Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Music History Monday: Worst Love Songs (A Few at Least!)

Wayne's World starring Mike Myers (born 1963, left) and Dana Carvey (born 1955)
Wayne’s World starring Mike Myers (born 1963, left) and Dana Carvey (born 1955)

On February 14, 1992 – an even 30 years ago today – the Paramount Pictures movie Wayne’s World was released in the United States. It was both a critical and commercial success. It became the tenth highest grossing film of 1992, raking in $183,097,323 at the box office. (For our information, number one that year was Disney’s Aladdin, which brought in a most respectable $504,050,219 at the box office; that’s over half-a-billion 1992 dollars!) To this day, Wayne’s World remains the highest-grossing film based on a sketch from Saturday Night Live. (The list of such other SNL-inspired flicks includes The Blues Brothers [with John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd, 1980; to be discussed in next week’s Dr. Bob Prescribes post], Coneheads [with Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin, 1993], It’s Pat [with Julia Sweeny, 1994], Stuart Saves his Family [with Al Franken, 1995]; and A Night at the Roxbury [with Will Ferrell, 1998].) 

With my own fond memories of the film, I played Wayne’s World last year for my then 12- and 14-year-old kids. Sadly, it did not go well, as the movie has not aged well. Then again, neither has Mike Myers nor yours truly.

Wayne’s World featured appearances by the recently (and dearly) departed Meat Loaf (that would be Michael Lee Aday, who was born in 1947 and passed away on January 20, 2022) and Alice Cooper (that would be Vincent Damon Furnier, born 1948, who only looks as if he has recently left us). But perhaps the biggest musical winner in Wayne’s World’ was Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which had originally been released in 1975 and peaked at #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in 1976. Thanks to Wayne’s World, Bohemian Rhapsody experienced a renaissance in the charts, and in 1992 – 17 years after its initial release – it peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100!

Here’s a link to the scene in Wayne’s World during which Bohemian Rhapsody appears.

Long-time readers of Music History Monday are aware that I am not a fan of Freddie Mercury’s/Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which I treated rather unkindly in my Music History Monday post of August 24, 2020

Now please: I understand that Bohemian Rhapsody is not a love song. With lyrics like: 

Just killed a man, 
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger,
Now he’s dead,”

it would be difficult to construe it as such. Love song or no, and don’t hate me for this, I believe Bohemian Rhapsody to be among the most god-awful, overblown, and over-rated songs ever recorded by an otherwise decent band. 

It is the movie Wayne’s World, with its inclusion of Bohemian Rhapsody, and the fact that today is St. Valentine’s Day that have collectively provided the tortured path that has led to the theme of today’s post: epically bad love songs.…

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