Isn’t it amazing how a really bad band can pull a fabulous song out of their hat once in their career, as though they had temporarily loaned their soul to the devil instead of outright selling it? These are most unexpectedly brilliant songs by bands that are usually decidedly average or downright horrible to listen to.
Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
Ok, so you hate Bon Jovi and all of the poodle haired lame-assedness they stand for. I don’t blame you. In fact, I fully endorse you. However, I dare you to listen to this thumping rockfest and not scream “ooow a ooow a ooow a” at the start before jumping up and down and throwing your lavish mane around the place. You just can’t, can you?
Hotel California – The Eagles
How can a band that has taken out the copyright on dull, pointless music make something as stunningly unique and wonderful as this? Even the bizarre bit about stabbing the beast and the whole wine/spirit confusion are strangely uplifting moments.
Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
If you are currently going wild at your computer and calling me a fool and a buffoon among other gentle old-fashioned barbs, let me ask you to lie down and re-consider your position for a moment. You do not love The White Stripes. You simply love one of their songs. So do I and most rational people. This song is built on one of the best riffs ever. If you can listen to the song once with having it running through your head for weeks afterwards then you are arguably not even human. This is the first White Stripes songs I ever heard, so I headed straight to my local online vaguely legal download emporium in a state of some agitation to download their entire freaking back catalogue. What did I then hear? Not one single funky riff like this. Instead, I heard a lot of tuneless wailing and a small child running his nails down a broken and out of tune guitar.
I Still Haven’t Found What I Was Looking For – U2
To be fair, U2 aren’t the worst band in the world ever. That would be a tossup between Limp Bizkit and, well, no one else really. However, they are a bit dull and pompous, aren’t they? Having said that, this is one of the few songs I could listen to every single day of my life and never get bored of. Nothing else they have ever made comes even close to the sweeping majesty and world-wise lyrics of this masterpiece.
Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson
This song absolutely rocks, yet the singer doesn’t. Go figure.
The Final Countdown – Europe
My sister had the Europe album on cassette when I was a kid. There was this one fantastic song on it and then a lot of Euro rock trash nonsense stuff. Still, altogether now, “We’re leaving together…”
Run to You – Bryan Adams
What the Hell happened to sappy, soppy Adams when he recorded this genius rock anthem? Summer of 69 was actually pretty good as well but Run to You is just a slobbering chunk of Canadian rock god awesomeness, and those aren’t words you see together very often.
The Boys of Summer – Don Henley
This song and Rosanna by Toto are burned into my brain for eternity. The jukebox in my local sleazy pub only seemed to have these two songs on it. One of the regular customers – it may have been Henley himself for all I know – used to put on the Boys of Summer on a semi-permanent basis. Just as well it is a top notch song and not at all like just about anything else this guy and his Eagles buddies have ever done.