12 Songs You Hate That Still Get Stuck in Your Head
There are plenty of songs in pop culture we could do without, but the ones that are so bad they get stuck in your skull for days, often tempting you to jab sharp objects in your ears, are rarities. These infectious songs we hate still keep showing up, though, don’t they? So here are 12 of those tunes that you can listen to in a row right now. Just kidding, don’t do it. Because really, they’re awful (but contagiously fun!).
“Wild Thing” by Tone Loc
Better known to the acting world as Terrell Smith, the guy Jim Carrey talks to through his ass in “Ace Ventura,” is the man also known as Tone Loc. It’s his auto-toned voice behind the unmistakable 1989 hit “Wild Thing,” a song we can’t remember the lyrics to, only the beat with a constant repeat of the phrase “wild thing.”
“Barbie Girl” by Aqua
Any song that starts with dialogue you know is going to be reluctantly stuck between your ears for at least a 12-hour period. The late 1997 hit was a one-hit wonder with the colorful video where Barbie isn’t a flawless blonde, but a subpar brunette with bad tattoos, and Ken isn’t a doll, but rather a Hispanic skinhead with some bad tattoo placement choices of his own. This was the beginning of the end of radio.
“Move Bitch” by Ludacris
Speaking of songs that won’t go away, Luda is staying hot with old hits, even the ones that are going on two decades old. “Move Bitch” was released in 2002, and though it peaked at the number three spot on the Billboard charts, it still lingers to this day like a fart in a well-sealed minivan. Is it possible that rap, like rock ‘n roll, will become classic rap someday? No. Is it weird for a grown man to play it alone in his room? Completely.
“All About that Bass” by Meghan Trainor
This freshly infectious tune is so far up everyone’s ass, you can smell it on their breath. Released in 2014 on her debut EP “Title,” Trainor’s lead-off hit landed a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year, topping singles charts in 50 countries and pulling creatively from several genres. In addition, my mother won’t quit sending me lyrics from the song. It isn’t going away anytime soon.
“Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot
“Oh my God, Becky, look at her butt. It is so big.” Well don’t worry, we don’t understand those rap guys either. Sir Mix-A-Lot mixed a little too much when he conceived this cheesy ass blaster of a song, an ode to big butts and the fellas who love them, using audio samples from a 1986 techno song and becoming the second best-selling song of 1992 behind Whitney Houston’s. The only good thing that came out of this song was a “Friends” episode. Oh, and the Chili’s baby back ribs jingle. I love that, and their ribs, too.
“Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba
Noteworthy in its originality and uniqueness to this day, the 1997 Brit pop single won people over the same way the “Macarana” did until, just the same, we got so goddamn sick of hearing it we could puke. Nothing was heard from this band again in the States, but they did land on Rolling Stone’s list of “Most Annoying Songs,” holding steady at number twelve.
“Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley
It’s not that we hate this song as much as we love it so much we just want to listen to it alone in our bedrooms and dance, and the idea of listening to it with friends makes us awkwardly frustrated. The debut single from Astley’s debut album “Whenever You Need Somebody” in 1987 became the ammo for a popular Internet prank called “rick rolling,” something we still haven’t recovered from.
“My Humps” by The Black Eyed Peas
Released in 2005, the song about the lovely curves along Fergie’s body was the centerpiece of any dance floor, radio station and church choir that year. The Black Eyed Peas didn’t rest on their laurels there though, releasing a swarm of infectiously awful music leading up to an atrocious halftime show at the 2011 Super Bowl. Nobody has heard much from them since, but the pain lingers on in our heads.
“MMMBop” by Hanson
In the first half of 1997 alone, the song “MMMBop” was played nearly eight million times on the radio worldwide, according to this incredibly reliable “SNL” I saw once. The debut hit from the three prepubescent boys spread like penis rash at Woodstock, and anytime you turned the radio on in the late ’90s, there was a high percentage chance that you’d hear the bopping within a matter of songs, if not initially. Most of the lyrics aren’t even real words!
“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen
Thanks to Twitter, Justin Bieber and plenty of other things we despise, we’ve had the pleasure of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” along with its countless t-shirt renditions. Her 2011 song was the breakthrough hit she needed for notoriety, but like every other infectious song in the American pop culture, it’s usually followed by crap, leaving another star to die in that big sky of dreams. (Also, I really, really, really, really, really, really don’t like her latest single.)
“Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega
Not the worst of the infectious songs, but Lou Bega might have gotten a little overplayed in the late ’90s with his hit “Mambo No. 5,” a 1999 remake of a 1949 instrumental classic by Perez Prado. Lou Bega isn’t such a bad thing, like a German Santana, but that song will stick to your head like honey on a bee’s taint.
“Gangnam Style” by Psy
Quite possibly the most annoying and contagious song in the world’s songbook is the dance-inspiring “Gangnum Style” from Psy in 2012. It was bad enough until they did a mash-up with the “Ghostbusters” theme song. That was taking it too far. Will he be able to top this? Doubtful. Will he ever write anything of substance? Absolutely not. Will he appear sporadically performing the song live until the day he dies or his hips give out from its choreography? Likely.