From the Archives: Songs We Just Need Some Time Apart From

Originally published February 7, 2021.

Everyone can think of a song we need a break from. This is a song that’s not a bad song, but it’s just played…so often. It must be distinguished from songs that we want to go away forever like “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons or Sammy Hagar’s entire catalog. These are good songs. And normally they’re by a good band, and some of them even made the band popular. But the constant is that it’s a good song that we’re just all tired of hearing.

So that got us thinking about some of those songs and exactly what it was about them. The good Dr. Digits figured it out: we just need a break. Not a full on break up, but just some time apart so we can fully appreciate it again later. We thought about calling this a list of break-up songs, but that…that’s something else altogether. So, we each decided to pick two songs that we want a break from.

A song we don’t want to hear for some amount of time. But how much time? Surely we couldn’t just put a blanket number, right? Right. so, along with each song, you’ll find out how long we need the break to last.

Ben’s Picks

Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond

Length of Break:

  • Ben: 5 years
  • Blaze: 5 minutes
  • Dr. Digits: 5 years
  • John: 8 years
  • Ian: 5 Years

BEN: This is one of those songs that will turn any wedding involving white people and alcohol into a full-on hootenanny. It’s also affiliated with the Boston Red Sox, but then again no song is perfect. It’s a staple of karaoke nights, bars in general, tailgates, and can normally be heard over the arena sound system is any sports venue in the country. And it’s tired. It’s played out. Those “bah-bah-bah” sounds are grating. You could use those to find a lost white person in any American city.

Guy 1: “Where’s Bryson?”
Guy 2: “I don’t know, man. Should I call him?”
Guy 1: “No, I got it. [singing] Sweeeeeeeettttt Caarrroliiiiiine!”
Bryson: “Bah! Bah! Bah!”
Guy 1: “Oh I think heard him over by the Pinkberry.”

It’s just so ubiquitous and I, for one, could use a break.

Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads

Length of Break:

  • Ben: 3 years
  • Blake: 2 years
  • Dr. Digits: 3 years
  • John: 7 years
  • Ian: 1 year

BEN: This is tough for me because I truly love Talking Heads, and I think their entire catalog, including this song, is some of the most underappreciated music ever made. But this song is just overused. It’s been in movies (Down and Out in Beverly HillsW.A Hologram for the King) and television shows (NumbersThe Muppet ShowParenthood), and is one of the most frequently played songs on classic rock, prog rock, 1980s, and 1970s (the song came out in ’80) radio stations. I like it, I like the quirky video, but I just need, like, three years before I ever hear anyone else say “same as it ever was.” As a bonus, the best use of any Talking Heads song in any movie or TV show is “This Must Be the Place” in Wall Street.

Blaze Fyre’s Picks

Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Length of Break:

  • Ben: 15 years
  • Blaze: Eternity
  • Dr. Digits: What Blaze said
  • John: 8 years
  • Ian: 10-12 years

BLAZE: Enough already. Maybe I need to spend my free time differently but from weddings to sporting events to bars, the ubiquity of this song is just overwhelming. I feel like I can’t escape it. It has a toxically effective sound that I just can’t shake, despite my best efforts. The simplicity of the tune and the lyrics create a battle of ineptitude within the song. You could master it on ‘Guitar Hero’ blindfolded, and the lyrics are as a deep as Nick Saban’s love for sideline reporters. “Now Watergate does not bother me / Does your conscience bother you? / Tell the truth” My lord. I could go on and on about these futile efforts at social commentary, but they really do bother me. Bottom line is we’d all be better off with a long break from this trite tune from an otherwise great band. We just don’t need it around, anyhow.

Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey

Length of Break:

  • Ben: 2 million karaoke nights
  • Blaze: 7 years
  • Dr. Digits: 10 years
  • John: 25 years
  • Ian: 8 years

BLAZE: I’m a little conflicted while writing this one. “Don’t Stop Believing” shares a lot of traits with my previous song, in how overplayed it is and how recognizable it is from the first note. Music’s quality, maybe more than any form of entertainment, is often colored by the memories associated with it, and one of my greatest memories is connected to this song. The pinnacle of mine and my wife’s wedding day (at least in my opinion) was when this song was blaring and I was crowd surfing amongst friends and family. Ever since then, the song stirs up that great memory but has also waned in quality to me and just goes on and on and on and on. It’s a trite tune that is disproportionately enjoyed by white people, and though it’s no plague on society like my previous song, we could all use some time apart.

Dr. Digits’s Picks

Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

Length of Break:

  • Ben: 3 years
  • Blaze: 3 years
  • Dr. Digits: 5 years
  • John: 6 years
  • Ian: 1 year

DR. DIGITS: Back in college, I’d tell anybody who would listen how great The White Stripes were and how they were all missing out on them by letting their red and white outfits get in the way of enjoying their greatness. “You know they’re making this sound with just two people” was one of my favorite claims to make about the garage band/in your face/blues/folk/ country duo. Pretty rich statement from a guy who can’t play one instrument. But it was true – they were great and innovative and kitschy. I’m a sucker for bits, too, so I loved the red and white outfits and the ‘we’re actually brother and sister’ façade that also added to the coolness of their music. The White Stripes existed in a nice place in music consciences for a while – they had cool songs, it was cool to like them but they weren’t too mainstream and they were known for their live shows which in my opinion, is the true mark of any cool band. Then ‘Seven Nation Army’ happened. If you heard it today for the first time, you’d like it. It’s got a cool bass line, a cool guitar solo, a cool video and it’s just a cool song. But then the sporting world got a hold of it. Crowds now chant the bass line as a sort of rallying cry, school bands play it during halftime performances and it’s used far too often as a hype song for the student section. It’s everywhere and though it’s a good song, we could use a break from it.

Start Me Up” by The Rolling Stones

Length of Break:

  • Ben: 4 years
  • Blaze: 7 years
  • Dr. Digits: 10 years
  • John: 4 years
  • Ian: 1 year-ish

DR. DIGITS: The Rolling Stones have a lot of hits. Like, you think they have a lot of hits then they have about 10 more hits than you actually think. Similar to the Arizona family from Raising Arizona that had so many kids they weren’t going to notice if one was missing, the same could be said about the Stones and their hits. With the catalog of straight bangers they’re working with, nobody is going to notice if we go the next 10 years without “Start me Up.” It’s not as bad as it once was but it seemed for a while that every sporting event couldn’t begin without playing that song. And it’s a fine song, not the best Stones tune but it’s fine. It just needs to be shelved for a while so arenas can catch up to what might be relevant in 2021. And I can’t figure out if the music video helps or hurts its case.

John’s Picks

Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

  • Ben: 5 years
  • Blaze: 3 years
  • Dr. Digits: Under protest
  • John: 8 years
  • Ian: 15 years

JOHN: I can’t do it anymore….at least for the next 8 years. We get it: Nirvana blazed new trails, Nevermind was groundbreaking, and yes, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” started it all. This song still dominates radio airwaves and 90s playlists alike. In the 90s, anyone in Dallas-Fort Worth could turn on 94.5, 97.1, or 102.1 for 10 minutes and hear Kurt Cobain’s opening guitar riff bleed into Dave Grohl’s heavy-sounding drums. Nearly 30 years later, although we don’t listen to the radio as much, it is STILL playing. In addition, people our age who listen to 90s music tend to flock to Nirvana and “Smells” as the go-to song. For example, you are attending a small get-together on your back patio. After a few drinks, we start busting out some music and I offer up my 90s playlist. Someone says “oooohhh, play ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ That is classic 90s.” Come on people, there are so many other songs, not only on Nevermind, but also, you know, in the entire decade of the 90s. The intro to this song has also made its way into short breaks in stadiums during sporting events(yawn). I love it, but it has got to go until we celebrate the start of 2029.

“Come Together” by The Beatles

  • Ben: 5-7 calendar days
  • Blaze: What Ian said
  • Dr. Digits: 5 years
  • John: 20 years
  • Ian: 5-7 business days

JOHN: Listen, The Beatles are amazing. For the longest time, I thought they were overrated. But as my musical tastes expanded over the last couple decades, I gradually realized the genius behind so many of the songs. “Yer Blues,” “Helter Skelter,” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” are some of my favorite songs. In fact, what a great segue because “I Want You” comes from the legendary Abbey Road album, and “Come Together” is the opening track. Again, great song, but every cover band on the planet, and even some cool artists like Gary Clark, Jr. have covered this thing. The intro to this song beats me down mercilessly. I can’t take it anymore. Someone take me to see a cover band in the year 2041, when I can listen to this song again without yelling cuss words at random people.

Ian’s Picks

Shallow By Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

  • Ben: 5 years
  • Blaze: I’ve never heard it, I guess I’ll keep it that way
  • Dr. Digits: 10 years if they keep the “la la la lo” part in, 1 if it’s taken out
  • John3 years
  • Ian: 10 Years

IAN: The third rendition of A Star is Born was a great film in my eyes and the hit song to come out of it was a straight banger…as far as pseudo-deep, soft rock songs are concerned. I have to admit that Lady Gaga has, for years, been one of my guilty pleasure artists and I truly felt that Bradley Cooper did an outstanding job playing the part of the alcoholic, emotionally stunted, musician. That said, I can’t stand this song now due to Garth Brooks and his bride. Garth and Trisha took all of the soul out of a surprisingly soulful song that was co-written by one of America’s most well known shock-pop acts, in Ms. Gaga. I’ll still watch the film and enjoy the song as it’s meant to be heard, but Garth and Trisha are all over the radio and have killed a song I once very much enjoyed.

Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne

  • Ben: 1,000 years
  • Blaze: Eternity
  • Dr. Digits: 5 years
  • John: whenever I die, plus 100 years so my great-grandkids will never hear the opening 20 seconds to “hype up” the crowd at a sporting event
  • Ian: At least 20 years

IAN: I grew up with Ozzy and other pioneers of hard rock and metal so this one pains me a bit. Crazy Train is a great song off of a great album by a great band with one of the greatest guitar solos of all time and I can’t stand it anymore. Anytime there is a need to get “pumped up” about anything this is the go to. Not only is this song played on every classic rock station seemingly 5-6 times a day, it is also played at every sporting event ever since September of 1980. Enough already! I’d love to give it another listen on it’s 60th anniversary, but for now “Mr. Crowley” will be my Blizzard of Ozz go to.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap