Universal Music Group

Sure, 2023 brought us some great music, but according to Variety, there were quite a few clunkers, which the publication is happy to run down for us. And it turns out that a big chunk of the tunes that made Variety‘s “Worst Songs of 2023” list are there because they were based — badly — on other songs.

For example, #3 on the list is Fall Out Boy‘s remake of Billy Joel‘s “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” which dispensed with chronological order and any sort of attempt to rhyme the various historical events it listed.

Number four on the list is “Baby Don’t Hurt Me” by David Guetta, Anne-Marie and Coi LeRay, because it’s, according to Variety, “an empty rehash of Haddaway‘s 1993 club smash ‘What Is Love.'” Kim Petras‘ single “Alone” comes in at #17 for taking a sample of another ’90s club classic — Alice Deejay‘s “Better Off Alone” — and turning it into “a trudge of a single.”

And poor Meghan Trainor is on the list twice, for two different songs, both of which are based on other tunes. Her collab with Jason Derulo, “Hands On Me,” is #13, and Variety describes it as a “soul-destroying adaptation” of the 1961 Ben E. King classic “Stand By Me,” with “lyrics right out of an old-school porn scenario.”

Meanwhile, her song “Mother” is #11, for turning The Chordettes‘ 1954 hit “Mr. Sandman” into a “schticky putdown of overzealous men.”

Other songs that made the list include will.i.am and Britney Spears’Mind Your Business,” which was a “poorly timed” release of an old track; “Vulgar” by Sam Smith and Madonna, which Variety calls “beneath their artistic integrity;” and Jax‘s “Cinderella Snapped.” Of that tune, Variety says, “The intention feels genuine but the execution is farcical at best.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.