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Oh, The Shame of It! Guilty Pleasure

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I was listening to my iPod on the drive into work, which I always do because the radio in my town is pretty bad and the morning programs are simply horrible (why do radio stations assume that their listeners want to hear moronic DJ banter in the morning? The last thing I want to do before I've even had coffee is listen to inane talk from people who are not nearly as smart or funny as they think they are).

This one song came up on my play list that made me laugh out loud, glance around sheepishly, and then sing at the top of my voice. It was truly the lamest song in my library and I reveled in it.

What is this embarrassing song, you ask, your curiosity piqued? Well, let’s run down the top contenders:

It’s not a song by Duran Duran. In seventh grade I discovered this Fab Five and have been a stalwart fan ever since. Their Rio album is fantastic and, while they’ve wavered in some of their other offerings, their 2004 singles were pretty darn strong for such aging New Romantics. (Plus: John Taylor? Still very pretty.)

It’s not a Bon Jovi song either. Another ‘80s mega-band that has actually done well with their comeback, these Jersey boys’ 2005 hit, “It’s My Life,” prompted me to purchase several tracks off 1986’s Slippery When Wet from iTunes. I was singing “Living on a Prayer” on this morning’s commute as well but I’m not ashamed of that. (Also, Jon Bon Jovi? see above re: John Taylor).

It isn’t from 'N Sync or the Backstreet Boys. I like to jog to 'N Sync because they’re peppy little fellows. And I only have two BB songs: the one featured on Napoleon Dynamite and the one with that cool half-concept (movie monsters)/half-dance video.

It’s not even by the Pussycat Dolls. I would normally draw the line at these pop-harlots but a dear friend of mine made me a disk which had the Dolls on it, as well as a bunch of fun music from Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.

Here it is: I am very embarrassed to say that the most cringe-inducing song on my iPod is “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” by the Cutting Crew (1986). It’s a terrible song by a one-hit ‘80s band, one of those synth-heavy, not-quite-a-ballad monstrosities so prevalent in the mid-1980s. It’s awful … and I sing along every time it comes up – which is not often, thankfully.

So, ‘fess up: what’s the guiltiest pleasure on your iPod?

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  • duane

    Cars — Gary Numan (love the wall o’ sound synths, horrible video)

    Control — Janet Jackson (one of the funkiest, tightest tunes in the Top 40, great performance video)

    Fascination — Human League (like the bass line, also, I had a crush on the dark-haired backup singer)

    Funkytown — Lipps, Inc. (what can I tell ya?)

    I Ran — Flock of Seagulls (my kid likes this one, too)

    Only the Lonely — Motels (wait, this is actually a good song)

  • I was listening to a tape in my car the other day and was embarrassed to hear The Mission blasting through my Yaris – I am pretty sure I bought the album (the track was Deliverance) to attempt to impress a Goth girl, which didn’t work.

  • a little while ago (gees, i just looked and it was actually back in 2003!) i wrote a guilty pleasure thing.

    go ahead and read it, but no snickering!!

  • I am so proud of all of you for being so brave! I’m also considering putting together a new playlist with all these excruciating songs, although the thought of shelling out hard-earned cash for any of them is proving difficult to stomach.

    “Break My Stride” – I am without words.

  • Sean Mahoney

    Break my Stride by Matthew Wilder and She’s Fresh by Kool and the Gang! I cannot believe I just said that out loud.

  • Probably, the Durans take on Grandmaster Flash’s White Lines

  • JC Mosquito

    Urkk….. “Mickey” by Toni Basil. Cheezetastic.

  • Kate C. Harding

    Great article, although it did make me start cringing at some of the dribble on my own mp3 player (I refuse to join the iPod revolution, than you very much).

    I think probably my most embarassing is…

    “Jump” by Kris Kross. Sweet.

  • “Maneater” is greatly enhanced by the cheese video.

  • Thanks for the warm welcome to the Music section, y’all!

    Michael – the Divine Miss M, eh? Ditto what Mark said.

    Glen – I didn’t think anyone remembered Marillion (I have them on a cassette tape around here somewhere …).

    Pico – I always did think Hall & Oates was underappreciated although “Maneater” makes me want to hurl.

  • Myself, I dig me some of that post-war eunuch music by Gino Vanelli. But like Glen, I already fessed up more completely in an entire article that I will spare me…uh,I mean…you the link to that shameful confessional.

    A hearty BC welcome to ya’, by the way!

  • Four letters: A – B – B – A.


  • i don’t feel guilty about anything on my ipod.

    however, i AM embarrassed for mr. west. 😉

    welcome to the music section friend mouse (bc needs more writers from maine)

  • “Friends” by Bette Midler.