Strange Brouhaha

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Perhaps I don't understand the meaning of the word "great" (Updated)

VH1 is running a series called "The 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s." I learned all I needed to know when I flipped past it and they were telling us what was coming up after the break: "Love and Affection" by Nelson.


Of course, VH1 is being cagey and hasn't yet published the actual list, so I can't confirm that Nelson is on it. I surfed over to and had a peep at their page of videos for the bottom 20. Know what else is on the list? Sit down--I'm not responsible for you dying when you pass out and hit your head on the way to the floor.

"Rico Suave" by Gerardo.

"Gett Off" by Prince. (Sorry, Prince...this song is crap.)

"Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus.


Let me reiterate, since we're a few paragraphs into this thing by now, that this is a list called "The 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s." And that "Rico Suave" and "Achy Breaky Heart" are on it.

Has the world gone mad? Is there a definition of "great" that my dictionary doesn't have? Did I miss a memo somewhere?

The 16 videos that they have to represent the 20 songs at the bottom of the list are a tour through the world of crap and mediocrity. There are some good ones there--I happen to like the Paula Cole song, and the Cranberries song--but by and large this is utterly forgettable crap.

If you want a real head-scratcher, check out the list of songs that apparently weren't "great" enough to make the list. Highlights include Faith No More's "Epic", "Been Caught Stealing" by Jane's Addiction, "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio, The Black Crowes' "Hard To Handle", Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" and STP's "Interstate Love Song."

The hook for "Interstate Love Song" ALONE at least qualifies it for top 50, in my opinion. And it is by GOD better than "Rico Suave." (As of right now, they have posted some videos for 41-60, and, for example, "Interstate Love Song" could easily swap with the Shania Twain or Marky Mark tunes. Yes, I said Marky Mark.)

Obviously, this list was generated by people whose sole purpose is to have something to be snarky about; snark seems to be VH1's modus operandi for these "Greatest" shows. But come what definition of "great" does a person select "Rico Suave", or anything by Nelson, or even "Gett Off"?

Update 12/20/07: I have found the complete list and wow, are there some clunkers. But it turns out that in this case, there were no objective criteria for greatness. They should have called it "100 songs that people voted for" or something, because that's all it is. (Jesus..."No Diggity"? "Mr. Jones"? These are what people consider better than "Epic"?!)


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