9. “Only Wanna Be With You” by Hootie & the Blowfish (1994)
We’ve always felt this hit was pretty corny, and we’re pleased to learn that the band felt the same way! Apparently they recorded the tune as a semi-tribute to Bob Dylan (sampling lyrics from “Idiot Wind” and name checking “Tangled Up In Blue”) and intended it to be “the cheesiest song ever.” But this was a case of the record execs knowing a hit when they heard one, and insisted that it be included on the chart-topping debut, Cracked Rear View. The monster hit status was only slightly dampened by the fact that Dylan took them to court for unauthorized use of his lyrics. Oops.
8. “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” by Eurythmics (1983)
Long before they became an international hit machine, Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were two struggling musicians in a pretty desperate spot. They had been dropped by their label after a flop-filled first album, and their management prospects weren’t looking any better. To complete the Dickens-like story, they were reduced to taking out a massive bank loan to rent some rudimentary recording equipment and a small space above a warehouse. Fights became common, and after a particularly bitter one (allegedly culminating with Lennox sobbing on the floor), Stewart began absently messing around with his synthesizer to clear his head. Through this noodling he accidentally reversed a programmed bass line, and the result…actually wasn’t bad. In fact, it was good enough to bring Lennox over to a synth of her own where she begin improvising chords and some lyrics. These became the new wave classic, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This).”