World’s Worst Songs: Eddie Murphy’s “Party All the Time”

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Eddie Murphy, seen here at the premiere of his 2011 movie "Tower Heist," once took a shot at pop stardom. (Getty Images/Theo Wargo)

Eddie Murphy, seen here at the premiere of his 2011 movie “Tower Heist,” once took a shot at pop stardom. (Getty Images/Theo Wargo)

Everybody who loves music also hates music — certain specific examples of it, anyhow. This feature is about those songs: the World’s Worst Songs.

When choosing the World’s Worst Songs, it doesn’t seem fair to bash records that were doomed from the start. When [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Britney Spears[/lastfm]‘ ex-husband [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Kevin Federline[/lastfm] made his vanity record a few years back, nobody was expecting the second coming of Blood on the Tracks. It sucked, as we knew it would.

When artists of major reputation step in it, that’s noteworthy. Also noteworthy: when artists of major reputation in fields other than music try music and fail spectacularly. Exhibit A: “Party All the Time” by [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Eddie Murphy[/lastfm].

By 1985, Eddie Murphy could do no wrong. After a career-making stretch on Saturday Night Live, he starred in a string of hit movies in 1982 and 1983. Beverly Hills Cop came out in December 1984 and would rule the box office and the pop charts for the next year. So when he wanted to make an R&B album, who would say no?

Somebody should have. How Could It Be got terrible reviews, even as “Party All the Time” rose to #2 on the Hot 100 in January 1986. Murphy proved to be not much of a singer, and whatever groove “Party All the Time” works up is more accountable to producer and guest star [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Rick James[/lastfm] than it is to Murphy. In the video, he looks uncomfortable, as if he knows he doesn’t belong where he is.

I was program director of a top 40 station in January 1986, and we played the hell out of “Party All the Time.” It’s one of the many things I will have to answer for on Judgment Day.


If you think we blew it — if there’s a case to be made for why this song is better than we think it is — click “Add a Comment” and tell why, then listen to and debate more of the World’s Worst Songs.

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