The Most Unwanted Song in the World

HaleyFiege's picture

The Most Unwanted Song, is mesmerizing: over an accompaniment of bagpipe, tuba and accordian (statistically, America’s least favorite instruments), an operatic soprano (our least favorite type of singer) raps (ditto) about cowboys (ditto). Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid’s research indicated that the most hated lyrical subject is holidays (disliked by 33%), so the song is suitable not only for Christmas, but Easter, Labor Day, Veterans’ Day, and Halloween. These interludes are introduced abruptly by a children’s chorus (“Hey everybody, it’s Yom Kippur!”), who couple their refrains with cheerful commercial messages. By the end, the subject has shifted to human slavery and genocide. The whole thing, going on for nearly 22 minutes (the least favorite song length), is as impossible to ignore as a car crash.

http://ubu.artmob.ca/sound/komar_melamid/KomarMelamid_The-Most-UnwantedS...

dezcom's picture

That was painful. I had to stop after the first minute. I love opera and that wasn't it :-)
22 minutes is in a league with "Innagoddadavida"

ChrisL

Linda Cunningham's picture

Ah, c'mon, this was up on Design Observer last year, where it was very well received.

Besides, it's screamingly brilliant. ;-)

Someone has a problem with Iron Butterfly? Cowabunga! It's a classic.

duh-duh-dadada-DA

HaleyFiege's picture

Oh yeah I should have added a link to that article.

It's worth re-posting :)

fontplayer's picture

Wonderful! Dr. Demento would have loved it.

pattyfab's picture

They also did the most (and least) wanted painting - by country. Hilarious.

http://www.diacenter.org/km/index.html

Paul Cutler's picture

I'm running down to get my paint by numbers set right now. Who knew it was so easy to become a succesful painter? :)

I saw Iron Butterfly before InnaGaddaDaVida. And during. And after. Even today the infamous drum solo can be instantly recalled:

du du du du dum
du du du du dum
du du du du du du du du du du du dum

Weird.

pbc

dezcom's picture

I wish I had a dollar for every time I played that drum solo!

ChrisL

Paul Cutler's picture

I have a major complaint - the board fixed the extra spaces in my precise transcription of the timeless drum solo, precluding me from clearly communicating the magnitude of the piece…

That's justice for ya'.

pbc

Paul Cutler's picture

Chris - how many times did you play Wipe Out on your grade school desk? Now that was drumming… :)

pbc

dezcom's picture

I played Wipeout in college with my rock band a billion times when it first came out. I was in Junior high when Bill Haley came out with Rock Around the Clock :-)

I also played "Topsy, Part II" but I doubt if you remember that one, Paul.

http://www.amazon.com/Savina-Cozy-Cole/dp/B00005082Q

ChrisL

pattyfab's picture

Ye gods - I just listened to the "Most Wanted Song" and I it is the most trivial bit of lite soul I have ever heard. Truly exactly the kind of music I absolutely hate. I couldn't listen to more than a minute of it. Whereas the Unwanted Song... I listened in horrified fascination, couldn't quite bring myself to turn it off because I really did want to find out what they were going to do next.

Paul Cutler's picture

Now that is cool Chris - I didn't know you were a rock star! Man being in a band is so much fun when you're young. The birth of rock was an interesting time - a lot of the session cats came from jazz and they could flat out play. Elvis' band comes to mind.

I don't remember Topsy Part II but I have heard a bit of Cozy Cole. That must be his masterpiece - I'll have to check it out.

What about Caravan?

pbc

Paul Cutler's picture

Back to the original post Haley - I don't know who they polled but I question these results.

Accordion is extremely popular in the Midwest (polka) and anywhere near the Mexican border.

Bagpipe I can buy - it's very foreign to American ears - although - one of the coolest moments in my Halloween memories was when I came home from work and heard bagpipes wafting through the air. I thought someone was trying to scare the kids but it turns out that there was a lone piper standing on a hill about 1/4 mile from my house. That is the way bagpipes are supposed to be heard, like when they pipe at the castle in Edinburgh at sunset.

Tuba - well - yes although I love it.

Same with operatic soprano.

Raps and cowboys? Rap and country music so far outsells rock these days that it isn't even close.

Holidays? White Christmas is gigantic.

So I think they should retitle their song "The Song of the People". :)

No matter what they call it, I'm not about to listen to it.

pbc

fontplayer's picture

A great version of Caravan was done on an early Quincy Jones album. It was a J. J. Johnson tour-de-force. One of the high points in the socially-suspect world of trombone.
; )

dezcom's picture

Art Blakey's Caravan was to die for.
Max Roach and Elvin Jones were the all-time masters of drummers to me.

ChrisL

Paul Cutler's picture

Not for everyone, but Famodou Don Moye of The Art Ensemble of Chicago is a force of nature, especially when you see him live.

Max Roach and Elvin Jones are awesome. Keith Moon is also way up there.

pbc

fontplayer's picture

A drummer that has impressed me lately is Ernesto Simpson. On an up-tempo jam he is one of the quickest to reflect aspects of soloist's licks, making an improv sound like an ensemble effort. And he doesn't suffer from the deadly drummer disease of continuous bombasticism, in that he can do it at p.

jupiterboy's picture

Elvin is it for me.

Komar and Melamid are very funny, but I wouldn't hold them to any statistical results. I also wouldn't put them on the top of my list of experimental composers. If you ever get a chance to hear them lecture I'd recommend that.

Jongseong's picture

For the record, I tremendously enjoyed the Most Unwanted Song in the World. There's a bit of operatic soprano vocals, atonality, and random politically-charged lyrics in the music I listen to (Imelda Marcos!), but mostly I appreciated the inventiveness of the whole enterprise. The length at 22 minutes may be the only serious drawback from my standpoint, as it does get a bit taxing.

The obvious question now is: Who's up for making the Most Unwanted Font in the World? Do I smell a Type Battle?

fontplayer's picture

Who’s up for making the Most Unwanted Font in the World?

I think it would be hard to beat some I have already come across.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I second Max Roach.

poms's picture

I third …
Recently i've heard a 1h radio special about Max Roach, wow what a drummer.

fontplayer's picture

As this topic seems to have evolved, I'll mention another drummer I was just listening to who is very adroit at incorporating what the other musicians are doing; Dave Weckl's work with Chick Corea's Akoustic band is exceptional. Having played with some drummers that had no jazz touch at all has made me appreciate this kind of drummer all the more.

Curiousity's picture

I had to stop listening too!

BlueStreak's picture

I used to go to a few clinics and found Weckl to be a very good drummer, but quite an egotistical jerk.

My pick, and he's about the only drummer that I know of that is strictly a soloist, is Akira Jimbo. He has an other worldly sense of independent control. You have to see him in person, and even then his performance is unbelievable. He plays melody, chords and rhythm simultaneously.

russellm's picture

I had to stop listening,'cause my wife told me to :o(

My son went up to his room and after listening to the whole thing, text messaged me to say "That was awesome!!!!" :o)

-=®=-

fontplayer's picture

I used to go to a few clinics and found Weckl to be a very good drummer, but quite an egotistical jerk.

Yeah, that can be a turn-off. It is a real treat to meet someone who is at the top of his field, and acts like a regular person. It is always good to remember, that in most cases, no matter how good you are, there are plenty of people who can kick your butt.
; )

Paul Cutler's picture

In most cases you do not want to meet your heroes.

pbc

dezcom's picture

Matthew Carter is as good a person to meet as he is a type designer. Sometimes heros exceed expectations.

ChrisL

Linda Cunningham's picture

And sometimes they change them. I got to meet (and get to know rather well) one of my journalism heros, and as polite and gentle as he was with his interview subjects, he was infinitely more rude and profane with his friends.

I lost track of how many times he used the f-word with me. Damn, I miss him.

dontbugme's picture

From the description in the first post I was beginning to think the song was 'I got a Feeling' by Black Eyed Peas.

cuttlefish's picture

A full description of this and also the "Most Wanted Song" are on Komar and Melamid & Dave Soldier's page, with links to both songs there.

I found the Most Wanted Song much more difficult to listen to than the Unwanted one, though less challenging.

BrettR's picture

I think when classifying a song with "The Most Unwanted Song in the World," I think we all need to pay our respects to Rebecca Black - Friday, for she has surely ruined our ears.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzfQwXEqYaI
^A nice little dub over.

quadibloc's picture

This, the real thing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD2LRROpph0

seems to make liberal use of something called "autotune".

Here, listen to this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNcfkGBlEwI

instead.

Té Rowan's picture

For some very odd reason, whenever people talk about drumming, I always think of "A Briefcase" with Saga. Maybe not so odd; it's a drum duet, after all, between a regular drumkit and an electronic kit.

Syndicate content Syndicate content