Your turn, people: name the cheesiest Manse-era pop song!

As regular readers probably know, I sometimes like to mark Fridays – best day of the week! – with a musically themed post. Hey, it’s been a long, hard work week for all of us (save those who are retired), and I figure that on Friday night all we really want to do is kick back and relax. In other words: less of Katherine’s prose, and more musical memories and vintage videos.

On this particular Friday I have been inspired once again to adopt a musical theme by an email I received today from my good friend and former colleague Earl, one of the cleverest and funniest people I have ever had the privilege to know. Earl is brilliant at digging up goofy, hilarious things on the internet, and apparently today he came across just such a thing – and fortunately for us all, he decided to share it through me. And into the bargain, he gave me a great idea for a post.

Earl’s message was brief:

In case you’re thinking about doing cheesiest Manse 1.0-era songs/videos ever, I hearby submit:

Oh, people. If you’ve already clicked on this video, you know how awful it is. If you haven’t, you must. It may in fact be the cheesiest video – and song – of all time.

But here’s the problem: ubiquitously ghastly as the Starland Vocal Band‘s one and only hit, Afternoon Delight, was, it is ineligible for competition in our newly created (thanks to Earl’s inspiration) contest called Name the Cheesiest Pop Song of the Manse Era. Why? Because it was released in 1976! Too late for the Manse Era – that is, Manse Era 1.0, as Earl cleverly puts it. (Manse Era 2.0 having started in 2012, when Raymond and I reclaimed this old house that I grew up in.) The years of my childhood here – Manse Era 1.0 – were 1964 to 1975, and so Afternoon Delight falls just a bit outside of the eligibility criteria.

I think we can all agree that the years 1964 to 1975 were when some of the greatest pop songs of all time were released. Without even stopping to think about it, I’ll list California Dreamin’Son of a Preacher Man, Norwegian Wood, Both Sides Now, Like a Rolling Stone, Love Child, Honky Tonk Women, Ode to Billie Joe, Sloop John B, Angel of the Morning, Take it Easy, I Feel the Earth Move, Down on the Corner, Walk on By and I’m a Believer. And that doesn’t come close to even scratching the surface. Wow.

And then there was the cheesy crap! And lord knows there was lots and lots and lots of it. So I think it’s time to name the greatest hits, so to speak, of the bad music of the era.

No, we can’t include Afternoon Delight. (Sadly.) But we can include my nomination, Kung Fu Fighting – a ridiculous and terrible song from the era when Joey Edwards was the star DJ here on our local AM radio station, CJBQ. That’s the one that you will have seen at the top of this post.

And maybe we could think about another nomination:

But people, really what I (and your fellow Meanwhile, at the Manse readers) want to know about are your nominations. Comb through those musical memories, rack your brains, and share: what were the worst popular songs, the real stinkers, of that otherwise golden era for music? Send ’em in – and we can collectively wallow in the fun of really bad music that we all know by heart. And wish we didn’t.

16 thoughts on “Your turn, people: name the cheesiest Manse-era pop song!

  1. Since my first entry was ruled slightly out of bounds (as, sadly, would be I’ve Never Been to Me, Torn Between Two Lovers and The Piña Colada Song), I’ll have to go with Edward Bear’s only worthy rival. Come for the drone, stay for the saddest eyes and worst haircut in pop-music history. (Oh, and “hearby” was a witty, unintentional pun. The lights of the city must have put settlin’ down in my brain.)

    • Aw shucks – the video is terrible, the haircut the worst, but I always kind of liked that song! But having watched it a couple of times just now, I think the song probably is worthy of nomination in this category. But man, it has nothing on those three later-70s horrors you mention! I shudder to recall them. My lord but there were some bad songs in those years. Can you say … Muskrat Love?

      • This one is wrong on some many levels that Richard Harris once considered covering it, only to be distracted when someone left a cake out in the rain:

      • The words are totally creepy, aren’t they? That said, the woman in the video looks (mercifully) to be of age for the kind of shenanigans that Gary et al seem to be suggesting.

  2. Er, make that so many levels. Thank God I don’t have to scratch out a living as a professional copy editor. But so long as we’re back in MacArthur Park … see if you don’t find Sammy’s version even plus fromagey than Donna Summer’s. May we never find this recipe again:

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