The 8 Most Infuriating Quotes From the Worst Music Listicle of All Time
"What exactly is teen spirit?"
The worst music listicle of all time was published Sunday, April 8, 2012, on the conservative website Breitbart.com and penned by one Ben Shaprio. Headlined "Top 10 Overrated Songs of All Time," the piece attempts to savage the work of 10 pop music greats. That it does so stupidly, and with no sense of irony, or creative understanding -- and that its only humor is cruel -- could be expected based solely on the URL. But even by the standards of Breitbart, this piece is a giant steaming pile of shit. Having lambasted the likes of so many important artists, it leaves us wondering what about pop music Shaprio likes at all. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Below, the eight most infuriating quotes from the worst music list of all time:
8. "When your most famous lyric (from "Poker Face") is "mah-mah-mah-Poker Face mah-mah-Poker Face," you've got a huge problem."
Um, in what universe has Lady Gaga's most famous lyric come from "Poker Face"? The song may have helped break Gaga, but it never topped the ubiquity of "Bad Romance," or even "Born This Way," as a simple Google search demonstrates.
7. "U2 is second only to The Beatles in the pantheon of overrated bands."
Calling the Beatles an overrated rock band is like saying that Johannes Gutenberg was an overrated publisher.
6. On Springsteen's "Born to Run": "It's perfectly mediocre. Take away the yelling, and it's elevator music... Man, that's some '80s stuff. Nice hair, dudes. Nothing actually happens during this song. It is repetitive and unexciting."
What happens in "Born to Run"? Bruce paints an increasingly detailed and resonant portrait of a very specific place and experience -- and then the song explodes into an unforgettable saxophone solo and a thrilling climax. If that's your definition of "nothing," Shapiro, your own life must be depressingly empty.
5. On the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction": "If they can't get no satisfaction, that means they can get satisfaction. It is maddening that so many rockers think that simply because they have no musical training, they need not apply basic English."
Of all things, this dude is really going to critique Mick Jagger's grammar? We'd love to see him pen a hit song that goes, "I simply cannot find any satisfaction."
4. On the Clash's "London Calling": "Two notes. The entire song is essentially two notes. A more annoying song has never been penned. If London calls, don't answer."
"Don't answer!" How clever! See, the song's called "London Calling," and if you don't answer, well, then -- never mind.
3. On Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven": "This was not a musical idea that required eight minutes of development. LSD may make things more interesting, but it can't make them that much more interesting, can it?"
Clearly Shapiro never had a psychedelic phase. But how was a song called "Stairway to Heaven" ever not going to be overblown?
2. "'Smells Like Teen Spirit' - what exactly is teen spirit?"
In which the offending article commits the cardinal sin of Internet shit-talking: parading criticisms that would've disappeared with just the slightest bit of research. (Pro tip, Shaprio: Don't include exasperated rhetorical questions in your listicles whose answers can be easily Googled.)
1. On John Lennon's "Imagine": "It's a communist, atheist song, pure and simple."
And part of the brilliance of the song -- why it isn't overrated despite its tremendous popularity -- is how explicit it makes its politics while avoiding coming off as a piece of propaganda. But if you're setting out to propagandize against the political views of the rock/pop establishment, that point is off the table to begin with, right?