Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Every once in a while the rock snob in me takes a sabbatical and is replaced by the 12 year old boy that was discovering his cousin’s record collection. Bear in mind I was born in 1968, so that would make the year 1980. My cousin was older than I and his collection was pretty much dominated by the classic rock of the 1970’s which is, you’re soon to find out, where the majority of my “guilty pleasures” originate. I have no real fear of any retaliation (except maybe Philbert--he knows where I work!), but just in case I think I’m going to invest in some Kevlar body armor.

So here’s some more guilty pleasures. Let the snickering begin!

The Alan Parsons Project, I Robot
I had this really hot drama teacher in public school who used to use this album as a “warm up” for our interpretive movement sessions. If I can be totally honest, the fact that she was a hottie is only part of the reason for my affinity towards the APP. Listening again with unprejudiced ears I have to say that the dude knew how to build a mood. In addition, I think I could make a pretty good case for the guy as an electronic pioneer! He would soon sink into mediocre balladry, but this…THIS…was a fantastic record for it’s time.

The Steve Miller Band, Fly Like An Eagle
So I had this really hot French teacher who…just kidding. I think Steve Miller’s stuff has stood the test of time…really. Maybe it’s that blues foundation that’s the backbone of most of his songs, but I think a primary reason is that he just knew how to write a really good hook!

Adam And The Ants, Kings Of The Wild Frontier
I’m not talking about the “Goody Two Shoes” era (although, I have to admit, a damn fine pop moment!), but the era where the Burundi drums were a real innovation in Western music. Malcolm McClaren and Bow Wow Wow would later steal that unique sound but it doesn’t take away from this wonderful early 80’s pop gem of a record.

Bobby Darin, Mack The Knife
How can I , or anyone with a soul for that matter, press the skip button when a Bobby Darin song comes on the old ipod? Mack The Knife, Dream Lover, Beyond The Sea…good stuff. It doesn’t hurt that Beyond The Sea was used to great effect in a memorable jail scene in Goodfellas, either.

AC/DC, any album with Bon Scott & Back In Black
The best damn disco-heavy metal band EVER! Tell me who out there hasn't shaken their thang to at least one AC/DC song? They were bad boy boogie with a penchant for discofied rythms, killer guitar riffs and double entendres. "Big Balls". Need I say more?

The Cars, The Cars and Candy-O
They were terrible live (reproducing their songs perfectly, no enthusiasm or energy, no crown interaction), but the first two albums are pure new-wave pop tasty goodness.

Gordon Lightfoot, Gord’s Gold
I got no excuse for this one. Except that I’m half Canadian…and Sundown contains one of my all time favorite lyrics in "Sometimes I think it's a shame/ When I get feelin' better when I'm feelin' no pain.” Poetry. Sheer Canadian, hockey luvin’, tuke wearin’ drunken poetry.


Hal Johnson said...

In a way, guilty pleasures are particularly delicious. Maybe it's because of the spirit of defiance attached to them.

Jon said...

Thanks Uncle, for the quick memory lane trip.

I've got 12 years on you, so I got into Alan Parsons during my collegiate era. It wasn't a guilty pleasure then, it was just trying to be cool and listening to the latest. And I agree, his first couple of records had some meat to 'em.

But what do I know? I was also listening to Mott the Hoople back then and I had a 'Yes' belt buckle....

Any major dude with half a heart said...

Absolutely right on Bobby Darin. His live album, recorded a few months before his death is on frequent rotation here.

And there's no shame in liking Gordon Lightfoot. The man had some great albums.