A Memo to VH1 Producers

I enjoyed the 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever. Funny stuff. Snark is in these days, and good for you. But the snark is much funnier when it’s true. In picking Meat Loaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” you repeatedly tore the song down for never explaining what “that” was. If any of the idiots on your show had listened to the song or actually ::gasp:: read the lyrics, you’d see it clear as day. Meat Loaf went so far as to explain it in his STORYTELLERS special on your network, so I’ll repeat some of that here. Take a lyric:

But I’ll never forget the way you feel right now, oh no, no way And I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that, I won’t do that

The “that” refers to the previous line. He’d do anything for love, but he won’t never forget the way she feels right now.

One more example:

But I’ll never forgive myself if we don’t go all the way tonight And I would do anything for love, oh I would do anything for love

So he’d do anything for love, but never forgive himself if he didn’t go all the way that one night.

Besides, if you want to blame it on the writer, then go to Jim Steinman, since he wrote the song.

As for Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” it’s a chronological history of events that happened during the Cold War. So it’s not necessarily that the Cola Wars sent him over the edge as — ah, screw it. It’s a List Song. Deal with it.

And is that really what Rick Astley looks like? Oh, my. I never realized that scrawny English boy was him. He was the original Clay Aiken, wasn’t he?


14 Responses to “A Memo to VH1 Producers”

  1. Stuart
    31. May 2004 at 19:22

    I haven’t seen the special yet — living in Australia means we’re about a month behind on specials like this. Having said that, however, I always find it amusing that people think they’re being original(?), witty(?), etc. when they comment about Anything For Love. How many times can they trot out the “but what is THAT?” joke I wonder?? I guess they just figure it’s an easy mark, so why bother actually LISTENING to the music??

    sigh As a Meat Loaf fan do you also find yourself defending Meat’s music to people who just dismiss it out of hand because it’s Meat Loaf music, but you get them to LISTEN to one song and they realise how wonderfully sarcastic the lyrics can truely be??

    shrug Still, I’ve been watching a few of these VH1 specials, and am amazed that William Shatner agreed to do things like “One Hit Wonders”, etc. Did he host this one as well? Where’s his contribution ( or does Mr Tamborine Man not count as a “hit”?? )

  2. BronteJD
    31. May 2004 at 23:47

    Thank God you watched it! Eric and I were watching it last week, and about every 4 or 5 songs, we were both wondering if you were watching and what your thoughts were. I didn’t like the inclusion of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do that).”

    Did you see the companion show, the one about the worst music VIDEOS? Also immensely entertaining. :)

  3. Matthew M
    1. June 2004 at 01:30

    Man, but if that song ain’t repetitive and overblown to hell… even for Meat Loaf.

  4. Augie De Blieck Jr.
    1. June 2004 at 11:16

    Stuart –> Sadly, Shatner’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” never made it past “cult hit.” Shatner has a pretty good sense of humor about himself. See FREE ENTERPRISE or that cop movie he did with DeNiro last year. He’s not afraid to poke fun at himself. Plus, you know, it’s still a paycheck. When all else fails…

    BronteJD –> There’s one about the videos? I need to find that one. Haven’t seen it.

    Matthew –> I won’t argue with that. I don’t mind that style, though. There’s something so wonderfully operatic about an overproduced song like that. It beats the hell out of today’s carefully micromanaged and computer-controlled tracks. It’s gotten to the point where we can’t even call them “songs” anymore. They’re “tracks.”

    But I like the pomp and the bombast and the orchestra. Give me more orchestras!

  5. Matthew M
    1. June 2004 at 21:37

    Augie, I’ll swear by a ton of Meatloaf songs (BooH was an integral element of my youth), and as much flak as Steinman gets he’s still one hell of a songwriter. That having been said, I couldn’t stand “I Would Do Anything For Love”. It just seemed to meander around the same beats, the same harmonies, the same vibe over and over again… for upwards of seven minutes or so (how long was the album cut, anyhow?)

    But it sure ain’t one of the 50 worst songs ever. Not even close. And given the current state of popular music, comparitvely it’s practically a Dylan tune. Remember when (showing age) the big commercial artists and multiplatinum sellers were performers with a modicum of talent and perseverance? Springsteen, Prince (definitely), Madonna (arguably), Michael Jackson (freak he might be, but Thriller and Off The Wall are both amazing albums), and the amazing vinyl output of one Iron Maiden? I weep! Weep for humanity!! Woe to you, oh Earth and Sea…

  6. Christopher J. Arndt
    2. June 2004 at 00:05

    “We Didn’t Start the Fire” is not a bad song!

    Who says that? Who says it is? Screw them! It’s one of the most wonderful list songs ever!

    Beyond that it made in our favorites of the 80s mix CD! Of course it’s good. We’re not idiots in our company!


  7. John C.
    2. June 2004 at 11:34

    Your explanation of the lyric actually just made me realize how bad of a lyric it really is.

  8. Dale
    2. June 2004 at 16:47

    There were a lot of songs on their list that didn’t deserve to make the top 50. I’m fond of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” myself and it made the top 10!

    I think this snotty comment format program is gonna get old fast. “The Sistine Chapel, boy does that suck!”

    all that said the upcoming “I love the 90′s” is going to be my guilty pleasure this summer.

  9. Matthew M
    2. June 2004 at 20:11

    Breakfast At Tiffany’s is one of the greatest pop songs of the last 10 years, easily. These people are f’d. We’re talking full Dr. Peepee.

  10. WebmasterMama
    3. June 2004 at 12:59

    Yeah – I heard the promo for I Love the 90′s coming up – but not ’till July or something!

  11. kelvingreen
    4. June 2004 at 13:14

    In Britain, we’ve done “I -heart- the 90′s” already. It’s yet another cheap and trashy import from Britain, just like Millionaire, Pop Idol and so on. I do apologise. Our reputation for the world’s best television is become tarnished…:) It started with the 70′s and went on and on, and got so bad that I joked that they’d be doing “I -heart- Last Week” before long. I wouldn’t be surprised to be proved right.

  12. Augie De Blieck Jr.
    4. June 2004 at 14:02

    “Breakfast at Tiffanys” is an infectious pop song. I love it. The other song from the same time period I love that I haven’t heard in a while is “Roll To Me.”

    Kelvin: The comment system has some sort of allergy to the less than sign. I think it misinterprets it as HTML and then blanks out the rest of your post. I replaced it with a dash and the rest of your post reappeared.

    But I love the idea. Heck, someone should do an “I -heart- Last Week” web site. It could be pretty funny. Hell, I’d like to do it as a gag her some week. (“Dude, remember when Avril’s second album came out? We were so young. We didn’t know better. She’s CANADIAN, for goodness’ sakes! And men shaved their head to hide their baldness. Yeesh.”)

  13. drew101
    4. June 2004 at 18:15

    Isn’t VH-1′s weekly “The Best Week Ever” already an “I Love Last Week”-like concept?

  14. Augie De Blieck Jr.
    4. June 2004 at 18:40

    Good point, Drew. I forgot about that one, having only seen about 5 minutes of it once. Dammit, I hate it when they beat me to someone else’s best ideas…