Guilty Pleasures

A list of the lousiest songs a guy ever loved.

"Play That Funky Music," by Wild Cherry
Date charted: July 31, 1976. Peak position: No. 1.
I prize first-rate funk as highly as I do any other music from the Seventies--so the fact that I also cherish this absurd excursion by a bunch of white boys from Steubenville, Ohio, can mean only one thing: I'm Caucasian.

THE EIGHTIES
"The Look of Love (Part One)," by ABC
Date charted: October 30, 1982. Peak position: No. 18.

Dance-floor bluster complete with vocalist Martin Fry declaiming, "Yippee-yi-yippee-yi-yay!" like a dimestore Tom Jones. Whom I've always admired, by the way.

"Hungry Like the Wolf," by Duran Duran
Date charted: January 22, 1983. Peak position: No. 3.
My fondness for "Wolf," these lugs' commercial breakthrough, can be traced to its unintentionally hilarious video, which was among the first to show glass shattering in slow motion. What an achievement.

"Relax," by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Date charted: February 2, 1985. Peak position: No. 10.
It's pretty hard to rationalize this one other than to say that I find it to be catchy, danceable and mildly profane--all pluses in my book.

"Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)," by Journey
Date charted: February 5, 1983. Peak position: No. 8.
I hate this band with every fiber of my being, and in a way, I hate this song, too. Because by thinking it's not so bad, I'm making my Journey hatred less pure than I wish it was.

"Funkytown," by Lipps, Inc.
Date charted: April 19, 1980. Peak position: No. 1.
Dance music at its most idiotic: disco by way of Mister Rogers. But if it was on right now, you couldn't keep me in my chair with a straitjacket and a gallon drum of Super Glue.

THE NINETIES
"Shine," by Collective Soul
Date charted: June 4, 1994. Peak position: No. 11.

How can I stand this weak imitation of Bad Company when I find most Bad Company tunes intolerable? The answer probably has something to do with severe head trauma.

"Personal Jesus," by Depeche Mode
Date charted: February 10, 1990. Peak position: No. 28.
A song that's foolishly doomy, irredeemably portentous and about as deep as a thimble. And when I'm in a foolishly doomy, irredeemably portentous, deep-as-a-thimble mood, there's nothing better.

"Free Your Mind," by En Vogue
Date charted: September 26, 1992. Peak position: No. 8.
A blatant George Clinton knockoff that takes the guts out of one of his best lines; it's "Free your mind and your ass will follow," not "Free your mind and the rest will follow." Nevertheless, my ass still likes it.

"I'm Too Sexy," by Right Said Fred
Date charted: January 18, 1992. Peak position: No. 1.
A single so moronic that you had to know it would show up in a TV commercial within months of its release (which it did). But being moronic can be a good quality. Or at least that's what I told all my teachers.

"Fall Down," by Toad the Wet Sprocket
Date charted: July 16, 1994. Peak position: No. 33.
I hoped I would be able to get through life without ever saying anything nice about Toad, one of the lamest acts currently in existence. My critical brethren will never forgive me.

TODAY
"Big Bad Mamma," by Foxy Brown, featuring
Dru Hill

Sampling so uninventive that you might as well listen to the original. But since the original isn't getting any airplay, this'll do.

"Here in My Bedroom," by Goldfinger
In my opinion, there's too much pop-punk out there--and there's way too much ska. So my liking this mix of pop-punk and ska makes absolutely no sense. Clearly, I need to have a long talk with myself.

"Walkin' on the Sun," by Smash Mouth
If these guys ever have another hit, knock me over with a feather. Then give me a 45 of this while nobody's looking.

"Can We," by SWV
Generic R&B harmony act asks the musical question "Can we get kinky tonight?" and my pulse rate goes up. No more Spice channel for me.

"Graduate," by Third Eye Blind
It's got a hook, all right? A big one. So don't blame me for getting snagged by it. Blame them. Blame them!

Now it's your turn.
Are there any guilty pleasures that I've missed? And do you have the nerve to share them with your friends and neighbors? If so, send your picks to us via one of three methods: snail mail (address your correspondence to Westword, c/o Michael Roberts, 1621 18th Street, Denver 80202), e-mail (Michael_Roberts@westword.com) or fax (296-5416, attention Michael Roberts). The highlights may turn up in a future issue--and anonymity will be granted upon request. Because some of you may need it.

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