Monday, January 21, 2008

Top 20 Musical Guilty Pleasures

The guys over at Rock Revival challenged their readers to list their Top 20 "Guilty Pleasures." I decided to bite:
  1. Milli Vanilli - Girl You Know It's True (lip synced or not it was a catchy song)
  2. The Archies - Jingle Jangle (so what if it's by a "fake band" based off a cheesy comic book, the song is infectiously catchy)
  3. Air Supply - Making Love Out of Nothing At All (their music is largely cavity inducing, but this song is anthemic)
  4. Jim Steinman (his songs have been performed by Air Supply, Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler, and heck even Barbra Streisand. All of his songs are rather bombastic and over-the-top and I love just about every one of them)
  5. Queen - Fat Bottomed Girls (Queen really isn't a "guilty" pleasure, but Fat Bottomed Girls is a far cry from Bohemian Rhapsody or Under Pressure)
  6. Chicago Hot Streets - Chicago is one of the top-selling American bands, liking them isn't really a guilty pleasure. But this album with some serious disco influences from the late 70s is certainly not the pinnacle of the band's creative energies... But I still can't get enough of songs like Alive Again and No Tell Lover.
  7. Dream Theater - When Dream and Day Unite - Their debut album with former lead singer Charlie Domenici. Many find Domenici to be a bit "unlistenable" but I quite enjoy his vocals.
  8. Syd Barrett - Syd's material tempered by his bandmates in Pink Floyd was strange enough. Without the rest of Pink Floyd to tame his eccentricities you get songs like Birdie Hop that are truly bizarre.
  9. Def Leppard - I've continued listening to these guys long after many others have stopped. And I don't just mean their classics, I listen to their new stuff too.
  10. Survivor - Eye of the Tiger, Burning Heart, The Search Is Over... I can't get enough of these blokes.
  11. REO Speedwagon - do I really have to explain?
  12. Matthew Wilder - Break My Stride - A one hit wonder and I'm still listening 25 years later.
  13. Joey Scarbury - Believe It Or Not a TV theme song that was far more popular than the show it was the theme to (The Greatest American Hero), over 25 years later and I still dig it.
  14. Toto - I don't really feel guilty about loving this band, they're solid musicians and play some great music. They just are generally forgotten here in their home country.
  15. John Farnham-era Little River Band - While I prefer John Farnham solo over his time with LRB and I prefer LRB with Glenn Shorrock over LRB with John Farnham I do still enjoy this brief anomaly in LRB's history.
  16. Fergie Frederiksen - This guy is almost a musical footnote and not much else. He was the lead singer for a band called LeRoux for 1 album (So Fired Up, they scored a minor hit with the song Carrie's Gone), replacing their original lead singer-- Jeff Pollard... only to leave LeRoux to join Toto for one album. He has a tweeter-frying stratospheric tenor voice and tremendous range.
  17. Peter Cetera - Chicago's former frontman. Most of what he sings is saccharine love drivel but man his voice... His voice is so distinct and really sets him apart from other singers. I'm not crazy about what he chooses to sing but I still love the way he sings it!
  18. Michael Jackson - Thriller (Michael is bat guano crazy, but in his day he sure knew how to craft one killer pop album... there's not a bad song on this album!)
  19. Saturday Night Fever soundtrack - I was still in diapers when this movie and soundtrack came out but with 5 older siblings it's indelibly stamped in my memory
  20. England Dan & John Ford Coley - These guys really made some great cheezy schmaltz in the tradition of bands like Firefall but there was/is something quite catchy about songs like Nights Are Forever Without You and I'd Really Love To See You Tonight that I can't help but like.


Charlie said...

Interesting list. Most of my picks are older but we actually have one in common: HOT STREETS! Look for my guilty pleasures list soon. I never heard LRB post-Shorrock so I can't comment but I sure did love his version of the band. Their first 2 albums were among my favorites from the latter half of the 70s.

David Amulet said...

I agree on quite a few of these guilty pleasures! I can't stand Jim Steinman, however ... his stuff drive me nuts.

Good memory rekindling with Matthew Wilder. I need to check iTunes again to see if they have it yet; they didn't last year when I looked.

-- david

musicobsessive said...

Hmm...interesting list. As someone who spent hours trying to work out the vocal harmony lines in 'Africa' I would have to agree with you about Toto but they did suffer from a 'too clever for their own good' image.
I have to agree with David A on the subject of Jim Steinman. His mini operas drive me nuts as well...

The Rock Brigade Blogger said...

Number 9 on your list - Def Leppard. I've also continued to listen to their music and all their albums. I will be checking them out out their latest tour in August. I have talked about them a lot on my blog too. Oh yeah, and I have to admit to also thinking Thriller is great.

The Rock Brigade Blog