“Afternoon Delight” by the Starland Vocal Band

This is one of the most legendarily bad songs of all time for a reason. In addition to the insipid tune, the irritating vocals, and the lame double-entendres in the lyrics, the particular combination of this blandly innocuous music with these coy, self-consciously sleazy lyrics is actually kind of sickening. The Starland Vocal Band are a pretty strong contender for the single worst Soft Rock act of all time…disturbingly enough, not only is “Afternoon Delight” their best song, it is their best song _by a considerable margin_. It’s not as obvious from “Afternoon Delight” alone, but listening to their other material makes it clear that they were trying to jump on the Pop pseudo-Folk bandwagon pioneered by acts like the New Christy Minstrels. But by this time, we already had a John Denver to fill that niche, and he was about a billion times better at it than these bozos anyway. Indeed, for as much as everyone makes fun of them today, even the New Christy Minstrels were infinitely more respectable than these idiots. These guys make even the later poster children for bad Soft Rock look good: next to them, Air Supply and late-career Chicago look like Elton John and Fleetwood Mac, and while they only produced one enduring hit, the level of success and credibility they received at the time is terrifying in hindsight.

Verdict: Bad

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