This time last year, I told you how not to have an argument in a pub. The topic under consideration was who has been the best on-screen James Bond. This will always cause dissent, but you can defuse the situation by instead asking who’s been the worst. Pierce Brosnan. End of story, yes I’ll have a pint thank you.
However I’m now going to provoke an online pub debate, and this will not be an easy one for anybody to win. Because what I’m going to do is ask for the most irritating single of all time.
There are some ground rules, just like any debating society has. The main one is this. You can’t have any of the obviously bloody annoying ones. Agadoo by Black Lace is ineligible for that reason. So is Shaddap your face. This was truly awful, but had the saving grace of keeping the equally but differently awful Vienna by Ultravox off the top slot. Grandma We Love You was just sentimental tosh, as you might expect from St Winifred’s School Choir. Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs. That was not one of pop’s finer moments, but you might have guessed that from the names of the artistes. Brian and Michael. They don’t sound like heavy metal thunderers do they?
I could go on at greater length, but I think you’re getting the picture. It has to be a single that is wildly popular, and that makes you want to poke your eyes out with red-hot pins.
Just about anything by any boyband ever might fit in here. Ditto most girlbands. Miley Cyrus is a sitter but a bit obvious. Here’s my thinking.
Bohemian Rhapsody. I disliked it when it came out, and my view has hardened over the years. I never really liked Queen much, though I did have their first album back in 1973. After that I felt that most of their oeuvre was terrible, though I do acknowledge I’m in a minority here.
As bad as BoRh is, it’s not the one that gets on my tits the most. This accolade goes elsewhere, despite being by somebody acknowledged to be an extraordinarily talented musician. The one that has me heading for the emergency exits is Hi Ho Silver Lining by Jeff Beck. This was the man who fronted up the Yardbirds for a good long time, went on to form Beck, Bogert, and Appice, and yet he still managed to bring out HHSL.
When I say it has me heading for the exits, I mean that literally. It seems to be a compulsory floor filler at wedding receptions, but while the dads all strut their stuff and embarrass their teenagers, you’ll find me outside, no matter what the weather. I hear the opening chords and say, ‘Adios muchachos.’
Footnote. BoRh is one of five singles to make it to Number 1 in the UK where the title of the song appears nowhere in the lyrics. Don’t ask why I know stuff like this; I just do.