I’m not here to defend “We Built This City,” though I hardly think it’s the worst song of all time. Instead, I’m here to urge every music fan to dig deeper and interrogate his or her own definition of what makes a song terrible. I feel like we pile on “We Built This City” because it’s too feeble to fight back; because we as a community of music-lovers accept that it’s the worst song ever the way we accept that Pet Sounds or Sgt. Pepper or A Love Supreme or Blue or Blood on the Tracks is the best album ever. That is to say, we accept these opinions as truth because they’ve been accepted that way before most of us even got here.
–NPR’s Stephen Thompson, in a short essay on All Songs Considered, questioning our society’s collective decision to hate Starship. Read more on pop music from the Longreads Archive.
We need your help to get to 5,000 Longreads Members.