So I was thinking last week that if I had to name my least-favorite Bowie song, what would it be? But then, that seems too easy: you could pick one of the tracks from the second half of Tonight, say ("Borneo" jumps to mind) and you'd easily find some pretty substandard songs.
So, a more interesting question is: what's my least favorite popular Bowie song? "Popular" means, in this case, a song that's frequently on the radio, which any halfway educated musical fan would know, and which is generally liked and admired by the public at large. Basically: a song by an artist you like that a lot of other people like, but you don't. And--that you've never liked. I.e.: it's not a song you've gotten burned out on, or outgrew (e.g."Stairway to Heaven"). It's song you've always disliked--from the first time you heard it. It's the worst good song the artist has ever done.
And then I started thinking this idea of 'worst good' could extend to other bands. I mean, for any band we like, there's probably one or two or their hits, songs that many people other like, that I have never ever cared for. Right? So then I started assembling a list. And here it is: my 'worst good' songs by some of my favorite artists.
Oh--also: the songs have to be artists you generally otherwise admire. You can't pick a band whose work you generally dislike or don't really get into. (So, I'm not listing songs by The Rolling Stones or REM, e.g.)
David Bowie: "Fashion." Probably the only Bowie song where, if I hear it on the radio, I'm switching stations. Unless it's near the bridge ('listen to me/don't listen to me..."). I dig the bridge.
Led Zeppelin: "Kashmir." There's some interview where Robert Plant talks about this song represents, for him, the essence of Led Zeppelin. Bleh. For me it represents the essence of badness.
The Beetles: "Hey Jude." Not only do I like the song, I don't like the story of how the song was written. Maybe if it didn't have that endless outro (Na na na na na......) I'd like it more. But probably not.
The Police: "Can't Stand Losing You."
Neil Young: "A Man Needs a Maid." Maybe this isn't a big enough hit to count?
Bob Dylan: "Idiot Wind." Dylan's tricky because he doesn't really have a lot of hits, but this is a well-known song from a well known album. So. I'm counting it.