Han’s Worst Hits of the 80’s- today hits the rock bottom. Today here is a universally hated song- there may be someone out there that likes it but I doubt it. We Built This City- by Starship. Starship is of course the band formerly known in their glory days as Jefferson AIrplane, then they took a turn for the worse as Jefferson Starship and now they were a bottom feeder known simply as Starship.

The song was sung by Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas and was written by Elton John’s lyricist Bernie Taupin, Peter Wolf of J. Geils Band fame, Martin Page and Dennis Lambert. How did a song that had Bernie Taupin and Peter Wolf be involved in such a disaster?

A 2011 Rolling Stone Magazine poll ranked it as the Worst Song of the 80’s- the song won by such a large margin that Rolling Stone said that it could be the biggest blow out win in the history of the Rolling Stone Readers Poll.

In August 2016 GQ magazine declared it the ‘worst song of all time, referring to it as “the most detested song in human history.”

Blender also ranked it as the worst song ever- in conjunction with a VH1 special “The 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs…Ever”. Craig Marks says of the song “It purports to be anti-commercial but reeks of ’80s corporate-rock commercialism. It’s a real reflection of what practically killed rock music in the ’80s

The curious thing is someone at one time must have liked it because it was a Billboard #1 single in 1985.

the following is from wikipedia- describing We Built This City

What exists of a narrative in the song consists of an argument between the singers (Mickey Thomas and Grace Slick) and an unidentified “you”, presumably a music industry executive, who is marginalizing the band and ripping them off by “playing corporation games” (“who counts the money underneath the bar?”). In response to this injustice, the singers remind the villain of their importance and fame: “Listen to the radio! Don’t you remember? We built this city on rock and roll!” A spoken-word interlude explicitly mentions the Golden Gate Bridge and refers to “the city by the bay”, a common moniker for Starship’s hometown of San Francisco. Starship’s predecessors, Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, were prominent members of San Francisco’s psychedelic rock scene in the late 1960s and into the 1970s. However, the interlude then rapidly refers to the same city as “the city that rocks”, a reference to Cleveland, Ohio (home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum) and then “the city that never sleeps”, one of the nicknames for New York City. Capitalizing on the ambiguity, several radio stations added descriptions of their own local areas when they broadcast the song or added their own ident in its place. The album’s title Knee Deep In the Hoopla is taken from a lyric in the first verse of this song.

Of course We Built This City received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group in 1986.

We Built This City has since been disowned by one of its singers Grace Slick.

warning- the video is as bad as the song if that is possible.



  1. Look out for an LP by the late Liverpudlian DJ Kenny Everett ‘The World’s Worst Record Show’ or even better if you can find recordings of the 1977 Capital Radio shows where our Ken gleefully goes through a huge list of cringe making songs.
    My favourite is the no 1 ‘I want my baby back’ (where the baby in question dies in a car crash [“there was my baby, and There was my baby … and over there was my baby”] with the finale being when he exhumes her.
    Jess Conrad’s ‘This Pullover’ and Nervous Norvus ‘Transfusion’ are pretty awesome too.

  2. This is a definition of the 80s formula…just robotic… I didn’t know about Taupin and Wolf…this doesn’t sound like anything Wolf would have his hands in…not to mention Taupin.

  3. I confess, when this song came out I loved it. Now I’m with you. I don’t know what made me love it then, or what makes me cringe at it now. I wasn’t aware of the star power associated with it, other than Slick and Balin, which is already a lot of star power. In some way, the song reminds me of ‘I’m Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band’ by the Moody Blues. I love the Moodies, but can’t stand that song. Maybe it’s that both songs were meant to be ‘anti-‘ what they actually were?

  4. I remember when they changed their name from Jefferson Airplane to Jefferson Starship and thinking they were dumbasses. Yah this one is weak to put it mildly. Kind of surprised it beat out ‘Seasons in the Sun’ and some other ones you’ve posted. So is this an isolated 80s worst hit or are you on to the 80s now? I’ve got one for 1960 if you ever go back to the 60s.

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