The Top 10 Songs That Killed Arena Rock
Classic Rock Revisited founder Jeb Wright has compiled a list of songs that he believes contributed to the death of arena rock. The following list has been posted at the official CRR website:
10. 'Beth' - KISS
"Kiss was the most dangerous band in the land. Parents worried that junior would join forces with Satan himself if they even accidentally heard their music. 'Beth' sowed the seeds of the puke-filled power ballads of the 80’s. This song showed that a hard rock band could sound like Barry Manilow and appeal to teenage girls thus making record companies wet their pants with greed. While Kiss have always been about da money, 'Beth' opened the door for others to abandon hard rock and instead go for the teeny-bopper bucks."
09. 'Open Arms' - JOURNEY
"Journey began as a progressive rock experiment led by ex-Santana members Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie. By the time the 80’s showed up, Rolie had enough and moved on. Journey went from making classic tracks like 'Wheel In The Sky' and 'Lights' to making crap pop drivel. Jonathan Cain, from The Baby’s, came onboard and 'Open Arms' took the world by storm. The song sounded worse than a Vegas lounge act but fans ate it up. Teenage girls began touching themselves and the rest is history. Journey, in a short time, went from prog rock to ***** rock. Eventually, Steve Perry thought he was Perry Como and left the band to be a solo crooner and Journey was gone forever."
08. 'Babe' - STYX
"Styx was on top of their game in the 1970’s. They were the leaders in Arena Rock and their album Grand Illusion seemed to be the crème de la crème of the genre. Only a couple of years later, Dennis DeYoung wrote the skating rink classic 'Babe' and the band soared to # 1 on the charts. Styx, nor their legions of hard rock fans, would ever be the same."
07. 'Keep The Fire Burning’ - REO SPEEDWAGON
"REO is best remembered as the band that released High Infidelity and took Arena Rock to new heights. However, for ten years before that release, the band were considered Midwest America’s hardest rocking live act with songs like 'Riding The Storm Out' and 'Golden Country'. While one could argue that the song 'Keep On Loving You' should be on this list, it was the next years' release 'Keep The Fire Burring' that proved just how bad a good band could become. Like DeYoung, REO front man Kevin Cronin decided to cut his hair and wear really bad clothing. When hardcore fans had to sit through this song being sung twice in the same concert on the ensuing tour, they began heading for the exit in droves."
06. 'Waiting For A Girl Like You' - FOREIGNER
"Some call this the quintessential moment for the band Foreigner. I call it crap. The band abandoned all of its hard rock sensibility and went straight for the pop jugular. This song, along with the entire pop scented 4 album, took the world by storm and made stars out of the band. It also left behind songs like 'Double Vision' and 'Long Long Way From Home' and spawned pussified tunes such as 'I Want to Know What Love Is' and 'Urgent'. What should have been considered urgent was the fact that Foreigner was starting to suck."
05. 'New World Man' - RUSH
"I can’t get the image from my mind from the moment his song was released to rock radio. I was sitting with friends eagerly anticipating another Rush hard rock classic. Our jaws dropped in unison as we heard music that sounded more like the Go-Go’s than Rush crackling over the airwaves. Moving Pictures had been one of the most brilliant albums ever released and Rush seemed to be taking their music to new and dizzying heights each year. Like the others on this list, Rush all got haircuts and forgot how to rock. Keyboards became the band's instrument of choice and 'New World Man' became the template the band would work off of going forward. Alex Lifeson could have retired and no one would have noticed. I am not sure he has even played a guitar solo since 1982."
04. Velcro Fly - ZZ TOP
"History shows us that ZZ’s experiment of blending their Tejas roots with the modern sounds of the day paid off big with the release of the album Eliminator. Following up on that idea, however, proved to be dreadful. 'Velcro Fly' was just plain stupid. It lacked the humor of 'Pearl Necklace' and sent the die-hards racing for the exits. 'Rough Boy' was another dreadful mistake by this otherwise brilliant band."
03. 'Another One Bites The Dust' - QUEEN
"Young, white, heterosexual male hard rock fans often show up extremely homophobic on psychological profiles. But they could more accept Queen front man Freddie Mercury as a foo-foo boy than they could accept this song. The band broke their own cardinal rule and began playing synthesizer on this song. Up until that moment, Queen had been adamant in making a point that they were not relying on such gimmicks. The band got the ritual pop icon haircuts and changed their look and set out to make money instead of music. It worked. However bad the song 'Flash Gordon' is, it was this song that set the wheels in motion to change one of rocks mightiest bands into money grubbing little girls."
02. 'Amanda' - BOSTON
"Legal battles kept Boston from releasing any music for over half a decade. By the time Third Stage came around all of the above tunes had already damaged Arena Rock’s reputation. Boston could have come up with a song to bring the genre back to glory and prominence. Instead, they released the biggest pile of dung they had written to that point. Potheads everywhere gave up on music that fateful day. We would never again see anything as grand as the bands self-titled debut. Instead, we would hear only weak attempts of dying bands trying to stay on the radio and in the limelight."
01. Mr. Roboto - STYX
"Dennis DeYoung proved he had been a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He masqueraded as a rock star throughout the 1970’s but with 'Mr. Roboto' DeYoung proved he wanted to be a Broadway star all along. This song single-handedly destroyed the original line up of the band. He forced his band mates to humiliate themselves by acting onstage. DeYoung was convinced that 'Mr. Roboto' would put him in the same light at Pete Townshend. Instead of seeing his dream reach the heights of classic rock operas like Tommy, 'Mr. Roboto' became the butt of a lifetime of jokes. DeYoung still defends 'Roboto'. He told this writer, ''Mr. Roboto' is now a vernacular of our culture. You can’t go anywhere without someone saying, Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto. I can’t even begin to tell you how many television shows and movies that line has been in. From The Simpson’s to Howard Stern to King of Queens to Austin Powers to Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights to the Volkswagen commercial to Dodgeball, it is everywhere you look.' Hello? Dennis, time someone told you the truth…They are making fun of you!"