How does one define a “guilty pleasure?” It’s something one enjoys even though it defies logic, decorum, taste, and usually, one would generally prefer people not know about it, right? Well, the good folks at ABC who produce Dancing with the Stars (a bit of a guilty pleasure itself, right?) decided to take on this taboo area this week by giving the celebrity dancers a chance to shine the bright light of the ballroom on their guilty pleasure songs. In that spirit (and because it sparked some lively debate about whether a legitimate band/singer/musician could really create a “guilty pleasure” song), The Rib and I decided to open a bottle of wine and lay bare our own list(s) of top ten guilty pleasure songs for your consideration and judgment before this week’s dancing performances. Enjoy!
The Rib’s Top Ten Guilty Pleasure Songs
10. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (Bonnie Tyler): The drama, the pathos, and Bonnie Tyler’s giant 80’s backlit blond hair—yeah, baby! This song came out just as those “around 40” were beginning to discover the opposite sex. We didn’t really know what Bonnie was talking about, but we were pretty sure that it had something to do with the way we felt when that certain pre-teen crush slipped a piece of paper with ‘yes’ and ‘no’ boxes on it to someone else.
9. “Say My Name” (Destiny’s Child): This song gave Beyonce—or “Bouncey” as my dad calls her—a taste of success to come. I have to admit that this is one of my “go to” songs on Friday afternoon when I finally get to leave work. I likes the attitude—although it can be embarrassing when I get caught swiveling my neck and shaking my finger on the Metro. FYI, both Stub and I can pull out some killer Beyonce dance moves—his “Single Ladies” would win any dance battle from any number of teen angst films. And he looks great in a leotard…
8. “I Don’t Care Anymore” (Phil Collins): We all have that one song that “forces” us to play air drums while driving—this is it for me. I crank it up on the radio and rock those imaginary skins! This song is also a great way to release aggression and anger…give it a go the next time you want to rip someone’s head off!
7. “Cocky” (Kid Rock): “It ain’t braggin’ m!@$%^f*@!#$, if ya back it up!” This is the song that I like to rock out to when I am feeling particularly bad-ass. Of course, the only thing more ridiculous than a redneck from the Midwest rapping is a white girl from the East Coast singing it…but I gots the swagger, so I totally pull it off! All I am saying is Nicki Minaj best not step to me when our paths cross at “the Club.”
6. “(I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles” (The Proclaimers): I love this damn song…period! Did The Proclaimers ever do anything else? Who cares? This was enough! Da da lat da (Da da lat da)!
5. “I Touch Myself” (The Divinyls): This is probably the one song that I never want my parents to hear me singing—yeah, I’m a grown-ass woman, but that would just be awkward! This raunchy little ditty musically sounds like the activity it is advocating…plus, the video features a red-headed Aussie…ok, it looks like a terrible dye job, but “gingies” are representin’ here! I am guessing this one is a little too racy to be featured on the “Mouse” network, but I would sure like to see Gilles and Peta give it a try! (This is where I would pause for a cigarette break if I smoked.)
4. “Tik Tok” (Ke$ha): I fully realize that I am too old to love this song, but I do; seriously, I cannot hear this song too many times in a row. I mean, “drop topping,” “feeling like P-Diddy,” “brushing me teeth with a bottle of Jack?” These are all universal experiences, right? Ke$ha may not be singing about “emotions” and “social issues,” but she can get me in a party mood, pronto!
3. “I Want Your Sex” (George Michael): I know my college roommates will appreciate this one! We used to drive through Grounds, blasting it on the way to the library—yeah, we were rebel chicks. I believe George’s sexual preference was still being “debated” when this song came out, but he sure could fill out a pair of jeans—I don’t care who ya are!
2. “The Tide Is High” (Blondie): This is another song that takes me back to college and “air” instruments. Simply put, one cannot listen to this song without experiencing an immediate improvement in mood…just can’t be done. It’s pseudo-Reggae melody puts me on the beach with a cold drink in hand. It may not be my “number one,” (think about it) but it’s close.
1. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (Def Leppard): Ah, the coup de grace, who hasn’t been a little drunk on a dance floor or at a party and been caught grinding to this song? (a sure clue that you probably need to call a cab, by the way…). It is wrong in all the right ways, and you love it…we all do! Yes, it may be a rallying cry for cougars at the nightclub at your local Holiday Inn—but who cares? Sing it! Let your inner video skank rock out! If you didn’t feel a little ashamed, it wouldn’t be a guilty pleasure, now, would it?
2007 Pearmund Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Virginia
On the nose, this wine threw some licorice, cola, molasses, and a little earthiness at us.
The plate brought the cola and molasses, but not really any fruit to speak of. Tannins were there, but didn’t really pull everything together well. The Pearmund Cab Sauv was better with a flat iron steak, but it wasn’t spectacular.
We didn’t hate this wine, but we didn’t love it, either. I feel like we held on to this bottle a little too long. All that said, we came close to finishing the bottle. This experience won’t make me gun-shy about other Pearmund selections—we’ve tasted some nice wines from their portfolio before. I’m totally taking the hit on this one for holding it too long.
Stub’s Top Ten Guilty Pleasure Songs
10. “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road” (The Beatles): Maybe not Lennon and McCartney’s best composition, but this song gets straight to the point. So hit the grocery, get yourself some Dr. Ruth’s Vin de Amor, blast this White Album gem, and give that “come hither” look to your lover. Beginners may want to start with the kitchen and slowly work their way up to “the road.”
9. “She Hates Me” (Puddle of Mudd): This song is hilariously rocking and full o’ energy. I can’t help but scream along when it comes up on the playlist. And doesn’t it remind all of us of someone who did us wrong? And it celebrates the letting go. In this case, being heartbroken is oh so fun!
8. Trying To Love Two Women (The Oak Ridge Boys): This Sonny Throckmorton-penned tune provides a warning to would-be philanderers: “…the pleasure ain’t worth the strain.” That said, I’m pretty sure on a short enough timeline, every man would like to attempt to “stock two shelves,” “half good” or not…
7. “Mickey” (Tony Basil): I have this one on the playlist in both English and Spanish; this song will rock your [bobby]socks off in any language. A karaoke go-to from the original “spice” girl, I used to force my Marine buddies to perform this one with me so we could build our own cheerleader-style pyramid on the dance floor!
6. “Tubthumping” (Chumbawamba): Back in the day, I’d blast this song through our entire wing, run through the front two offices, and end with a leaping headstand on a chair in the back office. Definitely broke any tension caused by office politics. Every. Single. Time. Like “The Tide Is High,” this tune lightens any mood instantly.
5. “Spice Up Your Life” (The Spice Girls): This is the first track on the eponymous album “Spiceworld,” which I received as a gag birthday gift from a good friend back in the day. Not one to waste or ignore “artistic” efforts, I gave the CD a quick listen, and I’ll be a primates’ mothers’ brother if I didn’t bop right along with every track. With a great beat, wonderful auto-tuned harmonies, and background sounds reminiscent of Brazilian Carnival, I can’t help but like this song. Cheeky good fun. Girl power, Indeed!
4. “Sylvia’s Mother” (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show): For those of you that don’t know, Shel Silverstein (yes, that Shel Sivlerstein) wrote most of the songs for Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, including “Sylvia’s Mother.” Sad, plaintive, and a bit whiny, you totally get the hurt feelings of the singer on this one and can’t help wailing along. This short film tells the story of the song from the perspective of all parties involved.
3. Daydream Believer (The Monkees): I may have gotten confused on what list I was compiling, ’cause this song would be number one on The Rib’s “Most Annoying/Hated Songs.” On occasion, I will still lead a group of drunken friends to huddle around her to sing this song; while she’s a good sport and will always laugh/complain along, she really wishes this song resided in Davy Jones’ locker…
2. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (Wham!): If you don’t like this song, you’re either not human or have never seen your ol’ buddy Stub rock it at the karaoke. While the “high” note is harder for me to hit these days, this sexy bitch can still pull off the pouty 80s heartthrob thing pretty well. And somewhere in a closet (no pun intended), I have a homemade oversized “Choose Life” t-shirt. And I still fill out a pair of white jeans like nobody’s business. Just sayin’…
1. “Never Ever” (All Saints): There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for anyone to like this song. Except that it has every ingredient necessary for the perfect “guilty pleasure” recipe: programmed backing track; auto-tuned four-part harmonies; a catchy, overly-repeated chorus; a “slow jam” beat that makes you bop along and try your best to channel something resembling a Bill Cosby dance number; and a run time of almost six and a half minutes! And I savor every 6 minutes and 27 seconds of this track, sometimes three or twelve times in a row! This song could top several lists: Cheesy Songs, Horribly Written Songs, Formulaic Songs, and One-Hit Wonders. With no real redeeming qualities whatsoever, I challenge anyone to find a guiltier musical pleasure!
Now that we have pulled back the curtain at CorkEnvy, we invite you to tell us—and our fine readership—your favorite guilty pleasure songs. Come on! You know you have one (or ten) of them!
Cheers from the Ballroom at CorkEnvy,
Stub & The Rib