Thursday, 4 November 2010

Guilty Pleasures (Part One)

Regular readers of the bilge I write will know that I am a huge fan of heavy metal and that I spit in the face of dreadful music.

I have occasionally been unlucky enough to catch snippets of shows like The X Factor and have been almost at the point of tears, mourning the future of music as a bunch of lame karaoke singers try to perform dreadful versions of awful songs. The audience figures indicate that millions of people watch this appalling programme and these same people contribute to coffers of the producers of the show, making them millionaires as they slowly destroy music.

If I had the power I would change things. Sadly I don’t and it breaks my heart.

Nevertheless, let me get to the point of this post. The attack you have just read was a ranting diversion but it does lead me gently into a confession that shames me.

I curse certain artists and styles of music but there are some songs by these artists that I actually like.

I can almost hear you screaming at the monitor, dear reader:

“You bloody pseudo-Mancunian hypocrite!!! How VERY DARE YOU!!”

I am ashamed. There – I’ve said it. Every fibre of my being screams at me, saying “NO!! Don’t listen to these songs.”

But I can’t help it, dear reader – they are GUILTY PLEASURES.

I am baring my soul here in the hope that I can annihilate this affliction and move on.

Here are 10 songs that, deep down, I actually enjoy. To be fair, I genuinely like some of the artists and they are quite welcome to continue making music with my blessing (though I don’t necessarily promise to like it). However, some of the artists should be sent to prison for crimes against music – that is apart from the songs listed below.

I invite you, dear reader, to click on the links and judge for yourself.

Please take the time to do this and then, if you wish, comment telling me what a musical Nazi I am and that I should just shut up – or alternatively recommend a good therapist.

The B52’s - Love Shack

Actually I wouldn’t condemn The B52’s to eternal punishment for crimes against music - because I like another song by them – the brilliant Rock Lobster . Love Shack gets the nod over Rock Lobster in this list because it brings back lots of memories a drunk Plastic Mancunian strutting his funky stuff on the dance floor in his youth, trying to impress armies of gorgeous young beauties, but only succeeding in scaring all of them off (or rendering them hysterical with laughter).

Robbie Williams – Let Me Entertain You

I detest Take That with a passion. I detest everything they stand for musically. They are one of the progenitors of the “boy band” phenomenon that still infects modern music today. If it weren’t for Take That we wouldn’t have Westlife, Boyzone and other similar vomit-inducing bilge that young girls and grannies hurl their knickers at. However, Robbie Williams has proved to me that members of such bands can produce great music. Let Me Entertain You is a beauty of a song that I absolutely love. It has catapulted Robbie Williams onto my mp3 player along with at least a dozen other songs. Yes, dear reader, I like Robbie Williams – although now he rejoined Take That, I am reconsidering my position.

The Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian

Yes – I do fancy the Bangles, particularly Susanna Hoffs. That has nothing to do with the reason I love this song though. It is a genuinely fun-packed little tune that pushes the button in my head labelled Don’t Push This Button – It Will Turn Dave Into An Embarrassing Arse! And yes, dear reader, of course I have walked like an Egyptian (much too often).

David Cassidy – How Can I Be Sure?

My younger sister had a major crush on David Cassidy and he became my nemesis in the early 70’s. I hated his music. Every time I saw his face I felt like puking up my guts. This song, however, is a masterpiece and so alien to my musical taste that you probably cannot fathom why I like it. To be honest neither can I. But it’s worse than that – I actually well up when I hear the song – it’s so good. How embarrassing!! My sister would ridicule me mercilessly if she found out. Please don’t tell her. My reputation as a music connoisseur will be shattered. I’m depending on you, dear reader.

Spandau Ballet – Instinction

What the hell does Stealing cake to eat the moon mean? Spandau Ballet remind me of the time at university when a woman vaporised my heart. I still can’t listen to True to this day because of her. Whenever I hear the words, I cringe inwardly and want the ground to swallow me up. For that alone, Spandau Ballet deserve to be roasted in Satan’s hotpot for all of eternity. Nevertheless, Instinction more than makes up for it and that will save them from becoming lunch in Hell. Embarrassingly, at a wedding, in the late 80’s the DJ popped this song on and I did my “Mad Dad” dance to it, prompting people to seriously question my musical taste and my sanity.

The Osmonds – Crazy Horses

Donny Osmond ranked even below David Cassidy in the 70’s. My sister loved him. I hated him. I wanted to break things when I heard his reedy voice warbling Puppy Love. Yet even this musical low life has redeemed himself, simply by having a bunch of brothers who produced one of the classic songs of the 70’s - and even included him in the band. Crazy Horses is a terrific little rocker and I don’t mind admitting that I love it.

Abba – So Long

I would never dream of dismissing Abba. As a child, I loved them and I am openly willing to defend them. Their music doesn’t conform to my taste these days but I simply cannot forget their contribution to my youth. Besides, how could I dream of cursing a band containing the most gorgeous pop star of that decade. I am talking about Agnetha, of course. I had a major, major, major crush on her. Of all the songs they wrote, So Long is by far their best. Purists may once again question my judgement – I don’t care one jot. And just look at the video - very, very nice.

Duran Duran – Ordinary World

In the 80’s my youngest sister was in love with Duran Duran and I claimed that they drove me up the wall. I have to confess that I did secretly like a few of their songs but I would never have admitted it least of all to my sister. It was only later on that I confessed to liking this song in particular. It is a beautiful song and I defy anybody to disagree.

Richard Marx – Hazard

I hate music by singers like Michael Bolton and other purveyors of sentimental AOR bilge and when I heard Richard Marx’s first big single Right Here Waiting For You I despised it with venom. A couple of years later, he released Hazard and I was flabbergasted. It is a beautiful and very sad AOR ballad that I never thought I would like. Lyrically it is wonderful and is yet another song that sadly makes me blub like a baby. Don’t tell anybody.

Well that’s enough for now, dear reader. Tell me your guilty pleasures if you feel up to it. We're bonding here and I feel you can lift a weight off your shoulders.

From my perspective, I must admit that confession really is good for the soul and I have a few more musical guilty pleasures to share with you soon – just as soon as I have recovered from the fact that you now think I like David Cassidy.


Kath Lockett said...

Crikey Plasman - I have some eerily similar guilty pleasures - LOVE 'Ordinary World' by DD - the only song of theirs that had depth and didn't suck.

Bangles - Manic Monday

Richard Marx - yes, Hazard

So Long by ABBA - top choice. A real, guts-out rocker for them in their early days.

I don't know if I can bring myself to hunt down Sean Cassidy or Donny for a listen.... but do have a few B52s songs that feature on my power walking playlists (what about 'Private Idaho' and '52 pick up' and 'Channel Z' and 'Planet Claire' and 'Song for a new generation' and....)?

Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

Sadly I also like "Girls on Film" and "Planet Earth" by Duran Duran - the rest do, as you say, suck.

TO be honest I've not heard much else by the B52's to comment. Shall I hunt them down?

Maybe ...



River said...

I like Richard Marx's Right Here Waiting For You. Hazard too.
I'm with you on a few others too.
love Shack, Walk Like An Egyptian ans So Long.
My guilty secret? I like the Boney M christmas album.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

mmm - Boney M - I have to admit that Rasputin almost qualifies as a guilty pleasure ...




drb said...

Rasputin and Rivers of Babylon are etched into my subconciousness - Dad played Boney M over and over again when he chauffeurred me to-and-forth school. They're the first band I am awared of.

Cringed whenever I hear Right Here Waiting ... even typing the words made me cringed.

Guilty pleasure:
I have just discovered (not rediscovered) David Cassidy. Never heard of him (yes, I am an alien) until recently the TV station is showing Partridge Family again. I accidently saw an episode while flicking through the channels and now I am hooked. My hubby shakes his head every time he catches me watching them. I am too old to have a crush but HE is cute and I like his songs too!
Favourite: I Think I Love You

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

Oh no!!! "I Think I Love You" is a cringer that I hate.

I don't blame your hubby for shaking his head ...




Bill Y said...

The list is a little dodgy but at least there was no mention of Bon Jov so it's all good

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bill,

I own three Bon Jovi albums - don't tell anyone...