It’s time again to play that game where I take a bunch of different songs with the same title and see which one is the best. Today is especially interesting because I don’t have a clue who is going to win this as I set out to write, in fact there are a couple here I haven’t heard at all.
As per usual, this is not a comprehensive list of everyone who has ever recorded a song with this title. Hell I’d bet this list would be a mile long if I really got to looking. But these choices represent a pretty good selection of stuff so I’ll go with them.
Leading off with the alt-rock behemoths and a song that was originally done in the mid-80’s but was unreleased for nearly 20 years. The version that appeared on a 2003 greatest hits comp was a re-recorded version, then an outtake from the 80’s under a different title was issued a few years later. Bad Day was released as a single and did respectably well. I’m not knowledgeable on R.E.M. at all but from what I can gather, their fans think a lot of this song.
This song is pretty good. Michael Stipe sounds a little tired here, maybe it’s just what I’m hearing. But it’s a decent track with a good groove that’s not far removed from their hit It’s The End Of The World. They lyrics deal with the media and all the wonderful stuff they bestow. Nothing rules this song out of the contest at this point.
Let’s get this one over with – this was a mega hit song in 2006 or whatever. This guy was not technically a one-hit wonder as he had one other song barely crack the Top 40, but in any practical sense this is a one-hit wonder thing.
This song is annoying. It’s adult contemporary pap. It doesn’t get into anything specific at all, it’s just a generic mish-mash of shit that happens when you have a bad day. Of course everyone can “identify” with it – there’s nothing but vague generalities here. Next.
On to the other more or less known quantity here and also a decently-performing single from the band’s 2000 album Something Like Human which was their apex in terms of success and visibility.
This song has far more going on for it than the last one. It’s maybe not much more in terms of specific themes, but the alt-rock presentation is leagues better than whatever that last one was. Dude could sing too, that does more or less carry the tune. A pretty good one here that certainly bears consideration come decision time.
While I know the name, I am honestly very unfamiliar with Juliana’s work. I maybe saw a video or two on MTV back in the day but I have no recollection. This song is from her 1998 album Bed, which is where I’d rather be on a Friday morning as opposed to getting ready for work.
This song is good, I enjoyed my few plays of it. There is an actual narrative here that can be followed, something is actually going on to cause the bad day. This could be a case of a song I haven’t heard at all before coming away with the victory, though there is one more contender.
And finally on to a group I am actually a fan of, though I don’t recognize the song title right off hand. And that’s probably because it’s from their debut album, 1991’s Leisure. The album highlighted the band’s potential but was also a bit of a sloppy mess.
I don’t recall the last time I played the album or this song, it’s probably been a very long time. With it going now I think it’s a pretty cool tune. It’s maybe not representative of what Blur would become, but it’s a groovy little jam that bears resemblance to some of the stuff coming from Great Britain in that time period.
So now it’s decision time and when I take everything into consideration, I’m left with a choice between the last two – Juliana Hatfield and Blur. And while the first impulse is to pick the band I listen to, when it comes down to it, I think the other track is a bit better.
Winner – Juliana Hatfield
For the first time I’m going with a song I’ve never heard before doing this. It’s a fair indication I should explore more of Juliana’s catalog. Though in all honesty, today’s contest was fairly fought among four good contenders and only one stinker, which of course in the music biz means it was the best-selling one.
I’m gonna leave with a bit of a bonus, since they don’t always have to be bad days.