18 January 2008

Mix Tape Friday: Guilty Pleasures

Sean at the palindromatic and entertaining Everything Is Pop, Pop Is Everything suggested a great mix tape: guilty pleasures. I love pleasures that leave me feeling a bit guilty, so let’s go there this week. There’s nothing more fun than a guilty pleasure song. You know it’s lame, you may be embarrassed if friends catch you listening to it — but you can’t help but sing along and give the tune your full music love and affection.

I have an electronic treasure trove filled with guilty pleasure songs — plenty to fill several mix tapes. But I reached out to the beloveds — Renae and the sister, HollyC and RCofCHS, French and Filegod, the Northwest Doppelganger and Swirlie Grrrl — to help me flesh out this week’s tape.


I’m dying to tell who suggested what, but their secrets are safe. I also wish I could tell some of the stories behind their choices — some are surprising, some are just damn funny — but those are their tales. They need to get their own blogs.

The beloveds and I are around the same age, so some of these — The Partridge Family, The Monkees, and Bread, in particular — were requested more than once. Interesting that a lot of our guilty pleasures are rooted in our childhoods; I hope you young’uns can appreciate the brilliance of this bopping banality.

Embrace your lameness!


Toni Basil :: Mickey

Avril Lavigne :: Girlfriend

R.E.M. :: Shiny Happy People (Hip Mix)

The Archies :: Sugar, Sugar

Shalamar :: Dead Giveaway

Josie Cotton :: Johnny, Are You Queer?

The Monkees :: I’m a Believer

Power Station :: Get It On (Bang a Gong)

Queen :: Flash Gordon

Def Leppard :: Photograph

Bon Jovi :: You Give Love a Bad Name

Lynyrd Skynyrd :: Gimme Three Steps

Tim Curry :: I Do the Rock

Kenny Rogers & The First Edition :: Something’s Burning

Lou Christie :: Lightning Strikes

Nu Shooz :: Lost Your Number

Mariah Carey :: Vision of Love

Christina Aguilera :: Dirrty

The Cowsills :: Hair

The Partridge Family :: I Think I Love You

Marshall Tucker Band :: Heard It in a Love Song

10CC :: The Things We Do for Love

The Fifth Dimension :: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In

Wham :: Everything She Wants

Bree Sharp :: David Duchovny

Bread :: Baby I’m-A Want You

Barry Manilow :: Mandy

The Bee Gees :: Lonely Days

The Carpenters :: Superstar

Al Stewart :: Year of the Cat


And now for the lamest of the lame — and this one’s mine. I lost some of Favorite Boy’s respect when I ‘fessed up to this one:

Richard Harris :: MacArthur Park


We had the 45 of this Jimmy Webb classic growing up. The B-side was “Didn’t We”; I wanted to include that, too, but I couldn’t find a digital copy.

Bet you didn’t think I could pick an R.E.M. song that could rate as a guilty pleasure, did you? You underestimate me. Michael wanted to do an Archies-type song — and “Shiny Happy People” was born. Rumor has it he so hates the song, he gives all those residual dollars to charity. So we have Michael’s guilt and our pleasure whenever we dance to the song. This is a different mix, and it’s a bit more entertaining — especially when followed by the inspirational “Sugar, Sugar.”

“Everything She Wants” is one of my very favorite guilty pleasures. Whenever I hear it, I become George Michael. I emote. My hips move. I throw my arms wide and sing at the top of my lungs. It used to embarrass the Beloved Ex; he was always shushing me in fear that the neighbors would hear me. To hell with ‘em, I say!

If you monitor Shows I Gotta See on the navbar, you’ve probably giggled over this week’s show — a concert by one of this week’s guilty pleasurers. Yep, I’m goin’ all Manilow this weekend. The sister and I are taking my mother as part of her birthday celebration. Secretly, between you and me, I think I’m going to enjoy the show. Let’s hope this weekend’s snow forecast doesn’t shut down the Copacabana.

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37 Comments:

At 1/18/2008 01:02:00 AM, Anonymous filegod1 said...

I bet RCofCHS was groovin to the shalamar and Barry Manilow, while Holly was rocking hard to Get it on and Photograph. Remember when she used to wear the leather pants and fingerless gloves to 11th grade. She used to rule our high school. love the Chits

 
At 1/18/2008 07:49:00 AM, Anonymous HollyC said...

filegod you are a hoot! Hope all is well with you and yours....
Too fun Beth, now that I got started I just keep thinking of more and more.

 
At 1/18/2008 09:00:00 AM, Blogger Malcolm said...

Whenever I hear "Superstar" by the Carpenters, I think of that scene in Tommy Boy where a teary-eyed Chris Farley and David Spade are singing along to it in the car. Luther Vandross definitely returned some respectability to the song... you can't even tell it's the same tune.

 
At 1/18/2008 10:45:00 AM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

I applaud your bravery. And your Kenny Rogers.

 
At 1/18/2008 10:52:00 AM, Anonymous Renae said...

I may have to go to confession over this one and I'm not even Catholic.

 
At 1/18/2008 01:16:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I'll confess. Shiny Happy People was my introduction to REM

 
At 1/18/2008 02:04:00 PM, Blogger BeckEye said...

"Something's Burning." AAAAh haha ha hah ah ahaha. That's fantastic. I used to sing that song when I was little.

Funny, I had the iTunes shuffle going last night and while I was going the dishes, "Johnny Are You Queer?" came on. The dog appreciated my performance. I've always been partial to Josie's "He Could Be the One," but "Johnny" has more kitsch factor.

Hmm, I think I just got an answer to Josie's musical question. My word verification word is "iznow."

 
At 1/18/2008 02:05:00 PM, Blogger BeckEye said...

Doing the dishes. I don't "go" the dishes. I don't even know if that's possible.

 
At 1/18/2008 02:22:00 PM, Blogger Mathdude said...

I'm afraid the Skynard and the Al Stewart selections don't belong on a "Guilty Pleasures" list. I think it might even be a Class D felony to call Skynard lame in 6 southern states.

 
At 1/18/2008 06:18:00 PM, Blogger Evil Genius said...

I was going to forgive you Bon Jovi until I saw MacArthur Park. I can give you one or the other, but not both.

Despite all this I still develop a blog crush on you everytime I read your down playlists.

 
At 1/18/2008 07:07:00 PM, Blogger datacine said...

Great list.
Hey Mickey you're so fine......
Mickey = Mickey Dolenz

I'm A Believer was written by Neil Diamond.
"Cherry" by Neil Diamond would be one of my guilty pleasures.

 
At 1/18/2008 08:44:00 PM, Blogger Scott said...

I tried to download the Nu Shooz song but it wasnt working.

I have never in my life heard a second Nu Shooz song, so that is making me excited...

 
At 1/19/2008 07:48:00 AM, Blogger wapentake said...

That's pretty good bad taste you have!

"I'm A Believer" was number one on my birthdate, so always had a soft spot for that.

"Big dumb songs" - necessary evils.

 
At 1/19/2008 10:20:00 AM, Blogger kfluff said...

It's such a fine, fine line between a true guilty pleasure and a ironic classic. I'd say Wham falls into the latter category. Of course, I've been known to sing both parts of "I Knew You Were Waiting" at full voice while cooking. So who am I to make distinctions?

 
At 1/19/2008 01:50:00 PM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

This was exceedingly brave and brilliant of you, as guilty pleasures make one feel guilty for a very good reason.

I believe you are right that your bandwidth is safe from being eaten up this week, although I may indulge in a wee bit of Partridge Family and the Archies, just for old time's sake.

 
At 1/19/2008 02:22:00 PM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

I see no shame in liking the Archies or Monkees. But then again, I'm the guy who told a girl he was hoping to sleep with the (true) statement that I like the Monkees more than the Beatles.

In my defense, the Beatles bore me to tears.

 
At 1/19/2008 02:56:00 PM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

A splendid array of guiltyplex ;)
"MacArthur Park" is hilariously awesome . . . as are they all . . .

I really do like Al Stewart's "On the Border" for a variety of reasons . . . "Year of the Cat" is a little too . . . something . . .

This sparks a lot of memories, good bad and lame . . . an 8-track of Boston's first album played all day over and over at an amusement park where I workled for a day back in the day . . . and FIREFALL (Holy Jesus!), ELO . . . Atlanta Rhythm Section . . . Aye!
Marshall Tucker Band . . . The Outlaws . . . stop me now!

 
At 1/19/2008 03:57:00 PM, Anonymous HollyC said...

You know who's missing on this list is ABBA...

 
At 1/20/2008 01:17:00 PM, Blogger SkylersDad said...

Hair... I can't think of a single other song the Cowsills did!

Nice list

 
At 1/20/2008 05:25:00 PM, Blogger Mountjoy said...

Ah, yes: Mandy. She came, AND she gave, if I recall correctly.

Should I feel guilty that I feel no guilt enjoying the Al Stewart, 10cc and Queen cuts from your list? No, I am sure there are other songs I enjoy that I should feel for shame for.

And has anyone ever figured out why that bloody cake got left out in the rain in the first place??????

 
At 1/20/2008 06:52:00 PM, Blogger Scrivener said...

When you asked me for my guilty pleasure, the only thing I could come up with was Rush, but I listen to them so rarely, and don't even have mp3s of any of their songs, that it didn't seem fair to nominate them.

 
At 1/21/2008 12:53:00 AM, Blogger Tenacious S said...

Hmmm, maybe it's time to resurrect one of my old features, "Songs From the Confessional." Bloggers divulge to me their guilty pleasures and we all play a fabulous guessing game about whose guilty pleasure it is. Thanks to you, I have a whole list. Who shall I start with?

 
At 1/21/2008 10:12:00 AM, Blogger Sean Wraight said...

Well done Beth! Yet another entertaining mix tape. We really need to figure out how to turn this into a full time profession.

I really enjoyed your "brave" selections and applaud your variety. The comments were very interesting too. Looks like we're not alone in the guilty pleasures department.

Thanks for the link and the mention; I am off to listen to Cheap Trick's "The Flame"... (Hey we all have 'em!)

Cheers,
Sean

 
At 1/21/2008 01:37:00 PM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

I love MacArthur Park! Guilty as charged!

Did you ever watch SCTV? They had an episode of "Mel's Rockpile" in which they spoofed MacArthur Park.

 
At 1/21/2008 02:11:00 PM, Blogger DaBich said...

OMG! I do so adore so many of these! I'm a Believer, Hair, but GAWD...MANDY!! One of my all time fav "soft" songs....way to go Beth!

 
At 1/21/2008 04:37:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

FILEGOD: You know RCofCHS and his obsession with boogying. But you may not be aware that HollyC was the inspiration for Sandy in Grease. They go together like rama lama lama ke ding a de dinga a dong.

HOLLYC: Same here. I have enough fodder for a month of guilty pleasures.

MALCOLM: That’s such a great scene. Being a golden oldie myself, I much prefer The Carpenters’ original; man, can I emote on that singalong …

GRANT MILLER: I bet you’re really rocking out to “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” when you’re telling people you’re listening to Pavement.

RENAE: You should for suggesting a grammarless tune.

 
At 1/21/2008 04:42:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

CHANCELUCKY: You just made Michael Stipe cry.

BECKEYE: I’m going to start using “going to the dishes” to be cool. Iznow the thing to say, child.

MATHDUDE: I personally don’t consider Mr. Stewart’s paean to cats a guilty pleasure — instead, it’s a lovely time machine back to my senior year in high school — but many told me it was. As for Skynyrd … well, I grew up here, I’ve heard ‘em since they started, and I just can’t give ‘em my love … except for maybe two songs. I’m a Southern renegade!

EVIL GENIUS: Can you find a little blog crush burning in your heart if I admit that the Bon Jovi tune was (very strongly) suggested by one of the beloveds? I was bullied into it. I’m weak.

DATACINE: Glad you’re following along. I had a Neil Diamond tune plugged in after “I’m a Believer” for just that reason … but pulled it to add “Mickey” at the last minute.

 
At 1/21/2008 04:46:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

SCOTT: MyDataBus appears to be back up. I didn’t know that Nu Shooz song, either, until it was suggested by one of the beloveds. Not a bad song.

WAPENTAKE: We need the bad songs in our heads to help us appreciate the truly brilliant ones. And, let’s face it: Nothing makes you happier than being stuck in traffic listening to a guilty pleasure — you can sing at the top of your lungs and no one’s the wiser.

KFLUFF: I consider that Wham song a brilliant pop tune — but my performances so embarrassed the Beloved Ex, I figured it deserved a spot on this mix tape.

BARBARA BRUEDERLIN: I loved David Cassidy with all my heart in the sixth grade, so I will never delete all (and by “all,” I mean a helluva lot) my Partridge Family MP3s.

PISTOLS AT DAWN: Why you don’t score daily continues to puzzle me.

 
At 1/21/2008 04:51:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

ERIK DONALD FRANCE: Finally — a brilliant man who grasps the brilliance of “MacArthur Park”! Firefall would have worked so well here. The rest make you sound like you’re a Southern boy.

HOLLYC: I had Abba on here originally, but figured it was too obvious. Abba transcends guilty pleasures.

SKYLER’S DAD: Well, there’s the brilliant “Indian Lake” … “The Rain, the Park and Other Things” …

MOUNTJOY: Do not feel guilty; embrace your impeccable lameness! It took so damn long to bake it …

SCRIVENER: You should have; I have quick and easy access to lots of MP3s. I am proud to admit, however, that I do not own a single Rush MP3, CD, or album.

 
At 1/21/2008 04:54:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

TENACIOUS S: Start with me!!!!!

SEAN WRAIGHT: I keep praying that Paste’s Josh Jackson will see these posts and realize he can’t live without me. Now go enjoy that Cheap Trick!

JOHNNY YEN: See: Another man with fantastic taste in music, another man who understands the fantasticability of “MacArthur Park”; I feel vindicated from all the behind-the-scenes ribbing I got last week. I need to find that SCTC clip on YouTube!

DABICH: I know; you can’t help but love ‘em!

 
At 1/21/2008 10:04:00 PM, Blogger Artful Dodger said...

Barry Manilow!!! I love Barry Manilow! Definitely one of my guilty pleasures. Though I must admit I play him loud while driving but when I get to a stop light turn it down so only I can hear. I'll have to download these tunes as soon as I get a chance.

 
At 1/21/2008 10:42:00 PM, Blogger pezda said...

I really do love your mixes, however several of the included songs make me shudder, and will no doubt be featured in my eternal jukebox in Hell

 
At 1/22/2008 04:14:00 AM, Blogger lee said...

Beth -I popped over to tell you something and am officially FREAKED out and think we are TWINS -haha. I remembered that you were quite a music fan and might be interested in this site -it has some things to be sorted out yet -but forum is working. If you have a look keep in mind that the piece of writing on the home page is something I wrote on the 14th jan in a Word document -well before seeing your post here -I am still freaked out!!! -you will see what I mean -haha.I haven't even mentioned it on my blog yet because it hasn't been quite ready. If you know of anyone who might be into this sort of thing, let em know :).Don't feel that you even have to do anything about it just because I mentioned it -I just thought it might be up your alley is all. But be warned-it is so new that nothing is happening there yet -hehe. Not even all the forums are there yet.

 
At 1/22/2008 04:15:00 AM, Blogger lee said...

It's:www.daggymusic.com

 
At 1/22/2008 05:59:00 PM, Anonymous filegod1 said...

beth, the cd I burned from this guilty pleasures mix was my entertainment as i drove to and from the hills of west by god virginia today. 4 freaking times I had to hear MacArthur Park. You are currently on my doody list.

 
At 2/03/2008 03:18:00 PM, Blogger jewgirl said...

macarthur park?! howeleena. that's one of my favorite mockable tunes. what a fab list this week.

 
At 2/04/2008 08:49:00 PM, Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I've been playing the crap out of Kiss' "Shandi," some of the biggest schmaltz I've ever heard, but the truest guilty pleasure if there ever was one!

 

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