On This Day – ‘We Built This City’ Hits #1 (despite being absolute crap)

On this day in 1985 Starship (ex Jefferson Starship, ex Jefferson Airplane, ex Airplane, ex Jefferson, ex Jefferson Steamboat, ex Jefferson Ric Shaw) made it to number 1 with an abomination.

‘We Built This City’ was written by Bernie Taupin (words smith for Elton John), Martin Page (ex Q-Feel), Dennis Lambert (ex Lambert and Nuttycombe (?) who also wrote Rhinestone Cowboy), and Peter Wolf (ex the wonderful J Geils band – he should have known better). It was produced by Jeremy Smith and Peter Wolf (he REALLY should have known better).

It was Starship’s first single. It also managed to reach the list of the “Worst 50 Songs Ever” as compiled by Blender.com to mange the feat the songs had to be both popular, and dreadful. This one managed on both fronts, in spades. It shares this accolade with such songs as “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da” by Marmalade, “I would Do Anything For Love” by Meatloaf, and “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus. (Of course Celine Dion was also represented in the list – goes without saying)

The sight of a big haired, shoulder padded, spanky clean Grace and co singing such banal (but catchy) lyrics is appalling. Almost as much as the premise is that this is some sort of anti-commercial anthem while it is, in fact, steeped in 80s corporate rock commercial values and production.

Forgive me, but you have been warned!

Now For Some Covers!

This is Great!

I was looking for a copy by Frenzal Rhomb but couldn’t find one…..I also could not find a clip of the great Kid Carpet (another bristol boy) performing where he often sings “We built this city on slavery” as a reference to Bristol’s past. Never mind, if you get the chance go and see him and find out just what can be done with musical toys.

Really, forget this, go back to the start, when Grace and co made music to be proud of. From White Rabbit to this, it beggars belief.

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3 Responses to On This Day – ‘We Built This City’ Hits #1 (despite being absolute crap)

  1. funkyjudge says:

    You can rest easy, the Peter Wolf that produced ‘We Built This City’ is not the Geils Wolf but another one.

    I remember in 1985 i bought the 7″, the 12″ and probably the CD just because i was told by a DJ on Radio One (UK) it was written and produced by the J. Geils Peter Wolf. Later found out it wasn’t him. The song turned from absolutely brilliant to absolute crap in a matter of seconds LOL.


  2. Phil says:

    Funkyjudge you have made my day! (I know, it doesn’t take much). The first time I saw J Geils was at Ashton gate in Bristol ’82 (ish) Peter Wolf was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. J geils blew the Stones (who they were supporting) off the stage.


  3. Frankie says:

    There’s a very cool band thats a fusion of blues and classic rock, called the Dave Fields Band. This guy has really got a unique sound. He’s known throughout Europe (Russia, France and Ireland) and mostly on the East coast in the USA. You have to check him out. http://www.davefields.com