Top 10: Guilty Pleasures.


Something horrific happened recently…

James Blunt‘s new track 1973 came on the radio and rather than recoiling in abject disgust I found myself digging his take on Fleetwood Mac-meets-Jouse Rouse Californian MoR… Oh dear Lord, what is happening to me…
It got me thinking of other dirty secrets stashed at the back of my CD racks or buried deeply, left unnamed, in the MP3 file lest someone should discover them.
Well, it’s cards on the table time. I hope you’ll forgive me – and indeed provide your own guilty pleasures. Think of it as a cleansing experience.
1. Glenn Frey: The Heat Is On
Every tacky 80s film has a killer, completely over the top theme tune and this one from Beverley Hills Cop by one-time Eagles dude Frey, is probably the best – check out the ridiculous sax solo for added schmaltzy ridiculousness. Altogether now ‘wooah oh-ho, wooah oh-ho, caught up in the action…’
2. Boston: More Than A Feeling
Responsible for Smells Like Teen Spirit and a million young boys air-guitaring. It is the ultimate soft-rock anthem and is guaranteed to make you feel like a testosterone-fuelled, bandana-wearing WWF idiot.
3. Imogen Heap: Hide & Seek
I’m a complete sucker for vocoders – and this track is just a multi-tracked vocoder vocal from start to finish. Its utterly beautiful too. Oh and apparently was championed by the O.C. – but I don’t watch that – I’m not that wrong.
4. Guns N’ Roses: Don’t Cry
Axel Rose doesn’t do subtlety, and this is four minutes of overblown hysteria. So much so, he recorded it twice – but with varying lyrics – and released both versions on their weighty Use Your Illuision volumes I and II. What a guy.
5. Girls Aloud: Sexy! No No No
I could include every single one of their hits, as they’ve never released a poor one (yep, even Something Kinda Ooh). I’ve yet to buy a record of theirs but I can’t say I’d be disappointed if one popped up in my Christmas stocking. That’s their records – not Nicola Roberts.

6. Ocean Colour Scene: Hundred Mile High City
Forever mocked by those cooler-than-thou, post-Britpop pedants, OCS were solely responsible for coining the much derided ‘dadrock’ tag. But I don’t care. At the top of their game in the mid-late 90s they were great fun, and tremendous live – plus their signature tune The Riverboat song will always be remembered as TFI’s start to the weekend.
7. Counting Crows: Round Here
The ever so slightly less naff version of Hootie & The Blowfish. This corking lead off track from their similarly ace debut record suggested a grunge-pop band which could provide the emotional yin to Pearl Jam‘s angry yang. Unfortunately singer Adam Duritz started dating Courtney Cox and believed he was the new Dylan. It was all downhill from there.
8. Yes: Close To The Edge
Most people’s reaction to Yes, is ‘no’. Not me, and this the title track from their sublime 1972 prog-opus is a blinder – the ‘I Get Up, I Get Down’ segment is what the Flaming Lips have built their entire career upon. And for that, we should all be very thankful indeed.
9. Blink 182: Miss You
There’s fewer bands I loathe more than Blink 182 (perhaps the Kaisers) but this track was a complete curve ball. Ace riff, decent lyrics, shame about that nasal, overly-accentuated Yank drawl.
10. Back Street Boys: As Long As You Love Me
I’ve saved this one til last for obvious reasons. It’s a belting pop song and great to sing in a post-modern-I’m-taking-the-piss-don’t-know kind of way. With all the appropriate hand actions.
Bring on the backlash.

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