Earlier we did a column on our favorite guilty pleasure films so this time we wanted to talk music, specifically some of our favorite guilty pleasure songs. We dove deep into the recesses of our iPods to see what songs are a bit embarrassing for us to love. Everyone has these songs and we are going to put them on display for all to see. Maybe you share some of ours or maybe you will discover a new guilty pleasure song.
For me I could have done maybe 30 of these, partly due to my kids, I started liking songs from Hannah Montana, Miranda Cosgrove, and Owl City. I tried to keep those ones off of here, although one slips on and I will let you guess that one. I am all over the place picking songs from every decade since the 70s.
- “The Sign”, Ace of Base (1993) – Hyped as the 90’s ABBA, Ace of Base couldn’t live up to that ancestral comparison but they left us with this cheesy catchy hit.
- “Heaven Help Me”, Deon Estus (1989) – Maybe it’s the George Michael back up singing on this one but I can’t get the chorus out of my head…it’s so good…”
- “I Just Want to Be Your Everything”, Andy Gibb (1977) – I like trying to hit the high notes on this one, maybe my favorite Gibb Brothers song of all time.
- “Pieces of Me”, Ashlee Simpson (2004) – No one should like this song but I do, poor SNL lipsync appearance notwithstanding.
- “Credit Card Baby”, Wham! (1984) – Wham! itself may be a guilty pleasure group but most people don’t know this one, it’s a deep cut from Make it Big and it full of cheesy lyrics and simple music but I can sing it all day and with friends.
- “I Am Woman”, Helen Reddy (1972) – Hard to sing the chorus since I am male but it’s uplifting and inspiring should have been the theme song of the #mettoo movement.
- “Gunpowder & Lead”, Miranda Lambert (2007) – This may be a legitimately good song but as a professed hater of country music shouldn’t be on my iPod but it is.
- “You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come), Vince Neil (1993) – A Vince Neil solo song cheesy but fun…
- “Things That Make You Go Hmmm…”, C+C Music Factory (1990) – Ridiculous lyrics, stupid chorus but it’s catchy and I love it…no rationale whatsoever.
- “Call Me Maybe”, Carly Rae Jepsen (2012) – Talk about a song that gets stuck in your head, too simple a song but it works for me, even when I get tired of it.
Bonus: “I Thought I Lost You”, Miley Cyrus & John Travolta, (2008) – Two icons of entertainment pair for the theme song from Disney’s Bolt, it gets me every time. The video attached is a gift from God.
MG: I had a healthy share of Bolt viewing when the kids were younger, and this song definitely was in my head more than a few times for a whole workday (I may have a Miley selection of my own). Other than Ashlee Simpson, I’m not sure too many of these will get you kicked out of Mantown, so to speak, but you did put up an eclectic list. “Heaven Help Me” is one of those lost 80’s gems that you never hear, but I love. “Things That Make You Go Hmmm” is a classic 90’s dance floor anthem.
I still listen to top 40 pop and I make no bones about liking music for the masses. A lot of what music snobs, including a certain friend of ours, will look down on is the same type of music made by artists they would certify as “cool”. Case in point: what is the difference between Cyndi Lauper’s hits in the ’80s and what Katy Perry or Ariana Grande is making now? It’s all a bunch of nonsense, if you ask me, particularly where music is something so personal. Most guilty pleasure tunes are poppy and fizzy, and sometimes in this world of constant bad news, you need something to lift the spirits. Here are some of mine.
- “Roar,” Katy Perry (2013) – Hey, a guy can like a female empowerment song too.
- “She Wants To Dance With Me,” Rick Astley (1988) – This song reminds me of my semi-formal dance, when, for the first time, a girl agreed to go to a dance with me. Unfortunately, that dance was both the beginning and end of the relationship.
- “Good Time”, Owl City and Carly Rae Jepson (2012). DJ, I see your “Call Me Maybe” and raise you this whimsical duet.
- “Let’s Get Rocked,” Def Leppard (1992) – Even for a band not known for cerebral lyrics (see “Armageddon It”), this song borders on the juvenile. But I enjoy it just the same.
- “Dirrty,” Christina Aguilera (2002) – If I’m not mistaken this was when she announced she would be known as Xtina. The video got a lot of backlash.
- “Stacy’s Mom,” Fountains Of Wayne (2003) – Every boy had a friend’s mom that he thought was hot. It get’s a little more complicated when it’s a girlfriend’s mom.
- “Wham Rap,” Wham (1983) – This is a favorite of true Wham fans, but it’s probably the whitest rap ever, even compared to…
- “Ice, Ice, Baby,” Vanilla Ice (1989) – I remember the song/artist getting ripped when this came out – especially when he refused to admit it sampled “Under Pressure”. Still, when you hear this come on the radio now, tell me you don’t start rapping along.
- “Dragula”, Rob Zombie (1998) – Sample lyrics: “Dead I am the rat/Feast upon the cat. Tender is the fur/Dying as you purr”.
- “Bang, Bang,” Jessie J., Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj (2014) – Lyrically cheesy but it’s a fun song with some powerful vocals by “Jessie and Ari”.
Bonus: “She Said,” Brie Larson (2009) – Here’s one you probably never heard of. Before the Best Actress Oscar, Captain Marvel, and directing the film Unicorn Store, Larson recorded a pop album that included this catchy guilty pleasure.
DJ: I like “Bang, Bang” and the Rick Astley tracks but prefer “Genie in the Bottle” if I have to pick a Christina song. “Ice, Ice, Baby” is always a fave too although at the time I despised it, somehow it became fun for me. And that Brie Larson song, can’t believe I never heard it before, a great find.