The whole basis of the "one hit wonder" notion is that even the crappiest band can have a smash hit song. But what about the other way around? Can a pop group with a succession of crappy yet popular songs have a truly memorable tune? I say yes.
I was never very keen on the Backstreet Boys. Clearly only some of them were boys; at least two were 40-year-olds on some kind of Oil of Olay drip. The mournful "As Long as You Love Me" and "I Want It That Way" were everything soppy and predictable about mid-to-late 90s boyband pop.
But then, then! Out came "Larger Than Life", a pounding pop anthem with a video featuring SPACE ROBOTS AND HOVERBOARDS.
Clearly this is a work of some genius.
In Creative Use: On a visit to Battambang, Cambodia in July 2009, I had the pleasure of attending a local dinner at a family home. A side business for many families, the evening was topped off with karaoke - most of it Elvis and Beatles numbers. But I was ecstatic to find this song on one of the CDs, and three of us sang it loud and proud that night, the Backstreet Boys echoing around the bush, to the amusement of our hosts. I can recommend it as an absolutely top karaoke number.