Here at Hey Stupid Champ Kennedy is known for many skills, but he is the unchallenged mixtape champ of the staff. He often keeps the site rocking as we write, so I feel it’s my duty to periodically let you, the readers, know what keeps Hey Stupid rocking. As Rob Gordon once said: “Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do’s and don’ts. First of all you’re using someone else’s poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing;” “the making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules. Anyway… I’ve started to make a tape… in my head…” Here is Champ Kennedy’s head, poured out for you.
THE MIXTAPE BIN: THE OFFICIAL CHAMP KENNEDY OVERPLAYED JUKEBOX SONGS MIX
What follows is a companion piece to the last mixtape, except this time we examine overplayed jukebox tunes. You know, tunes that you hear at least once every time you go out to a bar. Now, this is an interesting mix to put together because you are definitely going to feature songs for drunks, but then you’re also going to hear music played for families during dinner. In other words, I’m talking about the jukebox at the local tavern where families come for dinner and then dad stays to get nuts.
Note: The songs on this list are the popularly overplayed songs from your everyday run-of-the-gin-mill jukebox. In other words, no country and western from a ROADHOUSE jukebox. No hip-hop from a dance club or DJ. If you can find Eminem alongside Fat Joe but no Public Enemy or The Coup, I don’t want to listen to your jukebox; you might find “Blizzard of Oz”, but you’ll be hard pressed to find “Vulgar Display of Power.” These are the songs that people want to sing along to when drunk. This also excludes most metal (unless it’s bubblegum glam metal from the ‘80s, of course). So, no offense to those genres, but it’s not the prototypical overplayed jukebox fare. Now Champ Kennedy has traveled to bars all over this country, and the songs on this mix are the overplayed songs that you will find on every jukebox in America.
Now that’s out of the way, on to the mix. Enjoy!
The Ronettes – “Be My Baby” – I think people play this because every jukebox has the goddamn “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack and they want to remember the film. If you want to remember the film, go home and watch the fucking thing and stop annoying me. In my opinion, any CD that includes “She’s Like the Wind” should be burned. (For those of you keeping score at home, we are indeed only through the intro and first song and we already have two Patrick Swayze references. Still plenty of space left to make the hat trick. Hell, we might even bear witness to a new site record! Fingers crossed!)
Warrant – “Cherry Pie” – Overplayed for kitsch value alone, I think. The video was funny and not very subtle; let it go.
Semisonic – “Closing Time” – People always play this song early in the evening, I guess to remind themselves that the bar will eventually close and they will eventually have to go home (back to their jobs and lives the next morning, I suppose). I don’t know why you need a song to remind you of that. Plus, it’s catchy and easy to remember, which is good for drunk and stupid people alike.
Billy Idol – “Cradle of Love” – Of all the great Billy Idol songs, why is this one the one people always want to play?
Dave Matthews Band – “Crash Into Me” – If you’re going to play Dave Matthews, I guess I should count my blessings that it’s this one. This is my favorite Matthews song and means a lot to me (it almost made the first ever mixtape, The Official Champ Kennedy Stalker Mix).
Journey – “Don’t Stop Believin’” – Another crowd favorite. It’s funny trying to watch people trying to hit Steve Perry notes. You can’t do it, so don’t even try. God, what a guitar riff, too. All I’m asking is a little control and a little variety. Maybe only once a night. Just think about it.
Whitesnake – “Here I Go Again” – This is an old-fashioned crooner from back in the day. Plus, I think frat dudes enjoy it because it an acceptable Oedipal moment.
Queensryche – “Jet City Woman” – One of my favorites and one that always takes me back to my youth. But I’m always surprised by how often this song gets played since nobody remembers Queensryche. This song must be on a lot of ‘80s compilation rock CDs (it definitely made this compilation).
Ratt – “Round and Round” – As rocking as pop will ever get and vice versa. Not quite metal but not quite pop, which means it’s digestible by a variety of folk.
Guns N Roses – “Sweet Child ‘o Mine” – I’ll quote the last time GNR made an appearance on one of my lists: ”Another example of an okay song being overplayed when the artist has so many classics. Why not ‘You Could Be Mine’ or ‘Mr. Brownstone?’” It fits here, too.
Eddie Money – “Take Me Home Tonight” – It’s somewhat catchy if you’re drunk, so I get it. Plus, drunk people love trying to hit those feminine high notes.
Cake – “The Distance” – We get it; a thinly veiled sexual innuendo. Nice job. Get over it. Play something else.
Elton John – “Tiny Dancer” – This song hasn’t been played in bars as much since Cameron Crowe kind of called attention to it in “Almost Famous” so it isn’t quite at the top of the list. A few years ago, though, it would have been higher. I couldn’t go out without hearing this song. It’s a shame it was overplayed; it’s a great song (the whole song, too; not just the “Tony Danza” part that everybody knows).
U2 – “Where the Streets Have No Name” – Another one of my favorite songs from my youth and the most often older U2 song played in bars. At least people more often than not play their older stuff. Not that I necessarily dislike the new stuff, but there’s something far more revolutionary in the older rather than the new recordings. Bono and Co. may appear to be more humanitarian now, but just as any true artist they were truly being revolutionary by writing rebel music.
Coldplay – “Yellow” – Unlike a lot of harder rocking guys, I actually enjoy Coldplay. They’d be the new U2 if U2 would ever die or quit writing hits; fortunately for us, neither seems to be happening soon. Until then, Coldplay will have to live with being the band most likely trying to be like U2 and Chris Martin has to settle for having the second-best set of blue eyes on a tock dude (Jared Leto definitely has him there).
New Radicals – “You Get What You Give” – This song doesn’t even need a description. Just listen to the lyrics. Then tell me this isn’t the most overplayed song to ever hit a jukebox. I hear it at least once a week, usually three; and I don’t go out more than once, maybe twice a week. Hell, just playing this piece of shit once is overplaying it.
Well, that about does her; wraps her all up. Please let me know if I forgot any. I hope you enjoyed another round of The Champ Kennedy Mixtape Bin.
And for those of you upset or disappointed that I didn’t complete the Patrick Swayze hat trick, too bad. I can’t always be the champ. Sometimes you just have to let it go and not ruin a piece just for the sake of self-reference. I’m not going to undermine the perfection of my mix just to make an underhanded, quaint, obvious pop culture reference; what type of site do you think this is? No, I refuse to bow to any pressure and I will not compromise my integrity or the integrity of this website by gratuitously exalting my knowledge of esoteric and arcane American pop culture.
Nobody puts Champ Kennedy in a Corner!