Starship's 'We Built This City' zooms to top of musical crime league

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The Independent Culture

They might have flown high with one of the most evocative anthems of the Sixties, but the musicians behind the Eighties song "We Built This City" are finally paying their dues for crimes against pop music.

They might have flown high with one of the most evocative anthems of the Sixties, but the musicians behind the Eighties song "We Built This City" are finally paying their dues for crimes against pop music.

Jefferson Airplane's reincarnation as Starship gave the world the worst pop hit in history, according to a new assessment of the most hateful songs to blight the charts. Their 1985 whine about corporate rock took the top slot in a list of shame compiled by the US music magazine Blender . The song, which reached number 12 in the charts in Britain, inspired "the most virulent feelings of outrage", Blender's editor, Craig Marks, said. "It purports to be anti-commercial, but reeks of Eighties corporate-rock commercialism."

The song's position was justified for the way it clouded memories of the band in their 1967 Summer of Love heyday when Grace Slick singing "White Rabbit" embodied the druggy counterculture. Slick is joined on the list by the likes of Billy Ray Cyrus, Vanilla Ice, Huey Lewis and Lionel Richie, included for tormenting pop devotees with, respectively, "Achy Breaky Heart", "Ice Ice Baby", "The Heart of Rock & Roll" and "Dancing on the Ceiling". Cyrus's hit was "inane and thoroughly enjoyed by the obese", Blender said , while "Ice Ice Baby" was "mindless rap for mindless white people".

Slick, Richie and the rest can take heart that the list includes some of rock's most venerated artists. The Beatles are in at No 48 with "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", REM make it to 35 with "Shiny Happy People", and Simon and Garfunkel feature at 42 with "The Sound of Silence" .

THE TWENTY WORST

1 We Built This City, Starship

2 Achy Breaky Heart, Billy Ray Cyrus

3 Everybody Have Fun Tonight, Wang Chung

4 Rolling, Limp Bizkit

5 Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice

6 The Heart of Rock & Roll, Huey Lewis and the News

7 Don't Worry, Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin

8 Party All The Time, Eddie Murphy

9 American Life, Madonna

10 Ebony and Ivory, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder

11 Invisible, Clay Aiken

12 Kokomo, The Beach Boys

13 Illegal Alien, Genesis

14 From A Distance, Bette Midler

15 I'll Be There For You, The Rembrandts

16 What's Up, 4 Non Blondes

17 Pumps And A Bump, MC Hammer

18 You're The Inspiration, Chicago

19 Broken Wings, Mr Mister

20 Dancing On The Ceiling, Lionel Richie

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