The Answer Guy Online

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Sunday, October 13, 2002

Coming soon to this space:

The Answer Guy's

Jukebox From Hell


[insert maniacal laughter here]

What is the Jukebox From Hell, you may ask? It's 256 songs, selected for the purpose of determining what is the most annoying, irritating, grating, awful, horrible, hideous, nauseating, jaw-dropping, groan-inducing, G*d-damn-it-I-hate-this-f**king-song-so-fu**king-much-I'm-killing-the-next-f**king-DJ-who-plays-it song in history. Over the next few weeks, dear readers, I'm counting on your help. Every few days we will have a series of votes as to which song you loathe and despise more. We will then continue until we have eliminated all but one song, which will be crowned the "Worst Song Ever."

This list, still being finalized, was selected from a series of brainstorms by yours truly and some of his friends and coworkers. Let me point out that you might actually like some of these songs. I actually like some of the songs on this list. Here are the criteria:
* The songs have to be worthy of a Jukebox From Hell. For that. they need to be jukebox material. Therefore, no Shaggs, no "Metal Machine Music," no William Shatner singing "Mr. Tambourine Man," no Wesley Willis. All of these songs were either pop hit singles or radio staples in one format or another.

* The songs are generally not novelty records, although there are exceptions in the case of some unusually horrible novelty records. In other words, the bar is higher for novelty songs.

* These songs are meant to inspire a visceral dislike in some people. Some of these songs are to this day cherished by some other people. This list is not an attempt to pick the 256 worst songs ever, according either to me or to anyone else; it is more like a list of songs that some people really hate. I am sure I left some things out.

If you know neither song in a pair, just skip it. If you know only one, you are allowed to vote depending on how you feel about the one song you know (i.e. feel free to vote for the song you know if you have trouble imagining the other song being worse.) Feel free to abstain if you can't make up your mind, or if, G*d forbid, you actually like both songs. The first round pairings were generally selected in a fashion so as to minimize "Monty Hall" situations where one of the choices is unknown; people familiar with one song in a first round matchup are likely to be familiar with the other one as well.

Apologies to Craig for my stealing of his poll idea. (He's running a poll where one rates the relative merits of 128 of what are deemed to be a set of good songs.) But I thought of this one day during a discussion of terrible songs and it mushroomed into this massive undertaking. People love to talk about bad songs. The power of discussing bad songs has brought the shyest people in my workplace out into a conversation.

The list is being finalized, and soon the first set of pairings will be announced. First round voting will take place in groups of 8 pairs over a 3-4 day period. Voting can be done in two ways. Either you can click on the e-mail link and send me your vote (include something in the subject line that lets me know it's a poll vote) or if you want to make your vote public, you can simply use the comments function. (Try to avoid doing both - makes it harder to count.) The Answer Guy will only vote, by the way, to break ties.

I bet we're going to have fun tonight. And maybe, dear readers, have some Wang Chung tonight as well.


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