Wednesday 30 March 2016

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s: 11. The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed

11. The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed (1969)

Blues Rock

The Rolling Stones were always the poster boys for bad behaviour, marketed as some sort of anti-Beatles, even stalking and antithesising every Lennon/McCartney creative footprint they could stomach (this album title standing as one prime example). However, it was arguably round about Let It Bleed that the Stones came to embrace their own particular type of expression, the album in question considered a daringly tacky and erotic affair, wearing its sloppy grit and wicked smile with pride between licks of energetic country and the hardest of all blues, sandwiched between two of the most important songs of their career. They developed an oblivion to the compassion and liberation that the 1960s were renowned for, much rather concerned over how many narcotics and sexual partners one could withstand before blowing a fuse—which, as it turns out, wasn’t much more. Shortly after these sessions, founding member Brian Jones drowned to death, sadly leaving his final legacy on this very record. That said, it was still decent enough way to go, shaking hands farewell with the decade by kicking psychedelia out of the van, and setting up the 70s for a dirtier, rockier, and even more excessively debaucherous era. Which, as we already know, it most definitely turned out to be.

Selected Accolades:
Reaching #1 in the UK charts, (temporarily) knocking The Beatles - Abbey Road off the top spot.
#28 in Q’s list The 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.
#24 in VH1’s survey The 100 Greatest Albums of R 'n' R.
#32 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
#27 in Guardian’s list The Best Albums Ever.

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s: 10. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

10. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds (1966)

Baroque Pop

I’ve always found myself wobbling precariously on the fence when it came to Pet Sounds, many a time declaring the work to be inexcusably overrated, especially in context of how it is so often eulogised as the best record in history. However, I must humbly appreciate my opinion as a minute crumb in the greater musical loaf, and it would be far too naive of anyone to ignore the grand scale of influence these tracks had on just about everything that followed. Furthermore, it’s actually very easy to validate the reasons as to why said influence exists. The impenetrably colossal wall-of-sound production. The thick layering and pedantic detailing of every harmony and instrument imaginable to man (including such unorthodox choices as dog whistles, bicycle bells, and the first ever rock recording of a theremin, performed by the inventor himself). The optimistic almost hymnal compositions which were as pacifying and carefree as they were progressive and complex. And the freshly rewritten blueprint of how to manufacture sound from this point onward, the ultimate testament to Brian Wilson’s genius, acknowledged as the sole brain behind the operation. All of which congregates as one irrefutably 60s landmark classic, no matter what any of us like to think we know.

Selected Accolades:
Deemed The Greatest Album of All Time by Uncut.
Deemed The Greatest Album of All Time by Mojo.
Deemed The Greatest Album of All Time by NME.
Deemed The Greatest Album of All Time by The Times.
Deemed The Greatest Album of All Time by over 100 domestic and international publications and journalists.
Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Included in the National Recording Registry (2004).

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s: 09. The Kinks - The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society

09. The Kinks - The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968)

Pop Rock

I feel unbearable sympathy for The Kinks. Perhaps now they are rightfully recognised as one of the most influential groups from the 60s, but at the time they did not receive the full accolade they deserved. For example: they were forever compared to their larger counterparts, frequently insulted as yet another poor Beatles copy; they were on the frontline of the mid-60s British Invasion, until the American Federation of Musicians cut off their permits, severing their connection to the front page of the history papers; and worst of all, they never got their bonafide 'classic' album, this specific record coming frustratingly close due to the universally vibrant critical acclaim, yet failing to chart completely. What a tragedy. For the Village Green is one of the warmest, most unpretentious albums the decade had on offer, basking in the nostalgia of a childhood spent fondly in the English summer, running around nature, making friends with animals, and keeping the old-fashioned traditions alive. Bless! Thankfully, the cult following eventually did break through somewhat, with Pete Townshend of The Who even once stating that this was singer Ray Davies’ “masterwork. It's his Sgt. Pepper”, which I guess as far as Beatles comparisons go, is about as good as you gonna get.

Selected Accolades:
#255 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s: 08. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced

08. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced (1967)

Psychedelic Blues Acid Rock

It’s almost an indication of tastelessness to regard Jimi as the ‘greatest guitarist who ever lived’ but where there's smoke, there's fire, more than likely exploding from the centre pickups and warping the strings above. Because while Hendrix’s vocals are competent enough and do the job, and while his songwriting ability erupts with a uniquely rich creativity, his soul opted to communicate primarily through his guitarwork, effortlessly flexing a sexual magic which transcended beyond us mere mortals, playing God with fingers so casual and a spirit so free that no one would dare put forward an example of a guitarist more iconic and influential. And while one cannot disregard all three of the immensely worshipped records this outfit produced in their short career, it will always be this oft celebrated ‘greatest debut album of all time’ which truly slayed the history books, preserving its cool whilst rocking so dangerously raw that it is a universally acclaimed definitive album of what made the 60s so groovy and significant. So what if it’s a safe choice? Next time the topic of conversation enters the room, do not feed the debate. Just let the riffs do the talking.

Selected Accolades:
Deemed The Greatest Guitar Album of All Time by Mojo.
#3 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the Greatest Debut Albums of All Time.
#15 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Included in the National Recording Registry (2005).

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s: 07. The Doors - The Doors

07. The Doors - The Doors (1967)

Psychedelic Rock

During the 1960s, it appeared as though there were two distinct directions in which the excessive peace-and-love-and-LSD-consumption counterculture was headed. The one direction was the all-colourful all-mellow types, happy to roll in the flowers and smoke weed without any compulsion to do anything else but fuck. However, at the opposite side of the spectrum, we had those who utilised the sudden influx of chemicals to explore and expand deeper regions of their consciousness, disinterested in a tye-dye movement, rather more turned-on by an introspection which questioned absolutely everything. And just in case you hadn't worked it out by now, The Doors were proud members of the latter. By meshing playful keys with bluesy-infused guitar licks, figurehead Jim Morrison had found a home to report his dark poetic findings from, words which he delivered outward from his prophetic presence, stirred together with a sex appeal crawling out from his every pore and into little girls' panties. A charisma such as this did not take a long time to induce a stupor into stoners around the globe, as they followed this Lizard King’s messianic breakdowns wherever they would take them, in awe of these divine performances which ran through the band’s catalogue right to the very end. However, it is their debut which has stood the strongest, forcefully progressing psychedelica unintentionally by proxy, and often considered the defining psychedelic rock album in history for good reason.

Selected Accolades:
Sold 20 million copies.
Deemed The Essential Album of 1967 by Rolling Stone magazine.
#226 in NME's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
#75 in Q magazine's 100 Greatest Albums Ever.
#42 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.
Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Included in the National Recording Registry (2015).

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s: 06. Frank Zappa - We're Only in It for the Money

06. Frank Zappa - We're Only in It for the Money (1968)

Experimental Rock, Satire

Unlike most artists embracing the sudden perception shift of our youth in the 60s, the cynical Frank Zappa felt disgusted by a movement he considered disingenuous. He criticised all the drugs and free love as dangerous tools for self-gratification, and felt the stupid hippies were obliviously following drum circles under the illusion that they were part of some sort of a bigger awakening—which was probably relatively accurate. Inspired by his own repulsion, Zappa fought the counterculture with this counter-counterculture record, which condescendingly stressed all the dark holes in these dropout theories, yet cleverly hid them beneath his signature humour and manic genre-hopping, presenting one ridiculously serious offering which was as hilarious as it was kinda depressing within its satirical honesty. Interestingly enough, this resistance somehow resulted in a surprisingly decent psychedelic record itself—perhaps not the highest praised in the Zappa catalogue, but definitely one of his smartest in the most self righteous of manners. It has continuously stood as an unforgiving mirror held up to those grubby flower children, exposing the sloppy side of the 60s which is so often candycoated by the nostalgia of colourful petals and pot smoking, and while it may be an overlooked classic, it is still an essential musical representation of the era, deserving as much praise as anything else on this list.

Selected Accolades:
#77 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the Top 100 Best Albums of the Last Twenty Years.
#297 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.
Included in the National Recording Registry (2005).

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s: 05. Nico - Chelsea Girl

05. Nico - Chelsea Girl (1967)

Chamber Folk

If there was ever any evidence towards the incestous essence of the 60s, Nico could very well be the personified centrepoint of the whole operation, having been romantically linked to such major players as Iggy Pop, Leonard Cohen, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Andy Warhol, Brian Jones, John Cale, and of course, Lou Reed. Even here on Chelsea Girl, our German Warhol superstar’s debut, we not only find members from The Velvet Underground scattered throughout the performances, but are even granted the superb I'll Keep It With Mine, an unreleased Bob Dylan arrangement which he gifted to Nico when he struggled to record a decent version himself. However, do not allow these external contributions to mislead you, for this album is Nico’s alone, her partial deafness delivering a uniquely damaged colourless presentation, whilst her threatening heroin addiction conjures up a stark mood so freezing and isolated that even her brief pursuits in optimism are suffocated by a fog of sadness. Reportedly, Nico despised the final product, shedding tears “all because of the flute”, but for many others, this album is one of the most criminally overlooked and underrated releases of the whole decade, no matter how depressingly dreary it may be.

Selected Accolades:
none, annoyingly.

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s: 04. Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited

04. Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

Folk Rock

After returning home from his lengthy England tour, Bob was exhausted. His own material made him sick to his stomach, and he openly considered quitting the whole scene, stating "it's very tiring having other people tell you how much they dig you if you yourself don't dig you." However, rather than succumbing to this lethargy, he channeled his frustration into writing, quickly spitting out the classic Like a Rolling Stone in one sitting, which successfully kick-started the momentum of what would become Highway 61 Revisited. The album itself was heavily built around a band approach rather than the usual folky acoustic songwriting Dylan was known for, and while his monotone slurs still tunelessly tumbled out profoundly poetic lines, there was a stronger sense of surreal cynicism this round, a certain bluesy bitterness which was such a large departure from his tried-and-tested successes that his label were reluctantly nervous to approve of it. No worries there, Columbia Records, as Highway 61 Revisited has been perpetually worshipped as a revolutionary record from then until now, author Michael Gray even once describing it as the point where the 1960s "started"—which I’m not sure anyone can prove, but is still a great compliment for an undoubtedly vital landmark all the same.

Selected Accolades:
Peaked at number four on the UK album chart.
Peaked at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart of top albums.
Deemed The Best Album of All Time by The Best 100 Albums of All Time book.
#4 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s: 03. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

03. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

Psychedelic Pop Rock

When it comes to the 60's Summer of Love, I (like most) prefer to imagine the time as a wonderfully far-out scene, bursting with bright colours streaming from cheerful hippies' dance moves, unified under the sunshine, while light hearts overflowed from love and drugs and misguided amusement. And if there ever was one album overused as the representation for what made this era so explosive, it would be Sgt. Pepper, the quote unquote “greatest record ever”, from the world’s “greatest band ever”. But while many a Beatlemaniac’s tastebuds will vary (including mine), there is still no doubt that this record truly wiped all surrounding music clean, by working the studio like an instrument itself, pushing the experimentation to the limits of technology, stuffing all corners with assorted genres, and spending equal attention to the concepts and presentation as they did to the music, until they accidentally birthed art-rock, oops. And really, what else could you possibly want? One of the first concept albums ever made? The first to have the lyrics in the sleeve? The first hidden track? The first seamless song ordering? The most influential, iconic, revolutionary, and inventive album in history? So ingenious, in fact, that it sent Brian Wilson into madness? Because, yeah, it did all of that. You should know this by now.

Selected Accolades:
Spent 27 weeks in the UK charts and 15 weeks in the US charts at #1.
Stayed on the US Billboard 200 chart for 175 non-consecutive weeks until 1987.
Deemed The Greatest Album Of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine.
Deemed "the most important and influential rock and roll album ever recorded" by the Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature.
Sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the highest-selling albums of all time.
At the 10th Annual Grammy Awards (1968), won Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts, Best Engineered Recording, and Best Contemporary Album, as well as the first ever rock LP to win Album of the Year.
Included in the National Recording Registry (2003).

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s: 02. Love - Forever Changes

02. Love - Forever Changes (1967)

Psychedelic Folk Rock Pop

And this is it: the most authentic and self aware representation of what the 60s were genuinely like from the inside. For on the surface, Forever Changes is a classic happy-go-lucky psychedelic record, bringing the stereotypical visions of peace signs and weed leaves, hovering above the youth who passively resisted the drag of our system by doing absolutely nothing at all, maaan, duuude, woooaaah. But in the midst of all this drowsy idealism, the setting stank of body odour, caused by the unwashed armpits, knotty hair, and copious amounts of drugs which had turned inwards and left so many lost within the movement, paranoid and isolated, plagued by the feeling that at any moment something was about to go horrifically wrong. It was the ugly side of the blissful freedom, where the disorientation of an aimless intoxication had begun to alienate its users, their meaningless smiles disturbed by a faint glimmer of fear in their eyes, rambling just to keep themselves company. Such a refreshingly honest (and scary) reflection is one of the most timeless musical experiences I’ve ever greeted, preserved by its layers of clever instrumentation, self-serving harmonies, and a shiny wad of phlegm crystallising on your favourite pair of corduroys. Jesus, Bummer in the Summer is right.

Selected Accolades:
#2 in Mojo’s list of the Greatest Psychedelic Albums Of All Time.
#82 in Q magazine's reader selected list of the Greatest Albums Of All Time.
#40 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.
#11 in Mojo’s reader selected list of the 100 Greatest Albums Ever Made.
#6 in NME magazine's list of the Greatest Albums Of All Time.
Included in the National Recording Registry (2012).

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s: 01. The Velvet Underground and Nico

01. The Velvet Underground & Nico - The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)

Experimental Art Rock

By arming themselves with Andy Warhol as the producer/artwork designer and Nico as the driest of all guest vocalists, The Velvet Underground’s debut was destined for success. They recorded it in less than a week, and pushed the boundaries of lo-fi dissonance by exploring such taboo topics as drug abuse, prostitution, and sadomasochism—which is a flawless recipe which simply could not fail. Except to say, it did. Radio refused to play the album, magazines refused to advertise it, and it was considered a financial flop for reasons that seem so obvious now. In the thick of the multicoloured kaleidoscopic 60s generation, simply nobody was ready for the world’s first dope-sick album, one determined to self-destruct by gouging itself onto the dirtiest of needles and lying in a pool of its own waste, waiting to die. However, while it may have only sold 30,000 copies initially, Brian Eno once famously pointed out that "everyone who bought [a copy] started a band,” and so who cares if it took over a decade for anyone to notice? Because they eventually fucking noticed, the record now considered one of the most influential releases ever, as well as inarguably the most darkest in history. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the hideous side of the 1960s. It’s my favourite.

Selected Accolades:
Included in Spin magazine's list of the Top Fifteen Most Influential Albums of All Time.
#42 in Q magazine's reader selected list of the Greatest Albums Of All Time.
#22 in HMV Group, Channel 4, The Guardian and Classic FM’s collaborative poll of the Greatest Albums Of All Time.
#13 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.
Deemed The Album That Changed Music The Most by The Observer.
Included in the National Recording Registry (2006).

But wait, there's more!

The Top 10 Albums Of The 60s

Monday 14 March 2016

In Defence of Rebecca Black’s Friday

In Defence of Rebecca Black’s Friday

“The Worst Song Ever Written”

When it comes to Friday, I am sure the above header was how most of us were introduced to the thing—it may as well have been the fucking title of the song, really. But while I’m sure your own personal experience with this tune still stands strong in your memory, can you believe that it was five years ago to this very day that this track was officially released? It doesn’t feel that way to me, half a decade pissing by since this viral hype smacked us in the face with all the anticipation in the world. Oh my God, could this finally be it? Could my social feeds be telling the truth? Have we as a population, beyond all reasonable doubt, discovered the authoritative worst song ever written in the history of mankind?? I’ve waited for so long!

Eagerly, I wasted no time by jumping onto my local YouTube just like the 160+ million other people around the globe, and nearly broke my index finger trying to locate this song with such a glorious reputation. I found it, pressed play, and then... I was completely disappointed. What was this? Was this it? This was not the worst song in the world? I felt robbed. I had heard worse songs. I had heard hundreds of them.

I scoffed and closed the tab in sadness, but it was futile. No matter what I did, I could not dodge the momentum. I don’t know how well you guys recall the whole affair, but Friday was pretty much the biggest song of 2011, inescapable in its power, fuelled exclusively by a hysteria of hatred and viciousness from the brains of anonymous kids hiding in the comment section. Which, as it turned out, was its greatest advantage, as the longer it lingered, the more I warmed up to its presence, eventually becoming fascinated by its buzz—less to do with the music or the lyrics, mind you, but rather the complete automated attack stance the internet took whenever the name was mentioned. And before I knew it, I was there with my own weapons, defending a song more furiously than I would even for the classics.

This went on for a while until I decided the only way to properly express my sentiment was to write this very blog piece, which I had pretty much completed way back then in 2011. However, I decided not to release it all that time ago because I realised I didn’t actually care as much as I thought did, and should probably spend my time writing better things, promptly banishing it to the depths of my Google drive, forever.

Except, obviously not forever, because here it is. I can’t explain why I felt compelled to edit, update, and release this blog on the song's fifth anniversary, but it’s too late now, which sucks, because I’m actually really busy. Whatever, this one's for Rebecca Black, and for Friday, and for the worst song in the world, which isn’t actually the worst song in the world whatsoever, as I am hopefully about to accurately illustrate right now.

In Defence of Rebecca Black’s Friday: Rebecca Black Herself

Rebecca Black Herself

Perhaps the primary reason I found myself obliged to come to the aid of this phenomenon, was due to Rebecca Black herself. Right back to the day in question, I felt terribly sorry for this girl, who really did not deserve the hardship dumped on top of her doorstep. For starters, she had very little to do with the project in the first place. Rather, our story begins with a company named ARK Music Factory, based in Los Angeles, California. These dudes have quite a clever and interesting business model, one which works kinda like a backwards record label: instead of fronting money to the artist, they allowed the artist to pay for a package which included a song written and produced for them, complete with a music video and some additional promotion, both parties taking a share of the profits. It’s quite a nifty idea, if you ask me.

The issue came with the writers at ARK Music themselves. They may have had the technical prowess, true, but they did not have the creative talent, generating material which is generally considered below average, and that's being charitable. What this also means in context of this blog, is that Rebecca did not write this song. This little fact alone should have ricocheted at least some of the bullets sent her way, but it didn’t even soften the punches. Furthermore, it is worth noting that Rebecca really wasn’t trying to achieve anything with this song either. She wasn’t necessarily hoping to be the next biggest popstar. There wasn’t some record label behind her, telling her what she should be doing or trying to manufacture her into anything. She was merely a girl whose parents paid some money to have a bit of fun (fun fun fun), and no one could have predicted that it would explode in her face as messy as it did.

Lest we forget, poor little Rebecca was only thirteen years old at the time. Now, take a second to remember yourself at that age, and imagine you were suddenly the most hated person on the planet according to 167 million people (the actual number of hits before it was pulled down, a second version racking up a further 90+mil). Seriously, visualise yourself as that thirteen year old you, and try speculate what it would be like to have hundreds upon thousands of people spitting on your very existence, with comments including (and I quote): “Go die in a hole”; “You’re so fat”; “You suck at singing and I hope you go die”; and “I hope you cut yourself and develop an eating disorder so that you’ll look pretty”. In fact, this commentary got so violent that the FBI began an investigation, and Rebecca’s mom removed her from school.

Slightly off topic, but for some reason, Jason Russell always comes to my mind when I think of Rebecca Black. He was the director of Kony 2012, a video opposing Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, which also went massively viral about a year after Friday did. Despite receiving much praise around the globe, his upload did also catch a fair amount of negativity too (as is the nature of the internet), and many people commented some unfavourable things—laughably tame in comparison to Black’s abuse, but somewhat nasty all the same. And do you remember what happened to him? He broke down, stripped naked, and ran around San Diego, yelling at the gods, punching the pavement, and vandalising cars. Here was a 33 year old man who literally lost his mind due to all the focus thrust upon him, and I wonder how differently each of us would have dealt with the same style of scrutiny.

But little Rebecca was immovable. She stood firm in interviews. She refused to let it bother her. She continued making music. She eventually started a video channel and became quite a popular YouTube personality in her own right, chatting about various topics and continually raking in millions upon million of views per upload. In all honestly, she has handled the fame and antagonism in a smarter, more mature fashion than most adults could handle, even using it to her advantage, and in that way, deserves way more respect than she has ever received. She never gave up. She is still fucking going.

And because of this attitude, she got the last laugh. Friday hit 74 on the iTunes Most Downloaded Chart. It hit number 6 on the UK Indie Chart. It hit number 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. Apparently, she made enough money from this one song to pay for college and fund her future music ventures, whilst reportedly donating much of the proceeds to Japan, who in 2011 were hit by that massive tsunami, if you remember. And she did all of this without a label. At the age of thirteen. What have you done with your life?

I want to conclude this chapter by quickly defending her talent too: Rebecca Black can sing. Here is the proof. Even the ARK Music producers admitted that they used autotune on their own accord, and she sang completely in key the whole time. So let go of that angle at very least.

In Defence of Rebecca Black’s Friday: The Historical Value

The Historical Value

Even back in 2011, I remember distinctly thinking that this song had already reached some sort of a legendary status. Perhaps the last few years have become a bit thinner on the topic, but I do still stand by the idea that Friday has a specific historical value, especially when you set your mind back to its initial execution. Think about it: besides perhaps Gangnam Style, is there any music video you can recall which reached any similar level of viral sensation?

However, while the testament to viral video runs strong in this one, it is the stamp of ‘worst song ever made’ (according to BBC, E!, Yahoo, and a large portion of the internet) which truly sticks this track to the books. This is because the worst song in the world is the biggest winner of all the losers, and that’s a massive achievement. There is the best song in the world, and there is the worst song in the world, and everything else is lost in the middle. It is the bottom piece of bread to the all encompassing musical sandwich. Hey, in some ways, it could be considered the more interesting side of the spectrum too, because people get so irrationally worked up about it with their pukey emojis and sweary words, that it becomes extra hilarious. Seriously, send this song to anyone, and their reaction will most likely not be one of apathy, because literally everyone you know has heard it and has formed an opinion about it. Damn, I wish I had written the worst song in the world.

Basically, what it really comes down to is that Friday succeeded in what every single fame-hungry artist wants: creating a buzz so loud that it deafened the planet. Allow me to educate you that the key to success in the entertainment industry is not to have a million dollar music video, or a nice pretty face, or a Timberland production. It is to give the world an audio form of herpes, of which no one can stop talking about, and this song most definitely reached that peak. It is a factor you cannot buy. It is blessed upon you by the gods. Rebecca Black is practically a holy person.

In Defence of Rebecca Black’s Friday: Why It’s Not (Completely) A Bad Song

Why It’s Not (Completely) A Bad Song

I hope this article comes off in the right way, but just to be sure, let it be known that I’d never defend Friday as a good song. Because it isn’t, really. However, what I am trying to get across here is that it’s not an entirely bad song either, and definitely nowhere near as terrible as the furious backlash would indicate. And so, at the risk of my own taste reputation, here are five reasons as to why this song is ok.
  1. It’s a weekend anthem! So relatable at least once a week! This is not only a great topic for any song, but works particularly well for your stereotypical thirteen year old’s mindset. It feels light and genuine, which I much prefer over some adolescent obsession over boys or drinking or whatever.
  2. Some of the lyrics are so atrocious that they become brilliant, which was a large part of its success. For example: the painful distress of being a teenager trying to choose which seat to sit in, as well as the generous education that Saturday comes after Friday, and then Sunday after that. I love it.
  3. That said, some of the lyrics are actually very quotable. “We we we so excited”, “Partying, partying, YEAH, fun, fun, fun,” and of course, “It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday” are all brilliantly composed pop sing-a-long moments.
  4. There aren’t any rhymes in the whole song! Seriously, unless you count “me” and “scream” in the rap bit, or the countless examples of words rhyming with the same words, there are absolutely no genuine examples to be found. Try name one famous teen-dance-pop song that can claim the same. It’s a ballsy move, no matter how unintentional.
  5. Finally, it’s incredibly catchy. I think that’s what pissed people off the most. They hated it so much, but it sunk itself deep into the mud of everyone's brains to the point of fury, which is a very difficult feat to achieve. You know how many pop songs strive to do just that, yet so often fail? A lot of them. Most of which you won’t even get to hear, because they simply aren't good/bad enough to reach you.
That said, The rap part is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard in my life after all.

In Defence of Rebecca Black’s Friday: Defence From Other People

Defence From Other People

As with everything, it’s nice to discover that I am not alone in my backings for this track. Here are some other worthy praises from some other worthy people:

"I say Rebecca Black is a genius and anyone that's telling her she's cheesy is full of shit." - Lady Gaga
“I love Rebecca Black.” - Miley Cyrus
"Honest opinion? It was great. I'll be jammin' to it on Friday, Friday." - Chris Brown
"I love her [and] the fact that she's gotten so much publicity. People are so upset about the song, but I think it's hysterical [...] Anyone who can create this much controversy within a week, I want to meet. I love people like that [...] The fact that it's making people so angry is brilliant [...] Whatever she's done has worked. Whether you like her or not, she's the most talked-about artist in America right now. Nobody over the age of 18 should understand her or like her. So she should just do it her way." - Simon Cowell
"Rebecca Black is DOPE! I'm gonna support her music, her work, & her dream... But still make Friday jokes." - Nicole Richie
"I'm down with [Rebecca Black]. She's Living the dream! Eatin' cereal, choosing which seat in the car she wants, doin' homework. I BACK IT." - Joel Madden
"Dear[Rebecca Black], I would like to party with you." - Andrew WK
"[There’s] something sickeningly catchy about this tune that keeps you coming back for more." - Joseph Lynch (Entertainment Weekly)
"When you see this video, you immediately notice everything that it does 'wrong', but it actually gets a lot of things about pop music right, if just by accident." - Perpetua (Rolling Stone)

Not to mention that it has been covered by Justin Bieber, Todd Rundgren, Nick Jonas, Richard Cheese, and the cast of Glee.
There are also hundreds upon hundreds of popular parodies, including one by Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Taylor Hicks and The Roots; as well as another by Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter.

But probably the highest praise came from Katy Perry, who not only covered the song in concert, but also wrote a song named Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.), of which the music video features and heavily focuses upon Rebecca Black. That must have been quite cool for her.

In Defence of Rebecca Black’s Friday: So What’s The Worst Song In The World Then?

So What’s The Worst Song In The World Then?

Ok, so if this isn’t the worst song in the world, what is? Well, I won’t pretend to know the final answer to something so subjective, but my money's on this one.