Lame Old Song

Proof that today's popular music is just as good -- and bad -- as it's always been

The Greatest Hits: 1982

Pop plus: “Shake It Up,” by the Cars. Still capable of getting motors running.

Guilty pleasure: “867-5309/Jenny,” by Tommy Tutone. Surprisingly it's the right number.

Tom Jones
Tom Jones

Bad as Britney: “Don't Talk to Strangers,” by Rick Springfield. Everyone who's sure 'N Sync will still have a career in twenty years should give this a listen.

From Celine to shining Celine: “Rosanna,” by Toto. Fits the Supreme Court definition of cruel and unusual punishment.

The Greatest Hits: 1985

Pop plus: “Freeway of Love,” by Aretha Franklin. Get in that baby and drive.

Guilty pleasure: “Walking on Sunshine,” by Katrina & the Waves. Why this hasn't been used in a floor-wax ad, I'll never know.

Bad as Britney: “Broken Wings,” by Mr. Mister. Broken eardrums is more like it.

From Celine to shining Celine: “Can't Fight This Feeling,” by REO Speedwagon. A power ballad with a severe power shortage.

The Greatest Hits: 1986

Pop plus: “Word Up,” by Cameo. Fake Zapp that's every bit as good as the real thing.

Guilty pleasure: “Walk This Way,” by Run-D.M.C. It's not really rap but it's not bad.

Bad as Britney: “No One Is to Blame,” by Howard Jones. I beg to differ.

From Celine to shining Celine: “Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone),” by Glass Tiger. Forget who?

The Greatest Hits: 1989

Pop plus: “She Drives Me Crazy,” by Fine Young Cannibals. This act did a fast fade, but it sure was enjoyable while it lasted.

Guilty pleasure: “Kiss,” by the Art of Noise featuring Tom Jones. Proof that subtlety can be overrated.

Bad as Britney: “Heaven,” by Warrant. A little slice of Hell.

From Celine to shining Celine: “Right Here Waiting,” by Richard Marx. And you thought Karl Marx was unfunny ...

The Greatest Hits: 1990

Pop plus: “The Power,” by Snap. Okay, it's not that much of a plus, unless your other choices are Vanilla Ice's “Ice Ice Baby,” Stevie B's “Because I Love You (Postman Song),” and Poison's “Unskinny Bop.”

Guilty pleasure: “Pump Up the Jam,” by Technotronic. And keep the jelly tight.

Bad as Britney: “Opposites Attract,” by Paula Abdul. So perfect for Ms. Spears that it's amazing she hasn't covered it already. Pray she doesn't think of it.

From Celine to shining Celine: “Release Me,” by Wilson Phillips. Dreadful enough to make Dion's stuff seem tolerable by comparison. (Just kidding.)

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