Terrible Songs You Have To Play Live

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SnowCal, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. I'm not talking about Brown Eye Girl. That's a good song, it's just dull for a muso.

    I'm talking about the originals band that has a lineup of good songs in its repertoire and some miserable ones. We have two in our regular set that we have no plans to ever record, even as B-sides. And the worse of the two is awful. Poor songwriting with weak hooks over muddy and too busy instrumentation. It's bad. I did some work and fixed the bassline to reduce the mud and make it more danceable, but it's still the worst song in our repertoire.

    But we're aiming to get girls dancing, and somehow the sonic sludge this song throws at the audience does the trick. It's not the best song in our set for that, but it's close and I'm completely dumbfounded as to why.

    Anybody else experienced the same? Would you put a song like this on an LP or b-side it on an EP, or would you never give somebody the chance to thoroughly critique it and realize how miserable it really is?
  2. Actually I'd love to find a guitar player who cares enough to do "Brown Eyed Girl" justice.

    Dull for a bass player, maybe. :crying:

    I think we are all stuck doing songs like you mention. "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" comes to mind. It really does not matter what I play, or even if I play at all. Dance floor fills up every time.
  3. We are a cover band, so I can't comment on originals, but we have a few ones that I think are just horrible songs, even if we do them well. We play them because people seem to like them.

    One that comes to mind is "Silver Wings" by Merle Haggard. And even though I kinda like the song, our singer refers to "Luckenback Texas" as "Suckenback Texas". I suppose it probably isn't such a good song now that I think about it.
  4. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    Yeah,it's weird how that works out sometimes..My last originals band had this little mind-numbingly simple Root/5th,pass the hat bounce that we'd do to set the 3 gui****'s solo levels for soundcheck that everybody always dug..enough so that we put words to it and it became the most dreaded 7+ minutes for us. Stupid simple,but the girls always danced,sooo..
  5. JakeF


    Apr 3, 2012
    Wait. Women dance too it?

    It is by definition a GOOD song.
  6. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Apparently it's not. And if you can figure out what makes it better than your other songs... does it have a bouncier beat? Fun lyrics? Hooks that aren't really as weak as you think?
  7. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    My cover band plays Hella Good. There's no reason for me to be up on stage for that one, given we have a keyboardist with a heavy left hand. Not to mention I @#$&ing hate that song.
  8. The world is full of mysteries. If you can figure out a mystery you will be onto a good thing.
  9. Your song by Elton John.

    Boom dah dah, Boom dah dah - all on root notes and some pedals notes to make it even more the same - like the intro, 8 bars of 24 notes - all the same.

    Status Quo - Caroline. Nearly all done on three root notes played in 8ths.
  10. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Although it goes against the accumulated wisdom of countless generations of our tribe, one might be tempted to conclude that dancing girls don't give a flying flip about how interesting a bassline is to play.
  11. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Since I re- joined my old Country band there have been a few covers I hate...stay tuned.
  12. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I think bands have to beware of 2 things in song choice.

    • Picking songs based on nothing more than you personally like the song.

    • Distinguishing between really good. great songs that are great under certain circumstances. For example, there are some songs that are great to listen to, but they are not the best songs to perform live. Or songs that would be great for festivals or large crowds
    but not for small bar gigs.

  13. skychief

    skychief Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    Sally Go 'Round The Roses. *facepalm*
  14. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Maybe I read the OP wrong but I don't think this is another "Covers You Can't Stand Playing" thread. OP wants to take this from an originals perspective.

    Just sayin', and I could be wrong.
  15. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    Mustang sally...uuuuuughhhhh....:rolleyes:
  16. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    We played a private event last week where the client had specifically requested Werewolves of London, Bang a Gong, Brown Eyed Girl, and Ain't Wasting Time No More" he made those requests when he booked us, weeks in advance.

    So put those 4 titles in a puzzle and which one seems to be the out of place tune? Personally I love playing Allman Bros material...but that list of requests was puzzling to me.
  17. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I'm suffering from cover song burnout. I have decided to re- join a country band I played in 5 years ago. I am cramming covers like crazy to be ready for my first show back with them in mid March and its driving me crazy already. We had two practices already and they are going well. The songs are not hard and I know most of the 50+ on the setlist but some of this nu-country wants to make me puke. Any tips on staying focused and playing a cover you can't stand?
  18. With about 90% of my cover band's playlist, if I'm in the car and it came on the radio, I'm changing the station. I've heard these songs at least a billion times each.

    In the cover band game, I play songs for the entertainment value, the audience (who always wants to hear and dance to it one more time), and the venue owner. Even a tired cover turns into something quite enjoyable live when you and the band are nailing it and there are asses shaking on the floor.

    EDIT: I just noticed OP was referring to originals. Can't really comment. Last originals band I played with, I truly liked all the songs. But this obviously opens the door for comments from us cover musicians.
  19. Radar Love. Hands down.
  20. Just bear in mind each one is less than 4 minutes (mostly) of a night that lasts for hours. Or see if the band will agree to move stuff around so you can have a song you like immediately following one you hate. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.