I’m off for our traditional “Weekend-After-Labor-Day-When-the-Hotels-Are-Cheaper” Beach weekend. Before I go, I’m leaving behind what is perhaps the most controversial opinion I would state in a public forum; more controversial and out of alignment with acceptable thought that my opposition to state-marriage or my refusal to support Donald Trump (or anyone else this year) for president.
And here it is: “We Built This City” by Starship is, contrary to all accepted opinion, not the worst song ever recorded.
I’ll stipulate that the song is wretched, its lyrics are stupid, its production is bombastic, and its a blatantly commercial sellout by a band who fancied themselves part of the hippie anti-establishment counterculture. As James Lileks put it in response to my original Ricochet post on the subject:
I take malicious pleasure in WBTC, because it’s one of the finest examples of tiresome, overrated hippies being as hypocritical as possible: a corporate-rock song condemning corporate rock. It takes gall by the gallon to sing “who cares they’re always changing / corporation names” when you’ve changed the name of your own group three times. And having worked at a bar whose jukebox played that got-dammed “Go Ask Alice” – the Stoner’s Bolero – at least twice a night, I had a deep loathing for Grace Slick, and seeing her overact in the video while having to sell lines like Marconi plays the Mambo was so, so satisfying.
Anyway, back to my thesis. To demonstrate that WBTC is not the worst song ever recorded, it is only necessary to identify one song that is worse or as-bad. I can easily name forty+: