John Glynn is a PhD graduate in Psychology. This article was first published on WhatCulture.com on June 14, 2013.
I must admit, I found this list rather difficult to compose. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and when it comes to our go-to guilty pleasure songs that statement is oh so true. The issue with lists of this nature is generally something a guy struggles with – the fairer sex would never have to say sorry for listening to anything, ever. And that’s something that all guys secretly resent and realize. The other thing I recognize is that there’s one key element in classifying a song as a real guilty pleasure: the song must have something to substantiate the pleasure plea.
For example, “Friday” by Rebecca Black is a song so ghastly, that it simply cannot support such a declaration. I can’t see a situation where anyone would say, “But seriously, this song makes me so happy!” Anyway, unless you’re at a fancy dress party sporting a truly killer perm, it is not publicly acceptable to admit that you like these “controversial” tracks. Nevertheless, it is totally okay to scream out the lyrics, pull out the impressive parachute pants, and shout over the melody, “I hate this song so much that I actually love it!”
These are the 6 songs that you really love to hate.
6. MC Hammer – “U Can’t Touch This”
Surely this track is one of the cheesiest songs of the 90′s. Thanks to its ridiculous beat and that line that actually thanks God for giving MC his awe-inspiring dance moves, “Can’t Touch This” is a guilty pleasure of so many music lovers. Although, I must ask, does anyone actually know all the lyrics to this song? Everybody mutters through until the overly simple chorus arrives. Rather predictably, the more you sing this song in public, the less people want to touch this or any part of you.
5. Starship – “We Built this City”
Some might find it discomforting to roll up to a red light blasting “We Built this City” by Starship. I, on the other hand, will be smugly singing along, beating the steering wheel and gazing into your eyes making you feel so uncomfortable that you will need numerous counseling sessions.
4. Meatloaf – “I Would Do Anything For Love”
Everybody knows that you can’t enjoy meat loaf without a healthy dosage of cheese. Whether we are talking about the food or the recording artist, one thing is for sure: cheese is mandatory. I must admit that Meatloaf has always been a guilty pleasure of mine… please, I beg you, do not judge me. The title of the song highlights the cringe factor quite effectively; however, it’s a pretty damn good tune.
3. WHAM! – “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”
The only thing worse than not being woken up before someone go-goes is waking up in George Michael’s bed. The lyrics are insane, catchy to the point of painful, and the pitches are unbelievably high, but that never stopped anyone from dancing along to the song we all love to hate.
2. Bonnie Tyler – “Total Eclipse of The Heart”
This track has been covered on Glee, murdered by One Direction and been given a Tori Amos makeover. Thankfully, I think, this song still remains a genuine classic with Bonnie waxing lyrical about love and loss. This tune is so renowned, and loved that it’s almost offensive to have it up on this list, but I felt the list would be almost naked without its inclusion.
Also, can anyone really explain what a “total eclipse of the heart” means without having to resort to tacky metaphors and suggestions?
1. Spice Girls – “Wannabe”
Wannabe is the embodiment of everything sickeningly sweet while being so manufactured it hurts. The Spice Girls may have been the devil’s spawn of pop music, but they still managed to be a wonderfully packaged and truly global one. No arguments here – this song makes absolutely no sense at all, with “insightful” lyrics such as, ‘I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna zigazag ha’. Nevertheless, this fact has never stopped us from jumping around and raising the roof with appalling dance moves.
Let us all raise a glass to the astonishingly awkward 90s.