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Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs Hardcover – August, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Dave Barry, that indefatigable yukmeister, writes terrific humor columns (never mind that they all begin to sound the same if you read him regularly). He's the funniest friend you never had. If you read his column--better yet, if you don't read his column--get your hands on a copy of The Book of Bad Songs.

Barry's style is so effortless that you can't resist quoting him. This bit is from his mock-hortatory introduction: "If you keep reading, you're going to have all kinds of bad songs waking up and creeping around inside your brain, refusing to die, just like the corpses in the movie The Night of the Living Dead ..."


Barry's 'Bad Song Survey' prompted a host of reader responses to his weekly syndicated column - and this book, which gathers the votes for top bad songs and the wry comments by both Barry and audience. Any familiar with pop music will find this hilarious. -- Midwest Book Review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 94 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; 2nd edition (August 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836214439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836214437
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By rockland6674 on April 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Back in 1992, Dave Barry, in one of his syndicated newspaper columns, wondered why radio doesn't play more "good songs," and mentioned some of the songs he doesn't like, saying (among other things) that he wouldn't mind if radio stopped playing ballads by Neil Diamond. This column generated a heated response, with some readers defending Neil Diamond and some agreeing with Dave. Some readers also wrote to voice their opinions on artists and songs THEY didn't like. Realizing he'd struck a nerve, Dave announced the "Bad Song Survey," asking readers to write in and tell him which songs they really, REALLY hate. The response to this survey was so overwhelming, Dave compiled the top vote-getters as the achingly-funny "Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs". I haven't laughed so hard while reading a book in a VERY long time! In most cases, the comments by Dave, and numerous survey voters, are right on target.
In addition to the expected, much-maligned vote-getters like "MacArthur Park," "Muskrat Love," "Feelings" and "I Write The Songs," this book takes on a diverse group of songs which includes "American Pie," "I'm Too Sexy," "In The Year 2525," "Achy, Breaky Heart," "I've Never Been To Me," "The Candy Man," "Dreams of The Everyday Housewife" (This song was a big vote-getter in a section called "Songs Women Really Hate"), and many more.
No artist is impervious to this book's sword, not even Elvis ("Do The Clam") or The Beatles (the four-hour, er, minute "na-na-na-na" section of "Hey Jude".) Since so many songs are mentioned in this book, it's almost inevitable that a song or two which you happen to like, will be included here.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By JB on December 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd never read a single Dave Barry book or column until I picked up this small, but ultimately powerful book. As a result, I'm a Dave Barry fan, and what's more, I now know that I am not the only person who thinks that "In the Year 2525" should be considered cruel and unusual punishment.
Dave Barry didn't set out to write this book; it began as a column with reader participation for "Worst Songs." Dave's mailbag was flooded with replies, with people complaining about artists from many styles. Everyone from Neil Diamond to the Doobie Brothers gets it in this book...
It's critical to know that if you truly want to appreciate this book, you must have been exposed not just to "light rock," but also to 50s teenage tragedy songs, classic rock station fodder (look out Iron Butterfly), and the triad of Anka-Diamond-Manilow. If you can actually SING part of the songs in the book, it'll add to the laugh factor by at least 150%. I couldn't agree more when Dave points out the utter silliness of the lyric: "Song she sang to me, Song she brang to me." (Thank you, Neil Diamond) I heard this playing while waiting for a table at a local restaurant, and people must've thought I'd hit my head because I broke out in hysterics when I heard it play over the speakers...
Dave rips on everybody, so I don't recommend it if your loyalty to a group or singer is incredibly strong. Bear in mind that this isn't just Dave; it's leagues of hassled souls who will just go nuts if they even hear one note of "Muskrat Love."
It's inexpensive, easy to carry, and hilarious. This book will make you want to try his other titles, and you won't be sorry when you do! Like another reviewer said, who needs an ab machine when you've got this book??
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Silverberg on November 5, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
Now I know how much of comedy is TIMING. This tape was HORRIBLE! What might have been funny if read by Dave Barry, or even if I read it myself (if I'd gotten the book), was root-canal-like painful read by Mike Dodge, whose delivery reminds me of every safety training video I've ever heard.
The producers must have known how un-funny his delivery made the material, as they even added "pa-da" drum staccatos to let us know when a joke was being made. If you love Dave Barry, DON'T buy this tape - it'll kill you to hear the material so butchered.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 1, 2005
Format: Audio Cassette
Oh my gosh...this book is the funniest thing I've ever read. I'm a musician, and happen to know nearly all of the songs this book talks about. Needless to say, if you don't know the songs, it isn't nearly as funny. It doesn't matter if you actually like the bad songs in the book -- you can still laugh at yourself, because Dave is right; the songs ARE stupid or cheesy or terrible. I've read the book at least 10 times and it is still funny every time I read it. Screaming with laughter, I have attempted to read this book to my family and friends -- multiple times. It's hard for them to understand it because I giggle so much, but then, they're laughing so hard they are crying. However, please DO NOT buy the audio tape version. I bought it to listen to in the car (so that I wouldn't get into an accident reading the book myself while driving) and was SO DISAPPOINTED. I don't know who they have reading the book, but he obviously is not familiar with Dave Barry or with any of the songs he is discussing. He reads as if he's never heard of the music before, mispronouncing the lyrics, speaking them in an incorrect rhythm, etc. Why couldn't Barry have read it himself? Buy the book (and make sure you've gone to the bathroom first before reading it or you'll wet your pants); trash the audiotape.
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