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Friday, September 28, 2012

Classic Rock Garbage Thunderdome

Posted by on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I still haven't changed my car radio station from KMCQ, even though they continue to play only the worst hits from the 70s and 80s. At this point I don't think I'm going to change the station, I'm just going to continue to complain about hearing "Hotel California" once more. At least something fairly interesting has started to happen, I've begun dissecting the lyrics of the garbage they're playing. Even though I've heard Foreigner's "Double Vision" at least a four thousand times, I've never really paid close attention to the lyrics.

FOREIGNER_SPAG.jpg

Never do more than I really need
My mind is racing, but my body's in the lead
Tonight's the night, I'm gonna push it to the limit
I live all of my years in a single minute

This song has a rather simple meaning, it's about getting fully wasted on drugs. "Double Vision" was released in July of 1978 and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Eventually, the single sold over a million units. That fact is fucking mind blowing.

REO_SPAG.jpg

Another oft-played mound of hot garbage coming from KMCQ is "Take It on the Run" by REO Speedwagon. Over at the brilliant Songmeanings.com, the definition of this one ranges from:

"This are words of a father that is destroyed by looking at his daughter growing up and becoming a woman. This song its about his daughter! Are you guys blind? Read the lyrics again."

To:

"I also wanna add that the guitar solo in this song freakin rocks!"

Ultimately, it's probably about a cuckold who is still living in his parent's basement. There are some conflicting ideas in the lyrics as well, but that's only because it's hard to write an entire song with a cohesive idea when you're fucking wasted and have double vision. Regardless, it reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1981 and probably bought a dozen people five motorcycles made of solid gold cocaine.

Regardless, in true Classic Rock Garbage Thunderdome fashion, we're here to decide: which of these awful songs is better?

 

Comments (22) RSS

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camlux 1
There is no good Speedwagon. All Speedwagons are despicable.
Posted by camlux on September 28, 2012 at 4:53 PM · Report this
2
What #1 said. Ick. But Foreigner- that's another story.
Posted by Duvall-ite on September 28, 2012 at 5:10 PM · Report this
Paul Pearson 3
You guys are insulting the music of my youth. And when you do that, you insult ME. I'm livid!

Heh, just kidding.
Posted by Paul Pearson on September 28, 2012 at 5:37 PM · Report this
lark 4
Don't hurt me.

I saw REO Speedwagon along with Survivor ("Eye of the Tiger") in Chicago ages ago.

I was on a date with a hot chick indulging her and trying to seduce her. She liked both bands. Clearly, I was in audio hell. But, she was worth it. A fun night. The things a guy has to do...
Posted by lark on September 28, 2012 at 5:44 PM · Report this
McBomber 5
I voted for the Speedwagon, only because for better or for worse, that song is a tenacious little ear worm. So thanks for that this evening. Luckily it has now been edged out by Tim Minchin's Confessions.
Posted by McBomber on September 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM · Report this
JonnoN 6
I saw Foreigner open for Journey last year at the Key :)

Foreigner rocked way harder.
Posted by JonnoN http://www.backnine.org/ on September 28, 2012 at 7:51 PM · Report this
7
Fuck you "Derek." The greatest music ever was recorded on albums in the '70s. From disco to Led Zeppelin. But you're right in one area; REO went to the toilet after their live 1977 album.
Posted by Boston-Heart Lover on September 28, 2012 at 7:52 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 8
Change the goddamn station already if you hate the music so much. I don't listen to KUBE every day and complain about it. I just ignore it.
Posted by Gern Blanston on September 28, 2012 at 8:48 PM · Report this
sirkowski 9
Tough choice.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on September 28, 2012 at 10:34 PM · Report this
10
How can I vote for which song is better, when clearly, the proper question is the opposite; which song sucks the most donkey dick?
I'll have to go with foreigner, as I'm unfamiliar with the other song, and I intend to keep it that way.
REO is the worse band however, but just by a cunt hair.
Posted by Pol Pot on September 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM · Report this
11
Hate to say it. I'm not a big fan, but Double Vision accurately describes the primary default activity of me and my friends for several teen years. Notice there are no distractions described, such as girls, cars, dancing, family, etc. Also, I like that one guitar lick at the end of the chorus when he says "my double vision always seems to get the best of me." Sort of like a sproingy crossbow bolt across the rivers of time.

The REO Speedwagon song seems to have no redeeming qualities.

Assuming the question is which one is better, I gotta go with Double Vision.
Posted by cracked on September 29, 2012 at 1:05 AM · Report this
12
@6 Just looked at a couple of Foreigner vids. I can see how they could beat out Journey. There is still some edge there in Foreigner, like maybe they still get surprised sometimes by how cool it is to rock. Journey has been careful not to surprise themselves since maybe 1976.
Posted by cracked on September 29, 2012 at 1:15 AM · Report this
tainte 13
jesus christ, i bet you're the kind of person who wears a def leppard t shirt...IRONICALLY, of course.

change the channel dumbass.
Posted by tainte on September 29, 2012 at 8:42 AM · Report this
Claypatch 14
I cant listen to a REO Spudwagon song without wanting to desperately stab my ears out of my skull. I hated that song growing up and used to transpose the title to "Take It up the Ass"
Posted by Claypatch on September 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
tedb310 15
You make the poll so you vote for which song is worse. It pains me to try and think of any good qualities in either of these pieces of drivel.
Posted by tedb310 on September 29, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
pg13 16
If they made "Dazed & Confused" again, but moved it from Texas to Wisconsin...and pushed the timeline up to '79...then both of these songs would be on the soundtrack to that movie...(or, at least, the SECOND soundtrack to that movie)...

I can't simply dismiss songs that are strong "time and place" memories the way the rest of you can. When I was and where I was, this corporate rock was the unavoidable pop music of my life. I can't hate it...because then I'd be hating myself.

(Of course, a steady diet of this stuff is what drove me to seek out the post-punk/modern rock that better defines the person I chose to be... So, thank you REO Speedwagon for being bland enough to have turned me into a Killing Joke/Cure/New Order/R.E.M./Replacements fan.)
Posted by pg13 on September 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM · Report this
julie russell 17
As a girl who grew up in the 80's, I will ALWAYS sing along to the REO in the car...this band created the soundtrack for the melodrama of my youth
Posted by julie russell http:// on September 29, 2012 at 1:02 PM · Report this
18
i say it all the time, i'll say it now: foreigner is a band created by focus groups. i never believed a word they said. i don't believe he was "hot blooded", or that he "wants to know what love is". i don't believe that they knew a "jukebox hero" or ever had "double vision". i don't believe they were "waiting for a girl like you" or that it was ever "urgent". it never once felt "like the first time". they were the least believable band of that era.

reo speedwagon, on the other hand, just plain ol' sucked. however, i don't doubt that they rode the storm out (even if it was a pissant storm) or had some skirt that "took it on the run". no, they just never had singing lessons, so when it came time to extend a note, they weren't smart enough to lean on the vowel (hence, lyrics like "foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr").
Posted by deepconcentration on September 30, 2012 at 5:47 PM · Report this
19
Love both songs and both groups. How are songs that were hits and groups which were successful rock bands qualified for the "Classic Rock Garbage Thunderdome"?
Posted by Patricia Kayden on September 30, 2012 at 6:06 PM · Report this
20
Ha, this whole comment thread is a giant hipster abortion! My favorite is @10 claiming to be "unfamiliar" with "Take it on the Run". REALLY? Good lord people. Put down your PBRs, and grow a sense of humor. The fact is when any of you venture outside the comfy confines of the Pike/Pine corridor out into 'merica and have to endure whatever is available on the radio dial and "I Can't Fight This Feeling" comes on... ALL OF YOU roll up the windows and sing the holy shit outa that song. I bet after reading that sentence you are singing that song RIGHT NOW!

So what's next, we're all gonna take snotty pot shots from our hipster ivory towers at Toto and Supertramp? The truth is if any of you had a fucking clue what you were talking about you wouldn't waste a single breath on Foreigner and REO Speedwagon when there are actual real sucky terrible bands from this era to bag on, like Bad Company. Pull your heads out of your asses and be sure not to leave your ironic trucker hat up there when you do.
Posted by longball on October 1, 2012 at 8:51 AM · Report this
LEE. 21
@20

trucker hats and PBR references...is this 2003?

what's your beef with Bad Company? why is bad to like them and not these other bands? please show me your diagram proving that this band above all objectively sucks.

and for the record on this thread, I'm really surprised I've never picked up a Foreigner record. they have that Goldilocks area of rock perfection, that as deepconcentration said, could have been written after a focus group got together. that a band appeals to all the right buttons isn't necessarily a bad thing. but still I just never got around to picking up anything by them, and am pleasantly surprised to hear them MOST times they come on the radio. fair trade.
Posted by LEE. on October 1, 2012 at 6:57 PM · Report this
22
"Hi-Infidelity" and Foreigner's "Records" were among the first albums I bought with my own money. Listened to 'em both non-stop in grade school. I would never be like "dude, you gotta check these guys out" in 2012 but for nostalgic purposes those tunes are as comforting as a rerun of Happy Days. Isn't that what classic rock radio is for, anyway?
Posted by Chalupa on October 3, 2012 at 9:38 AM · Report this

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