“(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right”

The Guilty pleasure

Everyone has them: those songs you love that you know suck.

They are the songs that intellectually, lyrically or musically don’t deserve your attention much less your devotion. And yet for whatever reason, your brain somehow ignores all this and every time they come on in a bar or on the radio, you can’t help but dance and sing like a five year-old.

It’s those songs you don’t really tell your friends about. Those tracks on your iPod you’re afraid someone will find, your secret bubblegum pop playlist with the ironic title, or the last track on a distant mix CD that still pulls powerful strings on your achy breaky heart.

Now some one is going to say “there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure with music, it’s all just wonderful if it moves you”.

That’s bullcrap and everybody knows it.  If you know all the words to any Lionel Ritchie song, you know you shouldn’t.  Period.

So here we go.  I’ll name some if you do the same.  Don’t leave me hanging…

Let’s do it like we’re ripping off a band-aid:

-“Sugar Sugar” by the Archies.  Gotta be the top one.  I love it and I’ll scream it from a mountain top.  It’s ear candy at it’s best.

-“This Guy’s in Love With You” by Herb Alpert.  Written by Bacharach and David, and the only vocal that the trumpeter Alpert ever attempted.  And I think that’s what makes it so darned good.  There’s a sincerity to his amateurish vocal that just….gets me.  Sniff.

-“99” and “Africa” by Toto.  Lyrically baffling, but they just sound good.

-“We’ve only Just begun” by The Carpenters.  I don’t want to talk about it.

-“Little Willy” and “Fox on the Run” by The Sweet.  Glam rock at it’s most ridiculous.  I love it.

-“I Want it That Way” by The Backstreet boys.  There.  I said it.  It’s out.  It’s just a well written pop song.   Now I REALLY don’t want to talk about it anymore.

-“Wichita Lineman”  by Glen Campbell written by Jimmy Webb.   It’s great and I don’t care what you think.

-“I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” by The Bee Gees.  Come on!  It’s a song about a guy on his way to die from death row!  How can that not be great!

-“Oh Sherri” by Steve Perry.  Shut up.

-Almost anything from the Monkees.  Yeah, they were pre-fabricated, but they had great songwriters, and even one in the band (Mike Nesmith).  I in particular like his songs like “You Just may be The One” and “You Told Me”.  But come on, “Last Train to Clarksville” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday”?  Come on!!!!   Hello???

-Almost anything from Elvis’ latter “Jump Suit” period.  I can’t help it.  Only Elvis could pull off being a white guy singing about the “ghetto”.   I’m just caught in a trap.

-“Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” by Kylie Minogue.  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s not actually the song….

-“Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” by “one-hit wonder” Edison Lighthouse. It’s great, but I don’t know why.

-MMMBop” by Hanson.  Did I say that out loud?

-“Poker Face”  Lady Gaga.  Okay, maybe I should stop now….I’d like to apologize to my family, friends and anybody else that I’ve ever come in contact with.

There.  I actually feel better.  It’s all out now.

And I know you have some yourself.  You will feel better too.

Just be brave.



11 responses

  1. Shawn Ryan

    Good god, I was listening to “Oh Sherrie” this morning coming into work.
    And I’ve got a ton of Monkees on my iPod. “Pleasant Valley Sunday” is a nasty jab at middle-class America, very cutting edge.
    “Lay a Little Lovin’ on Me” by Robin McNamara. If you can rhyme “honey doggone it, I depend upon it,” you are a genius.
    Neil Diamond. “Hot August Night” is one of the great live albums of all time.
    The Knack. “My Sharona” may have been played about 1 million times too many, but the band was actually very good.
    Just about anything on the “Have a Nice Decade: The 70s Culture Box Set.” I’ll take “Convoy,” “Disco Duck” and “Afternoon Delight” and a few others out of that mix, but I still get a kick out of “Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jus’ Love It)” by Daddy Dewdrop, “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” by the Dramatics and “Little Green Bag” by the George Baker Selection.
    “All I Want to Do Is Make Love to You” by Heart. So cheesy it oughta come out of an aerosol can.
    As for Lionel, I can listen to “Hello” and “Easy Sunday Morning,” but I’m convinced that “Truly” was written as a joke. Every. Single. Line of that song is a bad love-lyric cliche. A “Say You Say Me” is almost as bad. “I had a dream, an awesome dream/People in the park, plaing games after dark.”? Wow, I just threw up in my mouth a little.

    March 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm

  2. “Butterfly” by Crazy Town

    “Get the Party Started” by Pink

    “More Today than Yesterday” by Spiral Staircase

    “Umbrella” by Rihanna

    “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson

    “Your Mamma Don’t Dance” by Loggins & Messina

    “If You Think I’m Sexy” by Rod Stewart

    “My Sharona” by the Knack

    I think I better stop now.

    March 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm

  3. Lorraine

    MMMBop is now stuck in my head for the rest of the day…thanks.

    The Captain and Tennille’s Love Keep Us Together.

    That’s the only one I will admit. The rest are too terrible to mention. Leave me with a little dignity, please.

    March 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm

  4. Shawn Ryan

    A few more.

    “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes. Since I started on Yes with the heavy prog of “Fragile” and “Close to the Edge,” I shouldn’t like the band’s ultra-commercial stuff of the mid-80s, but I do.

    “Alone Again Naturally” by Gilbert O’Sullivan. Any song that starts off with a guy about to leap to his death because he’s so depressed, well, how can you not like it?

    “Missing You” by John Waite. Just a real good song.

    “Sunglasses at Night” by Corey Hart. If you listen to it in headphones, the driving keyboard riff jumps from the left to right speakers throughout the song. It’s either really cool and it will make you psychotic.

    “What’s Up” by 4 Non-Blondes.

    March 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm

  5. Derek Scudder

    Whoever has hacked Shawn Ryan’s computer, please give it back.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm

  6. Hey, no judgement here….
    We’re letting it all out.
    I commend anybody’s bravery…

    March 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm

  7. Shawn Ryan

    Say it loud, I’m cheesy and proud.

    March 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm


    Mine are mostly early stuff before a lot of you guys were born. Like “Running Bear” and “Tell Laura I Love Her” and “Last Kiss” by J. Frank Wilson. And let’s face it, a dance called the “Mashed Potato” (yeah, yeah, yeah). Who can forget “The Battle of New Orleans” by Johnny Horton: “We fired our cannon till the barrel melted down, then we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round. We filled his head with cannon balls and powdered his behind. When we set the powder of, the gator lost his mind!” I mean, really.

    March 24, 2011 at 3:53 am

  9. Vicki Welch

    OK, the only one I’m admitting to….
    “Careless Whisper” by Wham!
    I know, go ahead and gag…the rest are just as embarassing, if not moreso.
    But I love reading everyone else’s…I don’t feel quite so bad!

    March 24, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    • Careless Whisper…the line that says “and the music dies; something in her eyes…” always makes me imagine a woman trying to dig an eyelash or speck of something out of her eye. 🙂

      March 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm

  10. i have 45’s in the basement that i just can’t throw away. i love(d) these songs.
    oh babe, what would you say? – hurricane smith
    american city suite – cashman & west
    pop muzik – m

    April 4, 2011 at 12:53 am

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