::Literate Blather::
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Guilty Pleasures: Songs You Only Listen to Alone

A rather callous friend has a favorite axiom in the form of a riddle. It goes like this: “What do mopeds and fat girls have in common? They’re fun to ride, but you don’t want your friends to see you on one.”

Clearly, he’s a man of high culture.

But there is a deeper meaning here. There are some things that are oh-so pleasurable – but extremely embarrassing.

We call them guilty pleasures.

And nowhere do guilty pleasures proliferate like they do in music. All of us have those damnable songs that we wouldn’t be caught dead listening to if there were other people in the room.

Songs that make us prance and sing in the shower – and then we pretend to hate when our jazz aficionado friend comes over for brunch and we talk about the genius of Miles Davis and Charles Mingus.

Allow us to share with you some of those guilty pleasures. Those ridiculous little numbers that we can’t shake – those sugary, bouncy tunes that we can’t live without (even if we listen to them in the closet).

U Can’t Touch This

Artist: MC Hammer (see video above)

Released: June 1990

Album: "Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em"

Ridiculous Fact: The song is used in a commercial for the antipbacterial hand cream Purell.

Favorite Lyric: “Break it down/ Stop, Hammer time!”

Where Are They Now: MC Hammer is married with six children. He became a born-again Christian in 1997 and currently has a TV sow on the Trinity Broadcast Network. He actually officiated the wedding of washed up actor Corey Feldman in 2002.

Stunning Insight: The real reason “U Can’t Touch This” rocks is because it samples Rick James’ “Super Freak.”

Ice, Ice Baby

Artist: Vanilla Ice

Released: 1990

Album: "To The Extreme"

Ridiculous Fact: “Ice, Ice Baby” was used on the commercial advertising the children’s Christmas movie “The Santa Clause 3.”

Favorite Lyric: “Yo VIP let’s kick it!”

Where Are They Now: Vanilla Ice has become a staple on bad reality TV shows – the low point being beaten in a boxing match by Todd Bridges during “Celebrity Boxing.” He was also arrested in 2001 and in 2008 for beating his wife.

Stunning Insight: That familiar base line? It’s David Bowie and Queen’s song “Under Pressure.”

Scooby Snacks

Artist: Fun Lovin’ Criminals

Released: 1995

Album: "Come Find Yourself"

Ridiculous Fact: The Scooby Snacks in question are diazepam (also known as Valium), which allows bank robbers to remain cool, calm, and collective during a heist.

Favorite Lyric: “Is this some Kharmic-Chi love thing happening here baby or what.”

Where Are They Now: The band is still together and has a cult following, especially in Britain.

Stunning Insight: The popularity of “Scooby Snacks” may have been because of the sampling of Quentin Tarantino movies in the song.

I’m Your Boogie Man

Artist: KC and the Sunshine Band

Released: 1977

Album: "Part 3"

Ridiculous Fact: The song was featured in all four “Scary Movie” trailers.

Favorite Lyric: “I’m your boogie man that’s what I am.”

Where Are They Now: Harry Wayne Casey “KC” still tours and does about 200 shows a year.

Stunning Insight: KC and the Sunshine Band made a career of writing disco songs that became guilty pleasures. DaRK PaRTY has a bad KC jones.

Achy Breaky Heart

Artist: Billy Ray Cyrus

Released: 1992

Album: "Some Gave All"

Ridiculous Fact: The popular song was partly responsible for helping revive an American tradition: the mullet hairstyle.

Favorite Lyric: You can tell your ma I moved to Arkansas
Or you can tell your dog to bite my leg.”

Where Are They Now: While his popularity has plummeted, Billy Ray Cyrus is still kicking around on the entertainment fringes and even sang the “Star Spangled Banner” to kick-off game 5 of the 2006 World Series. He also has a new hit song “Ready, Set, Don’t Go” released in 2007.

Stunning Insight: On further reflection “Achy Breaky Heart” isn’t that good.


Artist: Kenny Loggins

Released: 1984

Album: The Footloose Movie Soundtrack

Ridiculous Fact: Kenny Loggins performed the song at Live Aid with Chevy Chase in 1985.

Favorite Lyric: “Loose, footloose/Kick off our Sunday shoes/ Please, Louise/ Pull me offa my knees.”

Where Are They Now: Loggins is back to performing and recording again. He released an album in 2005 and started his own record label “180 Music” in 2007.

Stunning Insight: The song is better than the movie - but only just barely.

You Dropped a Bomb on Me

Artist: The Gap Band

Released: 1982

Album: "Gap Band IV"

Ridiculous Fact: The song is played on the Dale & Holley Show on sports radio station WEEI in Boston every time they blow up a caller.

Favorite Lyric: “You turn me out, you turn me on/ You turned me loose, then you turned me wrong.”

Where Are They Now: The band still performs and many of the members have solo albums.

Stunning Insight: Believe it or not, but the Gap Band has 19 albums – the first coming in 1974 and the last one released in 2001. That’s four decades of music.

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Artist: Baha Men

Released: 2000

Album: “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

Ridiculous Fact: The song is a cover of a tune originally recorded in Trinidad in 1998.

Favorite Lyric: “Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof).”

Where Are They Now: No one is quite sure. The Baha Men disappeared after releasing an album in 2004. It’s likely that the Bahamas-based band disbanded.

Stunning Insight: The song was released on the Rugrats movies soundtrack as well, but has found a real home in sports stadiums around the United States.

Jump Around

Artist: House of Pain (see video below)

Released: 1992

Album: “House of Pain”

Ridiculous Fact: The song is featured in the movie “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

Favorite Lyric: “I’ll serve your ass like John MacEnroe/ If your steps up, I’m smacking the ho.”

Where Are They Now: The band broke up (I know, I know, it breaks me up as well). One member founded an art company and DJ Lethal actually joined Lim Bizkit.

Stunning Insight: This song is oddly addictive, yet the House of Pain never could capture magic in bottle again and they remain famous for being one of those one-hit wonder groups.

Bust A Move

Artist: Young MC

Released: 1989

Album: “Stone Cold Rhymin’”

Ridiculous Fact: Flea from the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s plays the bassline in the song.

Favorite Lyric: “A chick walks by you wish you cold sex her/ But you’re standn’ on the wall like you was Poindexter.”

Where Are They Now: Young MC – a.k.a. Marvin Young – still performs and lives in Arizona.

Stunning Insight: Yes, we dance in our underwear.

Stayin’ Alive

Artist: Bee Gees

Released: 1978

Album: “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack

Ridiculous Fact: The video of “Stayin’ Alive” would get the Bee Gees arrested in most states nowadays for wearing their pants that are too tight.

Favorite Lyric: “I’m goin’ no where/ Some body help me there.”

Where Are They Now: Maurice Gibb died in 2003. Robin and Barry have reunited a few times to play concerts.

Stunning Insight: Try not to sing this baby in a high-pitched voice.

Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)

Artist: C+C Music Factory

Released: 1990

Album: “Gonna Make You Sweat”

Ridiculous Fact: It was sung with a harmonica by Borat in the comedy “Borat’s Guide to America.”

Favorite Lyric: “Party people in the house move.”

Where Are They Now: The band broke up, but Robert Clivilles is in a new group called MVP

Stunning Insight: There’s a reason why the song keeps cropping up in movie comedies, but it makes you want to dance your ass off.

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Blogger SQT said...
Oh, I tease my husband about this something awful. He has David Cassidy on his ipod for Pete's sake!

But who am I to criticize? I've been known to watch Xena.

Blogger GFS3 said...
David Cassidy brings "guilty pleasure" to a new low!

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