Monday, 8 November 2010

Guilty Pleasures (Part Two)

Its confession time again, dear reader.

I feel that I can now exorcise those demons within that force me to like songs by artists whose very countenance makes me physically ill. Actually, that’s not quite true because some of the artists are quite good in their own peculiar way.

So, without further ado, I present to you another selection of songs that people may think are well off my radar because they don’t sail in the sea of rock.

To be honest, one or two of the artists below should be locked up in a massive space ship and propelled to the furthest reaches of the galaxy to avoid contaminating my ears any longer – yet each one has produced one gem amongst their portfolio of musical manure and that, dear reader, is probably enough to save them.

It is time for part two of my GUILTY PLEASURES and yet another opportunity for me to embarrass myself for your reading displeasure.

Republica – Ready To Go

To be honest, I would never condemn Republica to an eternity in a space ship because deep down I actually like them, so much so that I own two albums by them. This song is an absolute gem and I love it. And yes, you have guessed it, I have strutted my funky stuff to it in front of a lot of strangers and a very ashamed Mrs PM. Besides, the singer, Saffron, floats my boat.

The Tubes – White Punks On Dope

Don’t ask me why but I love this tune. I’ve not heard anything else by the band - perhaps I should explore their back catalogue. The song is funny, controversial, weird and punky enough to sit comfortably within my musical taste. If you get the chance, have a look for a live performance of this song by the band on YouTube – the lead singer is a sight to behold.

Hazel O’Connor – Will You?

I am sorry to confess that this is another song that brings the odd tear to my eye. The song comes from a film called Breaking Glass from the late 1970’s, which was not that good but featured one or two good songs, including the excellent (if not a little odd) Eighth Day (also by Hazel O’Connor).

The Smiths – How Soon Is Now

The Smiths remain one of the most overrated bands of the past few decades and I stand by that statement. I am often criticised for this view by people who regard them as legendary. I simply don’t get them at all. Nevertheless, How Soon Is Now is a great song, which leads me to believe that there was a modicum of talent in there somewhere.

I have one claim to fame as far as The Smiths are concerned.

My eldest son was being christened at the same time as another little baby girl. We had to turn up at the church the day before the ceremony to talk about where we were meant to stand, what to say and all of the other nonsense that goes with such pomp. I met the father of the baby girl and spent a good fifteen minutes chatting to him. He told me that he was a musician but didn’t elaborate.

He was Mike Joyce, the drummer of the Smiths. I only discovered who he was a couple of months after the ceremony.

I probably wouldn’t have told him that the bands’ music was dull and uninspiring – but I would have been thinking it.

The J Geils Band – Centrefold

I apologise in advance for this one. When it was released it annoyed the hell out of a lot of my friends and I didn’t admit that I liked it for a long time for fear of being ridiculed mercilessly. I don’t know why I like it – I just do. It’s catchy and fun – even though some might say it is totally irritating.

Yello – The Race

My (ex) wife W hated The Race, particularly when I sang along with it and hummed along to the tune. I used to play this song over and over again. I absolutely loved it – I still do.

I’m attacking the illusion but the stopping drives me mad.

T’Pau – Monkey House

Yes – I admit it. I liked T’Pau. Their first album, Bridge of Spies, is a bit of a classic in my view and I won’t hear a word against it. The second album was a disappointment, which was a shame. Monkey House is the best song from the first album – a modest little rocker that packs a nice little punch – and it’s much better than the dreary China In Your Hand.

Ricky Martin – Livin’ La Vida Loca

This is possibly the most dangerous song in the list. I imagine that I will get a lot of stick for admitting that I love this song. I can’t help it. To be honest I am willing to bet that you, dear reader, also secretly love Livin’ La Vida Loca. Come on admit it.

Kylie Minogue – I Can’t Get You Out Of My Head

Actually, I take that back – this song is definitely the most dangerous one on the list.

Kylie Minogue is typical of everything I hate about modern chart music, manufactured by old geezers, like Pete Waterman and Simon Cowell, and targeted at people with no imagination whatsoever. I have spent many hours pontificating about the dreadful state of music and the fact that we are being force fed manufactured bilge on a daily basis.

It may therefore come as a surprise to you that I actually like this song. I am willing to admit that once in a blue moon that such a song might actually be worthy of more than a passing rant.

Besides, Kylie looks quite tasty in the video.

Mark Ronson – God Put a Smile Upon Your Face

The original version of this song by Coldplay is one of my favourite pop songs in recent years. Mrs PM bought Mark Ronson’s album of covers and I dismissed it as novelty pap. She played the CD and this song popped out immediately. I had to eat my words because it is a different and very enjoyable version of a classic pop song.

Primal Scream – Rocks

I’ve never been a fan of Primal Scream – I’ve always considered them to be overrated. Like the Smiths, however, they have produced the odd little gem, and this song is the best of them.

Primal Scream have staying power – I’ll give them that.

Shakespears Sister – Hello (Turn Your Radio On)

Picture the scene – I have been woken up by a screaming baby at three o’clock in the morning and am desperate to get him to sleep. I have walked around the house with him, talked gently to him but my efforts have been in vain. In a last ditch attempt I sit down and put on a CD. It is Hormonally Yours by Shakepears Sister and belongs to my (ex) wife W. I love this song so I sing it to my screaming son, rocking him gently. As the words pour forth, he gradually starts to close his eyes and fall asleep. I watch him while still listening to this fabulous song. A tear of joy rolls down my face. And now, almost eighteen years later, a tear is rolling down my cheek as I listen to the song again.

Well that just about wraps it up – for a while at least. I have definitely revealed too much this time.

And I’m still willing to hear your guilty pleasures, dear reader. I won’t tell – honestly!

Come on – you know you want to.


River said...

Finally!! Someone else who likes Livin La Vida Loca. It's a great song. Has a great beat for walking to and makes me want to get up and dance too. Not that I can dance...
Ditto Can't Get You Out Of My Head and Centrefold. All of these are on my playlist. Along with Rhythm Divine by Enrique Inglesias.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I have to draw the line at Enrique I'm afraid - he's on the space ship.




Kath Lockett said...

YEssss! Finally someone else who doesn't get the fuss made of the Smiths!

Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

Apart from "How Soon Is Now" of course ..