Too Much Time On My Hands: Top 10 Bands That Need To Be Retired From Radio

I tend to spend a lot of time in my car and as a result, I listen to the radio quite a bit. I know, I know … I should listen to CD’s or better, get a cord to plug my iPhone into the stereo and listen that way. I do both of those things too but frankly, I like the radio. I have diverse tastes in music and I like most of the radio stations here in the Bay Area. I like the randomness of switching the stations. I like to hear new things and make new discoveries. I like hearing classics as well.

However, I also have a pretty solid list of artists I never need to hear on the radio again. In fact, I bet you’ve had your fill of them as well.

Before you get all up in arms about the list keep in mind, I like most of these bands. I just never need to hear them on the radio again. There’s also some bands that are equally guilty of being overplayed on radio like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and AC/DC but these are some of if not THE greatest rock bands of all-time. I never get sick of their hit songs.

Thus, here is my “Top Ten Artists that Need to Be Retired From Terrestrial Radio.” I’ve ranked them in order of ubiquity and how important it is to move on from them on the listening dial. Here goes…

10. Journey.

I’m going to mostly blame The Sopranos for this one but God dammit, radio has ruined “Don’t Stop Believin’” forever. When it first wiggled it’s way back into popular culture, I was thrilled. It’s a great song. Now when I hear those opening keyboard keys thudding out, I can’t change the station fast enough. I’m also annoyed at the band’s continued attempts to hose Steve Perry out of his royalties so, screw them doubly. Radio can also retire “Any Way You Want It,” Wheel in the Sky” and “Lights.” However, since this is a less annoying band, I’m okay with “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’,” Faithfully” or “Stone in Love” being played.

9. Aerosmith (**late era particularly)

Look, I dig Aerosmith, I really do. I’ve seen them in concert and respect them as a band. I also think it’s neat they were able to pull themselves back from the edge of obscurity in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. But does anyone ever really want to hear “Love in an Elevator” ever again? Or worse, “Dude Looks Like A Lady?” I’m not even delving into the kind of un-P.C.-ness of that last song (who cares if that dude looks like a lady? Sounds like you might have an issue with how you feel about that.) I’m more concerned with the fact it’s a stupid song. Also played out are “Janie’s Got a Gun” which again, does anyone really want to hear that song? Ever? I am okay with “Walk This Way” and of course “Sweet Emotion.”

8. Boston

I like Boston, they’re fine. But the thing with Boston is they only had three albums into the 1980’s and all their hits came from two of those albums really (Boston and Don’t Look Back.) I had my Boston phase and think they’re okay enough but I’m sick of hearing “More Than a Feeling,” “Long Time” and “Peace of Mind” while cruising around town. If you think about it, I’ll bet you are too. Good band, catchy riffs, way overplayed.

7. ZZ Top

I like older, more out there and bluesy ZZ Top but all the radio friendly stuff has got to go. I’m looking at you, “Legs,” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Tush.” Just knock it off with this stuff. Every time one of those songs comes on I feel like I’m waiting in a long line of cars to get into a demolition derby or worse, some kind of backwoods campground. Don’t even get me started on “Pearl Necklace,” which is probably Quagmire from Family Guy’s favorite song. Wait, maybe it’s “Tube Snake Boogie” which can also take a long walk in traffic. Those guys should also shave their beards off a la KISS removing their makeup for a time, get some renewed buzz going.

6. Steve Miller Band

Ugh. Don’t even give me one of those “awww, come on!” lines. Steve Miller Band blows. Badly. My radio never needs play any song by them again including mostly “Take the Money and Run,” Jungle Love” or possibly the worst offender, “The Joker.” If you’re a person who internally shouts “YES!” when any of those songs comes on, you should take a long look at yourself in the mirror. The only thing I’m grateful for when it comes to the Steve Miller Band is that “Wild Mountain Honey” never reached the charts the way those aforementioned songs did. Incidents of road-rage would be triple.

5. George Thorogood

Back when I was in 6th and 7th grade, George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers were number one on my turntable. Right next to Billy Joel. But you know what? I had horrible taste in music and grew out of this borderline A.A. Meeting Novelty Act. Thorogood songs that need to be retired from life as well as the radio include “Bad to the Bone,” I Drink Alone,” “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer” and “Who Do You Love.” I’ll do you one better. How about we replace those last 2 songs with the original versions which were done by better guitar players, Rudy Toombes and Bo Diddly, respectively. I’m not big on the whole issue of white people re-appropriating black people’s music as a serious issue but here, it kind of is one. Thorogood is not only a mediocre guitarist, he’s also a teetotaler for crying out loud! Move it on over, indeed.

4. The Police

I don’t want to quote N.W.A. here because this is a family website but, well, eff The Police. Granted, it’s mostly Sting’s smug demeanor that ruffles my feathers but in terms of getting overplayed, these guys are big time offenders. If you get a chill of excitement when “Roxanne,” “Message in a Bottle,” Can’t Stand Losing You” or “Walking on the Moon” come on, you really need to roll down the windows in your car and get some air. If you’re singing along to “Every Breath You Take” because you love it, you probably need a mental exam. In fact, I’m not entirely sure why The Police have “hit songs” that aren’t the catchier ones like “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” or “Doo Doo Doo Daa Daa Daa” but alas, the world we live in has deemed crap songs like “Wrapped Around Your Finger” radio friendly.

3. U2

Go. Away. U2. Seriously, go away from my radio forever. The biggest issue with U2 is that they cross so many genres and much like The Police, their best songs are not the ones that get played on the radio. The “good” ones that get played to death include “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “Pride In the Name of Love,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “New Years Day.” These songs are just weird for radio hits and frankly do not belong on the dial. The radio is a place to sing along badly to Cheap Trick or Thin Lizzy, not think back on people trying to do right getting shot and killed. The band also has a bunch of mopey crap like “With or Without You” and “One” that you can’t escape from if you tried. These songs could be in the supermarket, dentist office, at a wedding or any given party, like a flesh eating virus that attacks just your ears.

2. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

I know this one may come as a surprise but I love Tom Petty and would still be perfectly fine never, ever hearing another one of his hit songs again. “American Girl” reminds me of Silence of the Lambs and “Free Fallin’” reminds me I should get a lobotomy. The middle of the road songwriting evident on “The Waiting,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” and the ear bleeder “Running Down a Dream” make me turn the radio faster than if Rush Limbaugh were to come on. “You Got Lucky,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and “Breakdown” are totally boring and “I Won’t Back Down” makes me say “I Will Change the Station.” Much like U2 I think much of what bugs me about Tom Petty hits is they’re so ubiquitous. They can be on an easy listening, classic rock or even straight up rock station and, they are. Tom Petty is all over the dial and it must stop.

1. The Eagles

Luckily for me, when I was an impressionable child (with aforementioned bad taste) I had an Eagles phase where I can now easily recognize these money grubbers when they come on the dial and flip the channel faster than if a Viagra commercial came on when my kid’s in the back seat. As The Big Lebowski himself said, “I hate the f$%!ing Eagles, maaaan” and, he’s right. Their faux-sensitivity, their hatred of one another that gets put aside so they can tour over and over (even though they promised not to) and rake in the bucks as well as the fact that like many of the other bands on this list, you cannot escape them on the radio. They’re everywhere. My dislike of The Eagles runs so deep I’ve put a personal fatwa on any solo Eagles album or song. But then I allowed Joe Walsh to be played in my car because I’m a sucker for great guitar licks.

So, there you go. Some bands that narrowly missed the list included The Doors, Madonna, Lynard Skynard, Queen and John Mellencamp. Who are the bands you never need to hear again on the radio?







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