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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 96 01:16:09 -0700
Subject: Radio Hell
Forwarded-by: Brad Roter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Forwarded-by: Marly Carpenter <Marly_Carpenter@discovery.com>
Radio Hell by Stuart Wade
Originally published in the Austin Chronicle
It waits out on the open road: a circle approximately 1,000
miles in diameter, with its broadcast center somewhere near
Salina, Kansas. Radio Hell is a place where no cool airwaves
can find their way down your car's antenna. You've driven the
empty miles of Radio Hell on the way to Better Places. In
Radio Hell, songs like "All By Myself" (Eric Carmen), and
"Chevy Van" (Sammy Johns) are classics, and Journey's "Open
Arms" jockeys for a place in the heavy rotation with Steve
Miller's "Abracadabra" and Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes."
Built from the misdeeds of starmakers of yesteryear like Dick
Clark and Casey Kasem, men will surely burn for their sins,
Radio Hell is a place where 1975 never really ended. In this
high-watt Hades, your car will break down but your car radio
won't, and the following Infernal Top 40 songs are broadcast
clear as a bell, 24 hours a day:
The Infernal Top 40
40. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,
by Wham! (1984, #1)
Hey, everybody! Choose Life!
39. Cherish, by the Association (1966, #1)
"Abhor" is the word we use to describe.
38. S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night,
by the Bay City Rollers (1975, #1)
Rollers touted as "next Beatles," but then, so was The Knack.
37. I Just Called To Say I Love You,
by Stevie Wonder (1984, #1)
You try batting 1.000 from age twelve on. Stevie was bound to
strike out once.
36. Shannon, by Henry Gross (1976, #6)
Worst song ever written about a dog.
35. Eye of the Tiger, by Survivor (1982, #1)
A balls-to-the-wall metal onslaught! Not responsible for brain
34. Don't Go Breakin My Heart,
by Elton John & Kiki Dee (1976, #1)
Impossible to hear without risking flashback to Julie and
Barbara on One Day At A Time.
33. Ebony and Ivory,
Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder (1982, #1)
To paraphrase Michael Jackson, "it don't matter if you're black
or white" when the song stinks.
32. America, by Neil Diamond. (1980, #1)
Remember the Dukakis family lamely dancing to this tune after
the nomination? Neither do we.
31. We Didn't Start the Fire, by Billy Joel (1989, #1)
Perhaps, but this song is a lot like arson.
30. I'd Really Love to See You Tonight,
by England Dan and John Ford Coley (1976, #2) Isn't this how
date rape begins?
29. The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia,
by Vicki Lawrence (1973, #1)
Recently voted best pop song ever by a cast member of
28. Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,
by Tony Orlando and Dawn (1973, #1)
That's "if you still want me." If you just "want me," Knock
Times on the Ceiling.
27. Lonely Boy, by Andrew Gold (1977, #7)
Makes us wish we'd never been born.
26. Don't Give Up On Us, by David Soul (1976, #1)
Hutch had it all. Or was it Starsky? Anyway, nice car.
25. Lady, by Kenny Rogers (1980 #1)
Or if you prefer, "Lady," by Lionel Richie. It's your call.
24. Sailing, by Christopher Cross (1980, #1)
Won Grammy for New Artist; so did Milli Vanilli.
23. At Seventeen, by Janis Ian (1975 #3)
Wow, a 17-year-old who's awkward and hates her parents.
Alert the media.
22. Footloose, by Kenny Loggins (1984, #1)
Dear Kenny, What the hell happened? Concerned, Jim
21. (Escape) The Pina Colada Song,
by Rupert Holmes (1979, #1)
While promoting a musical he wrote last year, Rupert wouldn't
discuss this song with DJs.
20. Seasons in the Sun, by Terry Jacks (1973, #1)
True story, just like when that Mikey gobbled all them Pop
Rocks then swigged a big cream soda.
19. Any song by Air Supply (1981, #1)
Why discriminate? Now playing at an Eckerd drugstore near
18. Rosanna, by Toto (1982, #1)
Written for Rosanna Arquette, but even she couldn't save it.
17. Feelings, by Morris Albert (1975, #6)
Song has become ironically hip, like Jerry Lewis.
16. Don't Worry, Be Happy,
by Bobby McFerrin (1988, #1)
Be afraid, be very afraid.
15. The Night Chicago Died,
by Paper Lace (1974, #1)
Paper Lace rocked us, then entered the Federal Witness
14. Billy Don't Be A Hero,
by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods (1974, #1)
13. We Built This City On Rock-N-Roll,
by Starship (1985, #1).
One pill makes you happy, one pill makes you write sold-out
12. Sometimes When We Touch,
by Dan Hill (1973, #3).
"I want to hold you till I die /till we both break down and cry
want to hold you till the fear in me subsides." Huh?
11. Rock Me Amadeus, by Falco (1986, #1)
Note: not to be confused with Puttin On The Ritz by the evil
arch-enemy of Falco, Taco.
10. You Light Up My Life, by Debby Boone (1977, #1)
Let's go with "Rock Songs with Really Bitchin' Flute Solos" for
9. Love Will Keep Us Together,
by The Captain and Tennille (1974, #1)
These two recently renewed their wedding vows. If only they
had let them expire.
8. You Don't Bring Me Flowers,
by Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond (1978 #1)
Power ballad by a pair of Rock-N-Roll survivors. Our ears are
7. I Am Woman, by Helen Reddy (1971, #1)
I Am Woman. I Am The Walrus. I Am, I Said.
6. Honey, by Bobby Goldsboro (1968, #1).
Little ditty 'bout a dead gal name o'Honey.
5. Afternoon Delight,
by Starland Vocal Band (1976, #1)
You can actually hear them smiling. Pass the Everclear.
4. I Write The Songs, by Barry Manilow (1975, #1)
Barry Manilow did not write "I Write The Songs." Buzz kill.
3. Sing, by The Carpenters (1973, #3)
Bad idea: children's choir. Worse idea: Lyrics that might have
been written by Barney The Dinosaur while 'shrooming.
2. (You're) Having My Baby, by Paul Anka (1974, #1).
An excellent pro-choice argument if ever there was one.
1. Muskrat Love,
by The Captain and Tennille (1976, #4)
If a song about rodent-boning can make it this big, there's
still hope for our rock opera, "Deliverance On Ice."
1996 Stuart Wade. All rights reserved.
© 1996 Peter Langston