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04th Jul 2018

It’s the 4th of July so here’s the 10 worst songs that capture the American spirit

Dave Hanratty

10 Worst American Songs Kid Rock

Makes you proud. To not be American…

Disclaimer: There are plenty of bad Irish songs, too. Let’s not fight.

As noted in our Top 10 Best Songs That Capture The American Spirit list, the very concept of the United States of America ignites the brain with pop culture references and a general sense of… something or other.

Among that vague conjuring; music. And plenty of it.

We’ve already celebrated 10 of the best American-fuelled tracks, so here, for the sake of balance on this fourth of July, are 10 of the very worst musical efforts to be inspired by the land of the free and the home of the brave…

#10. ‘American Badass’ – Kid Rock

Clip via Kid Rock

Yeah, ‘American Badass’ will forever be linked to the biker version of The Undertaker – a.k.a. BikerTaker – but much as with that marking one of the worst, most selfish runs of Taker’s WWF/E career, the song is complete trash.

Kid Rock is admittedly an easy target for a list like this, but the man born Robert James Ritchie – who, incidentally is a now a WWE Hall of Famer – willingly lends himself to the most obnoxious sky-scraping reaches of yee-haw bollocks.

Not convinced? Read this account of attending his official cruise and be glad you’re on dry land.

#9. ‘American Life’ – Madonna

Clip via madonna

I’m drinking a soy latte
I get a double shot-e
It goes right through my body, and you know I’m satisfied
I drive my mini cooper, and I’m feeling super-dooper
Yo, they tell I’m a trooper, and you know I’m satisfied
I do yoga and pilates, and the room is full of hotties
So I’m checking out the bodies, and you know I’m satisfied
I’m digging on the isotopes
This metaphysics shit is dope, and if all this can give me hope
You know I’m satisfied
I got a lawyer and a manager, an agent and a chef
Three nannies, an assistant, and a driver, and a jet
A trainer, and a butler, and a bodyguard, or five
A gardener and a stylist
Do you think I’m satisfied?
I’d like to express my extreme point of view
I’m not Christian and I’m not a Jew
I’m just living out the American dream
And I just realised that nothing Is what it seems

Madonna can be, and often has been, a transcendent artist.

‘American Life’, however, is unforgivable.

Plus, any excuse to break out maybe the single best tweet of all time:

#8. ‘Amerika’ – Rammstein

Clip via Rammstein Official

Look, Rammstein are pretty great. You’ll get little argument when presented with tracks like ‘Du Hast’ and ‘Sonne’ and ‘Links 2 3 4’ and ‘Ich Will’ and… wow, they really have some classics, huh?

‘Amerika’, sadly, isn’t one of them. Yes, yes, it goes all-in on ridiculous satire and is knowingly A Bit Of A Laugh, but it just doesn’t work.

Nice riff, though, but then you expect that.

#7. ‘American Pie’ – Don Mclean

Clip via BBC Newsnight

You might be under the impression that ‘American Pie’ is a good song.

It isn’t.

#6. ‘American Woman’ – Lenny Kravitz

Clip via Lenny Kravitz


#5. ‘American Idiot’ – Green Day

Clip via Green Day

If you grew up in the ’90s while enjoying the music of Green Day, you were probably a bit lost by the time they enjoyed a huge surge in popularity off the back of 2004’s American Idiot album.

Don’t get me wrong; this wasn’t wholesale reinvention for a band who never really strayed too far from their three-chord-punk comfort zone.

Instead, a softening. A numbing. And it’s been steadily downhill ever since. What a shame.

#4. ‘Dakota’ – Stereophonics

Clip via Stereophonics Official

“The music video gives the impression of an American road trip, with a Mustang featured in front of a green screen, possibly adding to the appeal of the song in the US.” – Genius

Nice way of saying, ‘We co-opted American culture in a bid for success.’

Hey, it worked. Garbage song, though.

#3. ‘Rockstar’ – Nickelback

Clip via Roadrunner Records

Nickelback may be Canadian but they’re not escaping the heights (depths?) of this rundown.

Chad Kroeger and the boys somehow got a second mainstream-bothering wind… wait, ‘Rockstar’ is 11 years old? How did that happen?

They’re still a going concern, and ‘Rockstar’ is a huge part of that.

As American as apple pie, candy floss, hot dogs, and whatever other stereotypical food item you wish to throw out there, ‘Rockstar’ is aimed squarely at Middle America and quite frankly it does those who reside there a disservice.

There are wonderful heartland rock songs out there, and they’re not hard to find. ‘Rockstar’ goes for ‘cute’ but is ultimately barrel-scraping nonsense that should have led to arrests and exile for all involved.

#2. ‘America’ – Razorlight

Clip via RazorlightVEVO

Maybe the single most shameless attempt at ‘breaking America’ ever seen in pop culture as Razorlight proudly present a po-faced nightmare of an attempt at a song.

‘America’ is genuinely anxiety-triggering, moving at a glacial pace and going absolutely nowhere. As weak and hollow as music can get.

Fair play to Johnny Borrell for fronting up on the ‘indie landfill’ front in an entertaining Vice interview, but this is still exceptionally egregious.

#1. ‘All Summer Long’ – Kid Rock

Clip via Kid Rock

Yep, it’s that man Kid Rock again (told you he was an easy target) with the answer to a trivia question that nobody asked.

‘What does the union of Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd and a sprinkling of Warren Zevon sound like?


Hell, and ‘All Summer Long’, the freshly-carved 10th circle of the underworld.