the outro and I’m out.

See also: 5 songs I like against all odds

12 thoughts on “5 songs I dislike against all odds

  1. Alex

    I love Scar Tissue! It must be YOU- I don’t find that song boring at all. maybe you like some older RHCP stuff? That must be the case. I liked Californication and By The Way, because they were so melodic.

    I don’t know many Pearl Jam songs. Any suggestions?

  2. Mariana

    I thought that if there was any Pearl Jam song that you didn’t like it would be “Black”, I don’t exactly know why.

    I like al these songs but I know what you mean. I know this happens to me too but I can’t think of one right now because I’m still slow. lol

  3. zek j evets

    i like “scar tissue” and “i want to break free”, but not obsessively so. there are better songs by both of those bands.

    for me, the band + songs that i unexpectedly DON’T like is anything by weezer. it’s not that they’re really all that bad or anything. i just can’t get into them. for whatever reason their music bugs me and i tune it out.

  4. Mira

    @Alex

    I like bass driven songs, but I also like melodic ones (and who said those things are opposites?) So yes, I like older RHCP stuff, but “Californication” was also good.

    Where to start with Pearl Jam? That’s a good question. Maybe you should start with their greatest hits album, “Rearviewmirror” (remember, in PJ universe, rearviewmirror is one word).

    My favs: “Porch” and “State of Love and Trust”.

    Their best album, hands down, was “Vitalogy”. The individual songs don’t always sound as amazing as they actually are, but when you listen that album as a whole- it’s certainly a great experience. However, there would be no Pearl Jam without “Ten”, so you might as well start with it. But remember, that’s only a start :)

    @zek j evets

    For some reason, “Scar Tissue” is considered to be on of the best RHCP songs… And that’s something I don’t get. I agree: there are many better songs made by mentioned bands.

    As for Weezer, I am not really into them. But maybe that’s worth another post: 5 bands I dislike against all odds?

  5. Mira

    @Mariana

    Ah. “Black”. You are not really wrong about it: it’s exactly the type of song everyone likes, that I might not like at all. The music is so and so, and lyrics are- people, let’s face it- not Vedder’s best.

    When read on a lyrics sheet, it can actually seem pretty banal: I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be a star
    In somebody else’s sky, but why can’t it be mine.
    Right.

    But the way he sings it, with all the passion and everything inside- simply makes you love that song. Suddenly, the ok music becomes amazing, and lyrics make perfect sense and meaning, and from a random ballad it becomes one of the best-fucking-songs-you-ever-heard-in-your-life, period.

    All because of the way he sings it, with all the passion, and pain, and scream on “whyyyy” and “mineee”- and who knows what else is there. When you hear something like that, and when you see him cry during that song, and when you simply feel how strong a performance is- it just becomes powerful.

    That’s a magic of music in its pure form. I can’t explain it.

  6. Mariana

    You’re right, the lyrics aren’t that good – and I have seen some young couples choosing it as “theme song” of their relationship – but the way he sings it is amazing.
    There are a few singers that can transform a shitty song in an amazing one.

  7. Mira Post author

    @Mariana

    You’re right, the lyrics aren’t
    that good – and I have seen some young couples choosing it as “theme song” of their relationship – but the way he sings it is amazing.

    Well, it’s not quite “shitty”, but not amazing either. Young couples choosing it as a theme song is always a good indicator of a song’s crappines, though.

    But I agree about singing: it is simply amazing and transforms this song into one of the best I’ve ever heard. I have no idea what it is about, but it certainly means a LOT to him- the way he sings it makes all the difference.

    There are a few singers that can transform a shitty song in an amazing one.

    I agree. I like Vedder as a singer. Well, something ugly happened to his voice in the past few years, but his 90s voice was so powerful, amazing, amazing. (Yes, even with the fact he mumbles a lot).

  8. Eurasian Sensation

    I’m not the hugest RHCP fan, but Scar Tissue is pretty good. I can sorta see why you think it’s boring, but I’ll tell you a few reasons why I like it:

    * The melody IS catchy, no doubt about it.

    * The rhythm guitar throughout by John Frusciante is exquisite. A fine example of soul/funk guitar stylee being integrated into what is basically a white rock ballad.

    * Each time the chorus comes in (which is quite a lot, admittedly), they add another layer of harmony. So by the end of the song there are 4 or 5 parts to that harmony. It’s a subtle touch, but if like me you appreciate the finer points of song arranging, its a nice touch.

  9. Mira

    “Scar Tissue” is one of their best songs, no doubt. Technically, it’s perfect. Perfect guitar, perfect rhythm, dreamy, wonderful. But still, for some reason, I am not crazy about this song even if I know I should be… I mean, it’s a good song. Maybe I dislike Anthony’s vocals there. And lyrics are a bit distracting.

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