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T3: Guilty Pleasures

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything substantial, and I don’t really feel like doing an album review, it seems we haven’t had a whole lot more than reviews lately, so I thought I’d dust off an old favorite, the T3. Anyways, lately I’ve been reading the book High Fidelity, so I keep having the urge to make a bunch of lists that display my musical credibility. So instead I thought I’d do the opposite and indulge in what are most commonly referred to as “guilty pleasures”. These are the musical artists that really don’t have a whole lot of artistic credibility, but are nonetheless the kind of music you find yourself singing along to despite hating yourself for it. I’m sure we all have those certain artists that we hate to love, but these are the ones that make me feel the guiltiest.

10. Abba
Not gonna lie, I have the sudden urge to dance everytime “Dancing Queen” comes on the radio at Red Apple, I’m sure that’s among gayest things you’ve ever heard, but it’s true. Add that to other classics like “Fernando”, “Waterloo”, and “Mamma Mia” and you’ve got the greatest thing to ever come out of Sweden ever.

9. Foreigner
Foreigner is just one of those bands that rocked, in a sort of cheesy way, mostly due to their lyrics and combination of heavy riffs and synths. Of course like most hard rock artists of the ’70s, they eventually became just straight-up whimpy in the ’80s with songs like “I Wanna Know What Love Is”, and “Waiting For A Girl Like You”. But they’ll always have rockin’ hits like “Cold As Ice”, “Hot Blooded”, and “Double Vision” for their never-ending reunion tours.

8. Journey
Definitely a perennial favorite as far as guilty pleasures go, they’d probably be higher if it wasn’t for all those lame people that think they’re funny or something ’cause they know the first verse of “Don’t Stop Believin'”. However, it’s hard to deny the sheer awesomeness of Steve Perry’s vocal wailing on songs like “Anyway you Want It” and “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'”. Also, I have a hard time admitting it, but “Lights” might be my favorite song about San Francisco.

7. Bon Jovi
I know Bon Jovi’s sort of played by now, but c’mon, “Livin’ On A Prayer” is pretty much the definition of cheesy ’80s anthem. And you gotta respect a band that’s still able to crank out guilty pleasure songs like “It’s My Life” or “Have A Nice Day” two decades after releasing Slippery When Wet.

6. The Monkees
Though they’re sort of different from the other artists on the list I still think they belong. Sure they were really gimmicky, and about as harmless as a rock band could get, and didn’t write or play on most of their songs, but it’s still hard to deny how good some of their songs were. I mean “I’m A Believer”, “Last Train To Clarksville”, and “Daydream Believer”, are all excellent examples of what a great ’60s pop single sounds like.

5. Boston
There was a time in my life when I would’ve said there’s nothing wrong with liking Boston, now I know that I was a little confused. I’m not saying Boston’s bad or anything, but they certainly didn’t create music that was daring, original, or really anything more than really catchy pop with a bit of a “hard rock edge”, but that hasn’t stopped me from continuing to listen to their seminal debut.

4. Meat Loaf
Sometimes you just want to listen to something that rocks really really really hard, and is also really epic and almost operatic in a way, and also has some tenderness to it. The solution to that kind of instance is putting on Bat Out Of Hell by Meat Loaf.

3. Hall & Oates
I’m sure most people wouldn’t rate this pop duo as highly as far as guilty pleasures go, but I have to admit I’m a pretty big closet Hall & Oates fan. I probably would know well over half of the songs on any Hall & Oates greatest hits CD despite never listening to any of their albums, I think some of it has to do with the fact that Red Apple always played hella Hall & Oates. Plus, they just have a shitload of catchy songs, “You Make My Dreams Come True”, “Private Eyes”, “She’s Gone”, “Rich Girl”, “Maneater”, “Kiss On My List”, the list goes on and on and on.

2. Rush
Nancy would probably be a little pissed off at me putting Canada’s ultimate power trio on this list, but face it, they’re not the easiest band to take seriously. I think this is mostly due to Neil Peart’s overly philosophical lyrics, but that’s perfectly alright when so many of their songs rock so hard, and the fact they’re all among the most gifted rock musicians doesn’t hurt either. Also, I’m not sure what to make of the fact that I never really embraced Rush until I played a bunch of their songs in Rock Band.

1. Kiss
To quote Kenneth Adkins III, “How can anyone possibly like Kiss?”, well the best answer I can come up with is because I guess we all need a reason to rock and roll all night and party every day. The make-up, the merchandise, the pyrotechnic live shows, it’s all ridiculous, but it’s all awesome. Their songs have little to no artistic merit, but sometimes the world just needs songs containing big heavy riffs and metaphors that allude to the male reproductive organ.
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