|The Fast Food Rockers, moments before they were executed for treason by the state.|
There will always be a place in our society for completely mercenary "bubblegum" pop songs which are designed to grab the public's attention with the grim determination of a rabid terrier sinking its fangs into a mailman's leg. Seemingly idiotic and naive and therefore "harmless," this kind of music is actually quite cynical and calculated, driven largely by marketing and not by creativity. The goal of these songs, which usually employ some kind of moronic gimmick and have a fiendishly catchy sing-song chorus, is simple: garner tons and tons of airplay within a short span of time, try to parlay that notoriety that into some quick sales, then cash in and get the hell out of Dodge before people get too sick of you. (Such songs, however, inevitably overstay their welcome, which is why the artists behind them have such truncated careers.) In years past, these kinds of tunes thrived on the radio.That's where we first found "Disco Duck," "Pac Man Fever," and "Barbie Girl." Now, I guess, such ditties go directly to the Internet, e.g. "The Duck Song" and its sequels. (Note: for all I know, "The Duck Song" may be completely sincere. Forgive me if it is.) For a while, this field of entertainment was dominated by CGI animals, like Gummybear and Crazy Frog. By not being recognizably human, these animated creations made bubblegum pop even more obviously mechanical and impersonal. At least groups like Aqua and Rednex were made up of human beings ... sort of.
You might think America has a sweet tooth for this kind of pop music, and you'd be right, but this is one area in which we simply pale next to Europe. In England particularly, they just live and die for this crap. The British pop charts are like some weird lottery where athletes, flash-in-the-pan celebs, and cartoon characters have as good a shot at success as any pop singer. Hell, the Smurfs topped the charts over there! No foolin'! Anyway, I thought I'd draw your attention to a particularly egregious UK hit from 2003 which somehow failed to cross the pond and make it big in America. It's something called "The Fast Food Song" by the Fast Food Rockers. Seems legit. The melody apparently comes from a Moroccan folk song, because of course it does. The song went to #2 (how appropriate) on the UK charts and thereafter became a staple on the lists of "worst singles of all time." Listen and judge for yourself. I'd say that, if you were looking for a soundtrack to your type 2 diabetes, you've found it here.
P.S. Still reeling from this song? Here's the antidote: