Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Review: Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs

Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs by Dave Barry

4 stars

Reasons for reading: For keeping me laughing since I was a kid, I'm celebrating Dave's July 3, 1947 birthday this month for Celebrate the Author

From the publisher: "When funny man Dave Barry asked readers about their least favorite tunes, he though he was penning just another installment of his weekly syndicated humor column. But the witty writer was flabbergasted by the response. "I have never written a column that got a bigger response than the one announcing the Bad song survey," Barry wrote. "More than ten thousand readers voted, and the cards are still coming in."

Based on the results from Dave Barry's monumental reader survey, Dave Barry's book of bad Songs is a compilation of some of the worst songs ever written, including such special categories as Teen Death songs, songs That People Always Get Wrong, songs women Hate, and, of course, Weenie Music."

Warning at the beginning of the book: "Do not read this book. It will put bad songs into your brain."

My thoughts: It's classic Dave Barry - hilarious, snarky, and written in his odd signature style. It only gets 4 stars simply because it was so short! The synopsis covers the basics - after a discussion of the bad song survey (including the scary rabidness of Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow fans), it's broken up into the different "genres." I'm glad I haven't heard most of the "Songs Women Really Hate" - I probably would have smashed the stereo!

It's kind of funny, some of the songs I wouldn't really have classified as bad, until I saw the lyrics written down. I then realized just how bad a song can be. I'd also never realized how many songs rely almost solely on the use of "na" and "wo" to flesh them out.

The worst song honour was hotly contested, but it went to MacArthur Park. People are confused by and don't care about that cake left out in the rain. There's also a lot of discussion of A Horse With No Name, and I agree with the book (and, from a quick Google, some stand-up comedians) - name the damn horse, you're in the desert with nothing to do!


Angela said...

I've never read any Dave Barry books, but I've always meant to.

Thanks for the review.

Penny said...

SOunds hilarious! Another one for the TBR list!

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