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Published on July 6th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

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The 15 Worst Canadian Songs of the 90s

Maybe it’s the heat, but special correspondent Brent Chittenden has been having some bad 90s flashbacks.  He just had to get this off his chest. – AC

When you get older, the years of your youth seem to be the golden years of music. I know my Dad does it to the certain extent and I find every once and a while I lapse into the same idea. You see boys and girls, I hit high school during the 90’s. It was a time where we had a huge amount of CanCon on the radio and a good portion of it was amazing. The Tea Party, I Mother Earth, The Barenaked Ladies, Big Sugar, there was a ton of a good music from right here in Canada.

But with the good comes the bad. It’s amazing how you block out but there was a lot of bad. So let’s look at it, shall we? The 15 Worst Canadian Songs Of The 90’s!

SPECIAL MENTIONS: You will notice an absence of Celine Dion and Shania Twain on this list. Let’s be honest, if I started with them, I’d never finish with them. The level of suckage is pretty high so we’ll just say they are far and beyond this list. And surprisingly when I asked around, I got a lot of people mentioning The Tragically Hip’s Killer Whale Tank version of “New Orleans is Sinking” but since it only seems to be this version that got mentioned, I can’t use it.

 

15) Bryan Adams / Mel C – “When You’re Gone”

Let’s go back to 1998. I’m laying around, watching tv and flipping channels when I see Bryan Adams… wearing a jean jacket and a white t-shirt and jeans. Oh my god, he’s gone back to the days when he was good. Back to the Reckless / Waking Up The Neighbors days! Sweet!  Wait.  Is…is that a Spice Girl singing with him?  SCREW YOU, BRYAN ADAMS! While not a horrible song, it isn’t a great one either and it just makes me incredibly angry and I felt it needed to be mentioned.

 

14) The Moffats – “Miss You Like Crazy”

Young kids with a song so sugary that it will give you diabetes if you listen repeatedly.

 

13) Sven Gali – “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”

This Hamilton based band tried their best Extreme “More Than Words” impression on this track and just failed in so many ways. Even the video tries to rip of Extreme.

 

12) Bass is Base – “I Cry”

It’s a shame because this band had a lot of talent in it.  But somehow all of the good cancelled each other out into this dreck. “I Cry” is particularly bad.

 

11) Prozzak – “Sucks to be You”

Made up of members of The Philosopher Kings, this duo did dance pop music that was generally catchy and generally horrible. I knew that a person lacked musical taste in high school when they used the chorus to this.

 

10) Slik Toxik – “Helluvatime”

This pretty music sums up bad music of the late 80’s early 90’s. It’s just a shame that it came out of Toronto. This came from their album Doin’ the Nasty. URGH

 

9) Don Cherry & Chris Sheppard – “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Techno

This act of sports and techno mashing has been featured on a previous list but it is so bad that it gets a slot on this one. Who the hell thought this a good idea? Chris Sheppard, I hope it was a dump truck full of money.

 

8) Bootsauce – “Moanie”

Take the Red Hot Chilli Peppers recipe of funk punk rock, take away the spark they had, downgrade it to pg and you have this turd of a song.

 

7) Serial Joe – “Mistake”

When I first heard these guys, I really thought it was a joke put out by producer Dave Ogilvie. Some may point to their first single, Skidrow as being worse due to its rap rock slant but at least there they were trying something different. This is just bad.

 

6) Crash Test Dummies – “Keep A Lid On Things”

I almost feel bad including this because I really like a lot of Crash Test Dummies work and I know this was an attempt to expand their musical vocabulary but quite frankly it sounds like Brad Roberts’ son was asking him questions one day and Brad decided to write it down verbatim into a crappy song.

 

5) Love Inc. – “Broken Bones”

I hate to keep picking on Chris Sheppard but the lyrical content of this song only sort of makes sense. I imagine it’s supposed to be about someone who’s upset about being called a drug dealer… but said dealer admits to being a drug dealer in the song. This is an ear worm and a bad one at that.

 

4) Alanis – “Too Hot”

Before she regained her last name, Alanis Morrissette was a dance queen of sorts. While I was never a huge fan of her later work, it was a lot better than this Paula Abdul wannabe stuff.

 

3) Snow – “Girl I’ve Been Hurt”

While I recognise the fact that Snow sold a lot of albums and in some ways was a very important milestone for Canadian Hip-Hop… this song is terrible from top to bottom.

 

2) Len – “Steal My Sunshine”

We ended the 90’s with this piece of crap. Oh, I’m sure that it still provides money to them to this day but wow, this is bad. This band also gives other annoying bands a good tip. When performing at a festival and you are getting bottled by the crowd, a sure fire way of getting even more bottles thrown at you is to tell the crowd that you will leave if one more bottle gets thrown.

 

1) Boomtang Boys – “You Can Be My Squeeze Toy”

If you can’t figure out how terrible this is by the title, I’m a little sad. If you can’t figure out how terrible this is by listening to it, you and I are not going to be friends.


About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.



8 Responses to The 15 Worst Canadian Songs of the 90s

  1. Ben says:

    If you're going to put Love Inc. on there how about that brutal song with the lyrics: "Here comes Spiderman, here comes Jane. Here comes Tarzan, astroplane!" I mean what the hell was that all about?

  2. Ben Again says:

    OK, so that was BKS. Same difference.Ugh.

  3. Pat J says:

    So… I guess "Steal My Sunshine" is one of my guilty pleasures. I'm not generally a fan of pop, but that song just does something to my brain. I suspect endorphins are involved.

  4. Alex James says:

    Oh, Len. I was at the Bottles of Doom show they didn't wind up playing, but I don't know if it was 100% their fault, or if part of the blame should lay at the feet of the promoter who put them on ahead of Finger Eleven. That's like us opening for Burzum. What's going to happen? BRAIN SOUP, THAT'S WHAT.

  5. iamsuperdan says:

    I somehow knew when I read the title that Helluvatime would be on there! I don't care though, I still love that song and that whole genre!

    Totally forgot about Serial Joe. They had some decent songs. Bootsauce? Admitted, Moanie is a terrible song, but I enjoyed most of their other stuff.

    Len. Worst ear worm song ever. But it always reminds me of that era, and whenever I hear that song now, I still find myself nodding along to it. And it drives me nuts because I know it sucks, but I can't stop it!

  6. Rob says:

    I kinda like that Crash Test Dummies song.
    I'll agree with the rest of the list.

    But, why not include that Celine Dion / Barbra Streisan train wreck. That video was great for the joy of watching thyem trying to out-diva each other.

  7. Eric says:

    "Closing Time" – Leonard Cohen

  8. Julissa says:

    But with the good comes the bad. It’s amazing how you block out but there was a lot of bad. So let’s look at it, shall we? The 15 Worst Canadian Songs Of The 90’s!

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