’70s Party Killers

’70s Party Killers

Various Artists


If anyone understands irony and kitsch in American popular music, it’s Rhino, which tucked tongue firmly in cheek with its Have a Nice Day series of songs from the ’70s, and showed how misplaced celebrities were singing pop tunes on the Golden Throats series.

Now, bad meets ’70s commercial success with this compilation of the worst songs culled from the Have a Nice Day series, and lemme tell ya, it’s frightening. Not just how bad these songs are, but that they shot to the Top Ten during the Me Decade.

It’s all here — almost — with such lemons as Clint Holmes’ “Playground in My Mind,” Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods’ “Billy, Don’t Be a Hero” and yes, even Mary MacGregor’s “Torn Between Two Lovers,” among others. It is, as the label calls it, the Dirty Dozen, but the comp easily could have included my own two favorite worst tunes, “Seasons in the Sun” and “I’ve Never Been to Me.”

But hey, you can’t have everything.

Aside from serious scab-picking, it’s hard to find a reason to actually buy this disc, except for the title’s potential goal. I mean, if you really want to clear the room — if it’s 2:30 a.m., and that drunk will not get off the couch, and continues to talk about how Dark Side of the Moon is the soundtrack to the opening of “The Wizard of Oz” — then yeah, this is your weapon. Just be prepared for a violent backlash. It is, certainly, a testament to the times, though I thought we’d pretty much nailed just how bad the ’70s were musically.

I think the real reason why the comp exists is to test whether the owner actually likes any of the songs, prompting sort of a true-confessions, guilty-pleasures kind of vibe.

So okay, I admit it: for a brief moment, I actually thought Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch” was heartfelt. But then the honesty was too much, and I had to close my eyes, aaaaaand hide.

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