It almost seems too easy to make fun of David Hasselhoff; everyone has been doing it so much, for so long, that it really has no impact any more. It’s a well-worn cliche at this point – the Hoff is ridiculous.
I feel a little sorry for him; when I was growing up, Knight Rider was the coolest show on television. Six-year-old Bill looked up to Michael Knight as, well, a guy who owned a talking robot car. (Any other character traits were somewhat overshadowed by the presence of KITT.) Baywatch was less cool, though I once read on Wikipedia that Mitch Buchannon (the Hoff’s character) once threw a fox around the world, so I can’t really argue with that.
The running gag that he’s big in Germany is an important part of Hoff-bashing. Turns out it’s true – he had a number one hit in Germany with Looking for Freedom, which had been number one for a few weeks in West Germany when the Berlin Wall was attacked and demolished in November 1989. Not joking here. The man himself even performed his hit atop the wall’s ruins, less that two months later, on New Year’s Eve. Not joking.
This is not what I am tackling in this installment of My Taste in Terrible Music. Looking for Freedom is bad (it’s awful), but it’s not creatively bad. It’s a fairly typical sort of uselessness, common to 80’s soft rock:
Canny readers will be thinking: ‘Ah, it must of course be David Hasselhoff’s famous single Jump in My Car!’ Nope, guess again! Jump in My Car is not what I’m blogging about, and it’s intended as a self-parody besides, so in a sense it’s intentionally bad. The official video seems to be missing from Youtube, but it’s available here.
No, neither of these songs really register on my scale of terrible music, when compared to the atrocity I present to you:
The music sounds like something used to liven up a boring primary school class – it’s cheap, cheerful, cheesy bubblegum music played on low-budget synths and drum machines. Rubbish, but not yet offensively bad. Luckily the lyrics are faintly sexual innuendos about a man who doesn’t know how to love – interpret that phrase how you wish. This unsettling combination is what really thrusts this recording into the region of the truly, truly dreadful. The creepiness of the lyrics, sung to music that better suits learning the noises of farmyard animals or memorizing times tables, sends a shiver down my spine, yet I can’t help appreciate it for that same reason.
Turn Me Inside Out is the standout track on an album on unadulterated uselessness, 1994’s Du, of which the title track is not weaponized the way the other track is, but nonetheless a fine example of how to butcher the entire Schlager genre.