Spaceman by Babylon Zoo: Songs that taught you a valuable lesson in disappointment

LIFE is disappointing, and it’s good that musicians remind us of this with songs that rapidly descend into shit. Here are some classic let-downs.

Spaceman – Babylon Zoo (1996)

A whole generation was psychologically scarred by Spaceman. The version in the future-kitsch Levi’s advert with high-pitched vocals was excellent, but the full version is boring alt-rock sung by Jas Mann, a kind of Poundland Brian Molko. Luckily there are numerous remixes with just the good bits, so go on YouTube and it’s as if Babylon Zoo’s version never existed. Hooray.

Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin (1969)

Whole Lotta Love has arguably the best riff ever, and all is well until the f**king drum solo. It’s no doubt fascinating for drummers, but let’s be frank – it sounds like John Bonham is just dicking around and goes on way too long. In the Zep documentary, The Song Remains the Same, the rest of the band go offstage and literally have a fag and a pint. Shame you can’t do that on the bus.

Straight to Hell – The Clash (1982)

The intro is catchy and atmospheric and promises much, but quickly degenerates into a loose bossa nova beat with a tuneless tune and f**king awful singing by Joe Strummer. You’ll recognise the song because M.I.A. sampled the intro for Paper Planes – just the intro, note, no other bits. If only the Clash had had a time machine they could have gone forward to 2007 when Paper Planes came out, then back to 1982 and reworked the song, and M.I.A. could have had an 25 extra years of royalties. Simples.

Black Betty – Ram Jam (1977)

This rocks, until the lyrics start. Normally shit lyrics are tolerable if the music is good (see: everything by The Police) but here they’re just too distracting: ‘Whoa-oh Black Betty, bam-ba-lam… Black Betty had a child, the damn thing gone wild.’ It’s gibberish, and despite the various possible meanings of ‘Black Betty’ – a whisky bottle, type of whip, etc. – it’s hard not to conclude that they’re talking about a woman, so it’s probably sexist and racist to boot.

Inside – Stiltskin (1994)

The curse of jeans adverts strikes again. In the Wild West a hot settler chick is watching a hot cowboy guy bathing in a river – wearing his jeans, oddly – when an awesome guitar riff with a neat heavy arpeggio bit kicks in. However after buying the number one single you realised the verse was pretty boring and actually it’s all a bit overwrought. The Scottish band disappeared after a failed follow-up single, so at least their name was apposite.

Layla – Derek and the Dominos (1970)

Starts brilliantly, launching straight into the ‘electrifying’ riff, to use the correct music journalist cliche. However quick-witted listeners will notice the first verse is a bit bland, and barely halfway through the song segues into a nice enough piano bit, then four minutes of Clapton noodling away, ie. basically a different song, possibly by Fleetwood Mac. But it was the 70s and no one cared because they were all either alcoholics or putting coke up their arses.

You’ve Got the Power – Win (1987)

‘Remember the 1987 McEwans lager advert?’ isn’t the worst chat-up you’ve ever embarked on, it’s how this song came to prominence. The ad featured downtrodden people wearing rags trundling massive stone balls uphill endlessly. They use one of the balls to break out of their Sisyphean hell and – you guessed it – have a lovely pint of McEwans. Weirdly, the music, by Edinburgh band Win, sounds less catchy when divorced from the advert, just poppy and bland. The take-home message here appears to be: never trust a Scottish band you hear in an advert.

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Celebrating Galentine's Day instead, and other ways to be just as annoying today without a partner

SAD you can’t make a self-congratulatory social media post about your relationship today? Here are six other pathetically attention seeking ways to behave:

Send yourself a Valentine from the dog

There is nothing more feeble than pretending to be surprised when opening a card proclaiming ‘I Labradore you’, allegedly sent by the beast whose shit you have to pick up. Your dog may not be able to read words, but he can definitely detect the shame in your eyes as you write it.

Make a big deal of Galentine’s Day

If you have celebrated Galentine’s Day instead of Valentine’s Day this week, you need to have a very stern word with yourself and admit you’ve only showered your friends with gifts so you can show off about it on Insta. Your ex won’t see the photos and be filled with regret over letting you go, they’ll just breathe a sigh of relief to be rid of you and your inane bullshit.

Rant about how Valentine’s Day is consumerist nonsense

Or you could go the other way and alienate all your friends by shitting on the things they enjoy. When they send photos of romantic cards and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates to the group chat, reply with vomiting emojis and say something about the evils of commodifying love. They won’t reply but instead bitch about you in the secret, smaller group where they go to slag you off.

Buy flowers for yourself

Like Miley Cyrus, you can buy yourself flowers. But unlike Miley Cyrus, you aren’t a multimillionaire who can order expensive bunches from boutique florists, so the sad posey of roses you purchased from Asda will last approximately two days before drooping and slowly dying. They’re basically a metaphor for all your previous relationships.

Emphasise that your children are your true loves

Take a picture of your bombsite of a kitchen after your kids finish breakfast, caption it ‘This is real love’ and stick it on social media. That will show everyone fannying around with hearts and flowers how superior you are to them. Everyone knows romantic love is silly and shallow compared to that of an infant who has no choice but to live with you. Weird it’s only got two likes, but that’s not because you’ve come across as quite bitter since your wife left you. Definitely not.

Ritually burn your ex’s stuff

Move over public displays of affection, it’s time for public displays of rage. Making a TikTok of yourself burning photos, letters and a pair of pants your ex left behind when they dumped you will garner you not only attention, but the same amount of concern directed at the deeply unsuited couple who have decided to get engaged this Valentine’s Day. Hopefully your friends will stage an intervention. You need one.