Iconic hits by Elton John, Michael Jackson skewered on new list “50 Worst Songs by Otherwise Great Artists”

Digital music publication SPIN has decided to rile up music fans everywhere by compiling a list with the controversial title “50 Worst Songs by Otherwise Great Artists” — and including some of pop music’s most beloved hits on that list.

SPIN founder Bob Guccione Jr. insists in a statement, “It’s not cynical … But it’s honest. And don’t we need a little more honest criticism, especially when too many publications and sites fawn over every release and every artist?” According to SPIN, the list is “completely objective … almost” — but one could argue the SPIN writers seem to be trolling us.

For example, the Michael Jackson song on the list isn’t some obscure album track, it’s his #1 hit “Bad,” of which SPIN writes, “Yes, Very.” Fleetwood Mac‘s classic “Rhiannon” is dismissed by addressing its composer, Stevie Nicks, with, “You claim to have written it in ten minutes after reading the name in a book. It sounds it.”

Santana gets dinged for his Rob Thomas collaboration “Smooth” — “a still-awkward fusion of Latin-rock grooves and alt-rock hooks” — and Paul Simon has two songs on the list, including the classic “Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” which SPIN calls “unlistenable drek.”

But perhaps most baffling is the inclusion of Elton John and Bernie Taupin‘s Princess Diana tribute “Candle in the Wind 1997,” a charity release that is literally the best-selling single of all time.

“Elton’s dearly departed friend Princess Diana dies in a car wreck and he just changes a few words to a two decades-old song about Marylin Monroe,” SPIN writes. “Both songs suck, by the way. Pure mom-music.”

SPIN got one thing right, though: In a likely act of self-preservation, they stayed away from the works of Taylor Swift.

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