We built this city We built this city on rock and roll, built this city We built this city on rock and roll, oh
Say you don't know me, or recognize my face Say you don't care who goes to that kind of place Knee-deep in the hoopla, sinking in your fight We got too many runaways eating up the night
Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio, don't you remember? We built this city, we built this city on rock and roll
We built this city We built this city on rock and roll, built this city We built this city on rock and roll
Someone's always playing corporation games Who cares, they're always changing corporation names We just want to dance here, someone stole the stage They call us irresponsible, write us off the page
Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio, don't you remember? We built this city, we built this city on rock an' roll
We built this city We built this city on rock and roll, built this city We built this city on rock and roll, built this city We built this city on rock and roll, built this city We built this city on rock and roll
It's just another Sunday in a tired old street Well, if you got the toco, oh, then we just lost the beat
Who counts the money underneath the bar? And who writes the wrecking ball in two wild guitars? Don't tell us you need us, 'cause we're just simple fools Looking for America, coming through your schools
Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio, don't you remember? We built this city, we built this city on rock an' roll
We built this city We built this city on rock and roll, built this city We built this city on rock and roll, built this city We built this city on rock and roll, built this city We built this city on rock and roll, oh
Bossradiodj from San Francisco> One example is the San Francisco station 610 KFRC; Les Garland did some customized patter inserting the station name.
Prior to joining MTV, Les Garland was program director at ... 610 KFRC in San Francisco!
Pablo from UsaI'm old enough to say that I saw Starship perform this live at the Mann Music Center in Philly. I snuck down to 3rd row seats...lol. Ma Coley? Yeah, and the bathroom is on the right. Bernie Taupin "put his kids through college?" Seriously? Even when this song was released, he had enough money to have a friggin' college building name for him.
Mavis from Upper MidwestHannah from Hopkinson, I agree! The song is on my workout playlist, as it’s great for the treadmill.
Hannah from Hopkinton, MaWhy is this song bad?! It’s so good!!!
Bruce from San Jose, Calif.This song gets a lot of criticism for being tacky or whatever...I don't care; it's a fun song, great to sing along to in the car (or shower), and it gets the blood pumping and the feet tapping....(plus the references to the San Francisco Bay is great for a Bay Area guy like me!)
Seventhmist from 7th HeavenNothing mentioned here that there were apparently 2 different versions of this song released. The version that appears on "Greatest Hits (Ten Years and Change, 1979-1991)" lacks the opening chorus by Thomas and Slick and begins with the drum/synth riff. It also lacks the DJ’s line after “crawling through your schools” and just has the empty musical bridge.
Henry from Sanford, Florida, UsaLet's be real here, please... In 1967, the Jefferson Airplane was riding "high" with "White Rabbit." By 1975, it was a watered-down Jefferson Starship with "Martin Balin on lead vocals with the the ballad "Miracles." And then you had "We Built This City" in 1985, with Mickey Thomas on lead vocals(or co-lead) with Grace Slick. So do we really have to have the argument as to 1967 and 1985, when 1975 is the median where "Jefferson" began to fade to black? It's almost like three different bands.
Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, Philippines@Adam, York Pa - Probably we're around the same age (as of this time, I'm 22). Agree much with you, our generation doesn't know music.
After reading the scathing comments of others here about this song, I still won't change my opinion that this is one of the most famous songs of 1980's at least here in my country. Therefore it is a classic. Here it still remains one of the most requested songs from the 80's, and is overplayed actually. Nevertheless, this is a great song and nice to sing around the house.
And hey, to someone who bashed the 80's only because of this song - I wonder how you can over-generalise. In the 1980's, there are LOTS OF TRULY GOOD MUSIC produced, too! There are even MORE MEANINGFUL songs back in that time than in the 1990's to the 21st century... meaningful songs get rarer over the passing of time since 1990's. That's reality.
Gino from HoustonHere we go again... About Bernie Taupin writing the entire song is the question because like Money For Nothing which I wrote - all Mark did was doctor the lyrics, and Sting really did not do enough from my judgement to receive any credit. All I can say is the song (We Built This City) actually originated from Houston where all of music is historically known to evolve/revolve around California, New York and Nashville back in the 80's and pre-80's. I am also the original Desmond Child and the "Mutt" in the Robert Lange, and not the least to say I also cowrote Sole Survivor by Asia and Jump by Van Halen. So now you should have a better understanding of the song, and if your still determined to call this one of the stupidest and worst songs ever then just take a look at California. You do not want a complete list of songs I wrote/cowrote/coproduced because it will show you that every one in the music business along with the corporations were out for themselves and making money - all writers and producers are just as guilty.
Howard from LevittownThis article answers my question as to whether or not "We Built This City" was ever shopped to "(the kids from)Fame," as it sounds like something they would do. That said, the original songs they did were the weakest part of the show, so that song would have been better than all of them.
I thought the line was "Marconi plays 'La Bamba.'" That would have made more sense.
In case no one mentioned it, this song was No. 1 on WXPN's 88 worst song list(No.2: Who Let The Dogs Out?; @Andy in Birmingham--No. 3: Achy Breaky Heart; No.26: Disco Duck; No. 69: Feelings). Songs that are even worse than on that list never were big hits or just fell off the airwaves.
Mark from London, EnglandMarconi? It's "Ma Coley plays the mamba". Look at the video, especially the second verse - Grace is clearly singing "Ma Coley".
Basket-case from Shermer, IlI know everyone bashes this song because it was put out by "The Evil Corporation," but, I can't help liking it all the same...... Just my opinion. :)
Dan from New York, NyLyrics and the DJ interlude aside, the core melody of this song, especially the chorus is incredibly good. People who regard this as a bad song, let alone the worst ever, are either tone deaf or trolling. Also, the lyric is "mamba" not "number". Willie from Scottsdale is a grammar freak; "conjunct" *is* a word, it's just not a verb. So the guy used "conjunct" instead of "conjoin", so what? I'm sure someone smart enough to use the word portmanteau would be smart enough to know what he means. And White Rabbit is monotonous garbage compared to this song.
Grupper from Bangkok, ThailandOne correction to my previous post. The song was written by Bernie Taupin, Martin Page, Dennis Lambert, and Peter Wolf, not by the Jefferson Starship. Other than that, my assertion stands.
Grupper from Bangkok, ThailandIt's interesting that no one has mentioned earthquakes in reference to this song. Yes, it is a song about San Francisco, done by a group that lived in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park opposite the Haight-Ashbury district. They were a bit more than upset about the gentrification of the city that was taking place at the time. Artists, who were once the backbone of San Francisco, were being forced to leave the city because they couldn't afford to live there anymore. I believe that Jefferson Starship decided to write a song that addressed this problem while reminding everyone that San Francisco is vulnerable to Nature's own rock and roll.
Mike from Old Lyme, CtWhile at first it may not seem like the worst song ever written (and it's not, really; it is bad but I can think of a lot of other really TERRIBLE songs out there), when you consider the fact that it came from a group that "evolved" from the band that wrote "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love" (which are, in my humble opinion, two fantastic songs, especially Rabbit which I'd put on the list of the 100 greatest songs ever), you suddenly realize that this song is indeed pretty horrible. I mean, you go from an incredible band putting out real quality music to singing this...and it seems all the more depressing and bad. Maybe if they hadn't started out as good as they did, this song wouldn't be as much of a crime is basically what I'm saying!!
Willie from Scottsdale, AzHey Mark in New Jersey, now can you be in NJ and NY at the same time?
And what is this new verb you have conjured up "conjunct?" WTF is that? are you trying to "conjugate" a verb? Or trying to make a "conjecture?" Or perhaps trying to "convey a judgment" via your conjecture, which would make that a portmanteau. Please try and write in English whenever possible.
Esskayess from Dallas, TxNot the “worst song ever,” but it typifies the hypocrisy of singers/actors/politicians who decry the evils of moneymaking as they watch their own bank balances soar.
Justin from Atlanta, GaI think this is one of the best pop songs ever, and it personified the 1980s. It was an energetic pop song, that was _About_ the 1960's and Rock N' Roll. Ignore the fact that it definitely isn't a rock song. If this was made by Van Halen or Britney Spears people wouldn't be saying it's the worst rock song ever. How can that comment even be qualified when it isn't even a rock song? Idiots, the whole lot of you!
Listen to the lyrics man! This song is one of my childhood's most cherished memories!
Adam from York, PaThe city by the bay, the city that never sleeps, they are talking about San Francisco.
Adam from York, PaAgree with you that this is not an awful song, i in fact love it, its an awesome song, i will go off on a small tangent, i no what the who meant when they said "I don't mean to cause a big sensation, I'm just talking bout my generation (IM 15 my generation doesnt know music).
Johnny from Dallas, TxYes, Jefferson Airplane was a Folk Rock band, which was the Pop Rock of that time. So basically they've always been Pop Rock.
Steve from Madison, WiBy the general consensus of good music - common sense this is a good song. Jefferson Airplane were never a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal outfit. They started out as Folk Rock, so that tells us many of the previous comments here don't even know the band. As we hit modern times Pop Rock/AOR was the natural progression for the band now known as Starship. It's called musical evolution.
Roy from Atlanta, GaThis song and album had sales record companies can only dream of now, and yet it still continues to sell as a classic album. It was a huge hit at the time, had a #1 spot on the Pop charts from all over, and is recognized till this very day. This song has stood the test of time. So I'd say it must've done something right.
Mark from New Jersey, NyBlender Magazine and the VH1 Countdown were under direct order to conjunct this as the worst song ever. There was never going to be a fair election of course, the results were what they wanted it to be. The purpose is dictating a musical climate to stimulate the sales of the current acts in that time. Once people believe that's the general consensus, and you have it repeat every so often they'll be forced to go with the flow and buy a Soulja Boy record, or get out of music altogether. Unfortunately for them it has backfired, as most have tuned out altogether. Even the teens know Soulja Boy is crap, and disown it.
Orlando from Miami, Fl@"Bobby, Killen, AL",
LMAO. No arguments = failure. We claim your sales cut by the sales loss and their comments. Therefore we shall bury the Bieber kid, we'll bullet Soulja Boy out, we'll have the BEP and everyone involved gang raped for sins against the music. We'll adapt to your strategy and have it backfired on you. We payola, we order, we buy, we'll publish. You come with 5 man manipulating the system, we come with 10 goons. You'll get 10.000, we get a 100.000. Get the picture? It's time for the RIAA to be cleaned out of useless frauds. It's bad for trade. Now have a nice day. =)
Bobby from Killen, AlThere's a reason this song was voted "Worst Song Ever" by Blender magazine. It's because it's the worst song ever. Although I have to admit that MacArthur Park is running an extremely close 2nd.
Michael from Honolulu, HiThis band was often more Pop than AOR. AOR is more Rock, but they have their share of rocking tunes, and it's great music nonetheless.
Jeff from San Francisco, CaClassy classic stuff. They're AOR, which merely means all around, all included great music. Their first two releases as Starship were more Pop Rock/Hi Tech AOR as you call it. Then Love Among was harder edged AOR.
Jack from Houston, TxGone was the old fashioned Airplane. With the arts in tact the band underwent a major update. They became the mighty Starship and established themselves in modern times, while all the more great and timeless. Classic material here.
John from Pittsburgh, PaLOL, these bots and shills don't actually like Jefferson Airplane. They're just after playing Rock music fans against each other. Music was entertainment all the way through the 50 - 80's. Fashions have always been hit and miss, but I have to say that Hip Pop - a 3 sizes too big pants with a retarded attitude to match is the absolute worst.
The issue here is that in the 90's -00's music became a bad product. That would be the real problem here. It doesn't sell, sales are down, so a corrupt industry tries to talk down actual goods. Jefferson Airplane/Starship is a great band. The consumer demands quality music, and a new round of Starship is always welcome.
Advocate from Los Angeles, CaHey, if you guys are gonna badmouth the 1980's let's talk stupid mustaches, uncared hippie f--ks, flower power and s--t colors. If the color blue is the best thing you can name about the 80's you best shut up already. Anti-marketing campaign backlash for you.
Starship was a Pop Rock band, and this is one of the best songs ever at that. I liked JA, but Starship just increased the quality by 10.000. After all, that's what it's all about: great music, regardless of genre.
Ace from New York, Ny@ Carly, Pittsburgh, PA
The VH1 Countdown that displayed this as one of the worst songs in music history was ordered by the scam industry, which is indeed responsible for all the bad Rap music you get. No Hip Hop, but fake Hip Pop, aka the most ridiculous and simplistic trash ever. It's a fraud - the biased comments on this forum are one of the examples of media manipulation, aka industry people that are paid to write bogus for selling their products. Always know, what you hear is what you get. =)
- An insider
Ace from New York, NyThis song merely testifies that this frame of time - the mid 1980's offered some of the best music in history. Because unlike the corporate fraud of throwaway crap you got throughout the last decade this music is still remembered 20+ years down the road, and still alive and kicking today. Therefore it has stood the test of time. Scam acts like Justin Bieber and Soulja Boy won't give you that. Enough said.
Detractors attempt to sell their crap, but fact of the matter is that Airplane/Starship decided to be AOR, Pop Rock. A different kind of music to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, which was around too. If you bothered to actually listen to the band's discography you'd know that the 70's stuff, ballads and Pop songs were often slower as well. In conclusion, the above comments are nothing but biased corporate scam nonsense of course. No sale for your crap.
Dougee from San Bernardino, CaScott: the lyrics are "Marconi plays the number," using Marconi as a metaphor for radio. Of course, Marconi inventing radio is a bit of revisionist history. A little research will reveal that Marconi's "invention" used no fewer than 17 Nikola Tesla patents - one of many instances in which this humble genius's inventions were co-opted by others who improved on them, then claimed the discoveries as their own. Less than a year after Tesla died, in 1943, the Supreme Court granted Tesla primacy in the invention of radio.
Carly from Pittsburgh, PaThis is obviously a PERFECT POP record, hence why it went to NUMBER ONE! The people who voted this the worst record must be into rap music. STARSHIP made some really enjoyable pop records. "Sara" was an incredible recording. In my book this song is an enjoyable listen and puts me in a good mood!
Sal from Adams, WiOk all you lame critics! There really was a group called Starship post Jefferson Airplane Jefferson Starship. We all have different opinions of this song but hay it was Starships first hit and B Taupins first hit with out Elton John so that means that some people must have liked it then when it was released. I was one of them. I remember stratching up the 45LP while dancing to it with my friends in the 80s. Yeah the 80s did have pro n cons but every era did and you cant just dis one over the other. I thought disco was pretty lame but hey thats what was cool then. The terms GAY and SQUARE had different meanings though out the times. So live with it styles and fads changed with the times.
Mike from Matawan, NjI think a part of America died a little when this song was released. Ranks right up there with 'The Night Chicago Died', anything Brittany Spears 'sings', the first time I ever heard, "Kiss My Grits!!!!" and anything Danielle Steele ever wrote. I could vomit on a piece of loose-leaf and be more profound. Someone once commented on the 'banality of evil'. This is Dante's Seventh Circle in that case....to steal from John Cusack in "1408".
Drew from Bloomfield, NyJefferson Airplane rocked! Jefferson Starship up to "Spitfire", rocked, but in a more 70's mellow way. Once Balin left and Mickey Thomas stepped in, questionable (especially when Slick was in or out of the band). Starship....Jump the shark!
Andy from B'ham, AlKevin Witt from Haymarket, Virginia: By "surpass" you mean "get crazier and weird us out too much"? "Disco Duck" is actually cool! I don't, however, listen very often to "Feelings" b/c it's a tragic song. I haven't heard "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus, but I know of it. I don't know the other two you mentioned. It's metal, but not heavy metal. That's how I like it. Thank you, Starship, for not ruining the metal with with heavy metal. You fellas rock!
Matthew from Melbourne, AustraliaMy dad is a music snob, But he likes this song. I like it too.
Liam from Wexford, IrelandGavin - they were called Starship in the 80s - check your facts man http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_%28band%29
Melanie from Seattle, WaOk, this may be the worst song ever. But I love it anyway. It's so catchy haha
Mike from Santa Barbara, CaThis song was originally about Los Angeles when it was first written, back in the early 1970's, but was changed to San Fransisco when it was released. This is known for being chosen by Blender Magaine for being "the most awesomely awful song." Most think that's an overstatement, but it's certainly unworthy of the talent involved.
Musicmama from New York, NyThis song was a point of demarcation. After it, Rock'n'Roll died. That is to say, after this song, Rock'n'Roll, Starship and other rock'n'roll performers had audiences only of listeners who came to their concerts and bought their albums to hear the stuff they'd done earlier: in other words, what listeners remembered from their youth. It's kind of ironic that a group that made so much good music during the '60's and '70's put the final nail in the coffin of a genre the helped to expand and refine.After this song, all of the innovative and creative pop music was being made by rap and hip-hop artists.
Kevin Witt from Haymarket, VaTo call this the worst song of all time is laughable. I think we can all think of a few that far surpass this song (I actually like this song). Remember Feelings? Muskrat Love? Achey Breaky Heart? Disco Duck? MacArthur Park? I could go on and on.
Bill from Peoria, IlThis is the lamest song ever recorded. I grew up in SF Bay Area, and this song is embarrassing to any local from there. Combine with this song with almost any Styx song sung by Dennis DeYoung, and you have the makings of a puke-a-thon!
Erik from Bloomfield Hills, MiA very egotistical song, it's no small boast to claim that you "built a city", but I still enjoy it.
Mjn Seifer from Not Listed For Personal Reason, EnglandI love this song anyway despite the votes and stuff. And I don't think the videos all that bad either.
Isn't it ironic? If you search threw the songs alphabetically this song is JUST before a Jeffreson's Airplane song!
Mjn Seifer from Not Listed For Personal Reason, EnglandNever mind. I found out for my self what city it is. I will try to add both this and another thing I found out as a song fact.
Mjn Seifer from Not Listed For Personal Reason, EnglandTo the people who said "No way is this Rock and Roll!!" Well... Did Starship ever say this song was rock and roll? No! This song is about rock and roll but they never claimed it was rock and roll.
Anyone know what city they're on about?
Also regarding the video, wouldn't it make more sense for them to use JEFFERSON'S statue and not Lincolns, seeing as they are JEFFERSON'S Starship. (Or Jefferson's Airplane)
Sue from Bellefontaine, OhI am surprised to learn that so many dislike this song. Personally, every time it comes on, especially with Les' comments included, I am very, very happy to hear it. Not only because I like Starship (or Jefferson Starship), but because the song reminds me of home, having grown up in the SF Bay Area. And having been the President of the Elton John Section on CompuServe (many, many years ago), it is only an added pleasure to learn that Bernie co-wrote the lyrics. (Probably another reason I enjoy it, subconsciously.)
Mike from Erie, PaThis is a great tune to listen to when you feel down!! It has a good beat and I like the vocals ROCK ON Les!!!
Jay from Atlanta, GaMickey Thomas' best work is on Elvin Bishop's "Fooled Around and Fell in Love". Now THAT is great rock (southern rock to be exact).
Kevin from Erie, PaThis is a great song, those who say this song is horrible does not know anything about rock. It has a very catchy tune and it talks about rock and roll with cool add on additions. It may not be a really hard rock song but it's different and is a fun song. Plus DJ Les Garland is freaking awesome.
Jesse from Haddam, Ct I love this song, but yeah, I'd feel pretty uncomfortable living in a city where my house was a guitar and an amp or 2.
Kelli from Cedar Rapids, IaWhat I don't understand is how Grace Slick could be associated with this drek....I just don't understand.
Clarke from Pittsburgh, PaOne of my favorite songs from the 1980's (which no doubt puts me in the minority). Les Garland is well-known from his radio days at KFRC in (you guessed it) San Francisco. Other radio stations substituted their own DJ for Les' patter in the middle of the song, and the record label provided an alternate version with an instrumental bridge to accomplish this purpose.
Kim from Calgary, CanadaI don't care that it's lame, I love this song. It's so fun!
Bob from Kelowna, CanadaIt's not the worst song of all time... Not even close compared to the crap that gets played now adays. I think pretty much everyone can agree on that, but since maxim magazine is pure garbage it decides to give the token of "worst song of all time" to this.
Terry from Ocean Springs, MsThis song blows. The video, lyrics, everything. Ranting against corporations,... and then claiming that "Rock and Roll" ever built anything.
Richard from Versailles, KyI hate this song every time i hear it i want to puke
Julie from Marquette, MiThis song blows beyond reason..as did this group in the 80's. How pitiful they became... after their days of glory in the 60's/70's.
Paul from Woop-woop, AustraliaThis is QUALITY eighties! It was traditionally played at the local rollerskating rink as the lights went down and the coloured lights came on.
Craig from Madison, WiThe video director seemed to take the song as a challenge. How could he make a video worse than this song. Simple: have the band at the Lincoln Memorial, Lincoln's statue arises...and sings. The band watches, bored. Then there's the pastels, pastels on pastels, horrible blue screen effects, Grace Slick's hair battling her jumpsuit for most offensive to the eye, the mere presence of the lead singer guy. It's a 4 minute summary of everything that was wrong with the 80's.
Craig from Madison, WiGavin, calm down.
Chris from Bluffton, ScActually, Grace Slick was NOT an original member of Jefferson Airplane. The lineup for the first JA album was: Marty Balin, Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen, Paul Kantner, Skip Spence, and Signe Anderson.
Scott from Nyc, NyAnyone know what the lyrics "Marconi plays the mamba,listen to the radio" is supposed to mean...if anything at all, I doubt it has to do with the Marconi who invented the radio...right? thanks -Scott
Mike from Winnipeg, CanadaI personally like this song. I don't knwo what it is trying to mean. I would not call this rock and roll but more of pop. Maybe 80's pop rock.
Savannah from Salem, InI agree that this is one of the most horrible songs ever.
Pete from Nowra, Australiawell in Australia they're known as Starship, its a great song , love the DJ bit .....Built This City.... golly gosh yeah GREAT SONG
Matt from Millbrae, CaThis song is painfully tolerable...and then comes that f***ing traffic report and that's when I kick my stereo and listen to Led Zeppelin for hours to atone for my sins.
Loreena from Rio Negro, ArgentinaThis song proves that the 80's sucked! What the hell was happening to music at that time?! Oh dear God...This song...is soooo not rock n' roll!! And we don't need all these wankers going around saying that rock n' roll is going to be banned or it's dead, dying...whatever...if that ever happens, somebody PLEASE put me out of my misery!
Mike from Huntsville, AlActually, Gavin, they released three original albums under the name Starship: Knee Deep in the Hoopla, No Protection, and Love Among the Cannibals. Check www.allmusicguide.com if you don't believe me. According to the site, they were "created by the settlement of a lawsuit."
Dave from Cardiff, WalesGavin, in the '60s they were Jefferson Airplane, then in the '70s they regrouped as Jefferson Starship. They changed their name to just Starship inth 1980s but only had three big hits under this name ("Sara", "We Bulit This City" and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now"), so all songs recorded under the name 'Starship' are simply included on compilation albums as effectively being Jefferson Starship releases because the band did not change their line-up when they changed their name second time round.
Gavin from Hampden, MaJefferson Starship NEVER changed their name to just starship!! I don't know what you people are talking about, but even after the drummer left, they were still known as JEFFERSON Starship!! They are still Jefferson Starship!! This can be proved because there is NO RECORD of a band named just "Starship", and their official website labels them as Jefferson Starship.
Scott Baldwin from Edmonton, Canadathe video for this is horrible,no question.
Cadence from Sacramento, CaI cannot believe Taupin wrote this!
John from Seattle, WaI think this song is a lame attempt at associating Starship with other artists who had been demonized by the PMRC in the US Senate one year earlier.
Pete from Nowra, Australiaapparently the DJ Les Garland just happened to be at the studio at the time of recording, the guys asked himm did he want to do a bit of DJ talk for the song , did it all in 1 take , Go Les
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