Top Five Guilty Pleasure Songs

Posted: July 28, 2012 in Bread, Journey, Looking Glass, Loverboy, Toto, Uncategorized
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The guilty pleasure song is the secret shag of the music lover: always there, always dependable but you sure don’t want your friends to know who you are spending quality time with.  I run some risk with this list as there are perhaps people who don’t consider these songs guilty pleasures at all, but rather simply damn fine music.  Whatever. We will know who these folks are by the Journey coasters on their coffee table and their faded, but still wearable, Looking Glass bandana.

Next week:  Top Five Rock and Roll Artists Who Met a Far Too Early Demise

1. Don’t Stop Believin’-Journey

“Don’t Stop Believin'” was a bona fide hit off the chart topping 1981 album “Escape”.  Escape to or from what is unkown, but Dave Marsh of Rolling Stone called it one of the worst number one albums of all time.  Regardless, I confess to actually quite liking this song:  it is catchy, tells a rags to riches story and the psuedo rock riffage is the bomb.  Not to mention Steve Perry’s ‘do.

2. Hold the Line-Toto

What is about staccato piano intro’s followed by overly compressed guitar riffage? Is it part of a secret cheese formula?  This tune has both in spades.  I will say one thing however, the band members’ wide ranging and top drawer studio experience (Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs and Sonny and Cher among others) shows through here with some of the smoothest fromage one could hope for.  This song was top 5 in 1978 and 1979 and was eclipsed only, in my opinion, by “Africa” and only then because the writers managed to work the words “Serengeti” and “Kilimanjaro” into one verse of one lyric for the only time in music history.  I have mentioned this fact before, but it such an achievement that I had to mention it again.

3. Hot Girls in Love-Loverboy

A little bit of Vancouver flavour here.  I actually kind of liked this band back in the day.  Local boys made good and Mike Reno drove a Ferrari, if I recall, before they were a dime a dozen.  No staccato piano, just a little synth and organ to round out the power chords.  Produced by the late Bruce Fairbairn,who had gold plated producing credits that went on forever, this is a slick (and very likeable tune).

4. Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)-Looking Glass

Formed at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Looking Glass was a more or less one hit wonder (a tune subsequent to this gem charted, but not so well).  This is cool little song, and probably wouldn’t even be a guilty pleasure at all but for the lyrics. I remember listening to it on my transistor when I was about 15.  I might have even bought the 45.  Another Top Five list, another day.

5. Make it With You-Bread

Charting at number one in 1970, this song was by far Bread’s biggest hit, although there were numerous others.  Epitomising that oxymoron called “soft rock”, I am not sure exactly why this song has stuck with me the way it has; perhaps it is the ever hopeful lyric.  Who really knows.  Passing  the true test of a guilty pleasure, I might smile and even light up a bit when I hear it, but I sure won’t put it on when you come over.

  1. eleri says:

    hahaha. i only know one of these songs and i would consider it mildly awful but lovable. my guilty pleasures are so guilty and so awful that they shall not be mentioned. well ok: the whole of hair metal…almost every song has a place in my heart. ice t. oh god. my ex made me love whitney houston. so bad! kid rock. awful! and drum roll please: against all odds by phil collins. actually i’m proud of these guilty pleasures….waves freak flag.

    • topfivevinyl says:

      My gawd!

      But that is the whole point of guilty pleasures: you love them regardless. That said, Whitney Houston, Kid Rock and Phil Collins in one requires real dedication.

  2. earthboy011 says:

    I’m not quite sure what this says but until now I’ve never heard the first 3 of these songs. They must have come out during my bluegrass phase.

  3. topfivevinyl says:

    But you have them now!

  4. Love this post and love “guilty pleasures”…a few I’d put in that category, and love, are up there…yay!

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