We’ve all got a guilty pleasure track. There’s just something about The Spice Girls that gets you going sometimes, right..? We asked the finalists in the 2013 Ultrabook Blogster Awards music category (paired with Rdio) to tell us what track they’re most guilty about lovin’.
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Rick Astley: ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’
Rick Astley will never give you up, he’ll never tell a lie and he sure as hell won’t stand by and watch as you pretend not to like this song. The infamous drum fill at the start of this party anthem gets more people out of their seats than a screening of Grown Ups and everyone always seems to know every single word.And the video clip… my God, the video clip. Who said a scrawny, pale, red head couldn’t completely conquer the dancefloor?
SUBMITTED BY CIRCULAR KEY
John Farnham: ‘You’re The Voice’
Topical, right? Not that I’m even that guilty about it, this thing is a national treasure; a valuable lesson that retirement is for suckers and also my personal choice to replace ‘Waltzing Matilda’ at the start of every Wallabies game. Someone get Quade on the line, he could do with a dose of this.
SUBMITTED BY DOUBTFUL SOUNDS
Whitesnake: ‘Still of the Night’
The year was 1987, I was in my teens, fighting hormones, rebelling mildly and subtly against parents and teachers and along came the golden age of hair metal. Of course I later realised that this was metal-lite but I was transfixed by Whitesnake, Twisted Sister, Poison and Motley Crue until Guns N Roses saved my musical soul. ‘Still Of The Night’ with David Coverdale’s Robert Plant tight trousered yelp, the squeal of the guitars and the pomp and strut of it all. At the time it felt like musical nirvana. Of course that was still to come too…
SUBMITTED BY ME AND ALL MY FRIENDS
Taxiride: ‘Creepin’ Up Slowly’
In 2002, singing along out loud, Discman in hand, to the chorus of ‘Creepin’ Up Slowly’ in a public setting perhaps wouldn’t have been the greatest idea. And although I still find myself wondering exactly what they meant by that chorus, when it comes down to the song itself – it’s still remains catchy as all hell. Taxiride were essentially a boy band dressed up with guitars and a turntable, and with ‘Creepin’ Up Slowly’ they provided me with the entry point to the world of well-crafted guitar heavy pop music, complete with sing-a-long, disposable pop-laden choruses.
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Dolly Parton: ‘9 to 5’
My gateway drug to Americana music was Neil Young. He showed me the light and pointed me in the right direction but along the way I’ve deviated into irresistible pastures. I generally have a disdain for commercial country music but in 1980 Dolly Parton married country, pop and the spirit of disco in the near perfect ‘9 to 5’. With its cash register percussion, the infectious bounce of its rhythm section and Dolly’s sugar coated hook of a chorus this is one of those songs that never fails to kickstart a room full of smiles and nodding heads.
SUBMITTED BY PROJECT U
Bonnie McKee: ‘American Girl’
I hate the idea of ‘guilty pleasures’. It’s either a pleasure or a dis-pleasure, there should be no guilt around the feeling of pleasure. Unless, of course, you’re ‘making the sex’ in a train bathroom or something. You should feel very, very guilty. But I suppose that ‘in a world’ that considers disposable pop music to be a ‘guilty pleasure’, Bonnie McKee’s ‘American Girl’ is the pop song right now. It’s a four-to-the-floor, simplistic but fiery banger, by the girl who wrote some of Katy Perry and Ke$ha’s biggest hits, and it opens with the line ‘I fell in love in a 7/Eleven parking lot’. AMAZING.
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Tom Petty: ‘American Girl’
I’m not sure whether Tom Petty counts as a guilty pleasure in Australia, but after spending some time in states and realising how over played on commercial radio he is, I guess maybe the old rocker is my biggest of all guilty pleasures. The opening chords of American Girl for me is like having adrenalin injected into my brain. It’s sing-a-long, it’s dance-a-long, there’s a great breakdown, cheesy harmonies in the chorus – make it last all night – it’s everything a classic American rock song should be. Oh….and it ends with the perfect air guitar opportunity!
SUBMITTED BY STONEY ROADS
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs: ‘Tapes & Money’
I have one of those sick habits of listening to a song until I hate it, and then every time I hear it I want to scratch out my eyeballs, but ‘Tapes & Money’? Nope, no way. I listen to it when I’m pumped, when I’m sad, hell I even listen to it during my private fuzzy tingle times. Half about relationships and half about phone hacking, you can kind of hear a panicky, paranoid vibe coming through and that just makes it awesome because it’s typical of T.E.E.D’s melancholic yet celebratory style. I guess it’s a song that makes you want to dance, but also doesn’t give a shit whether or not you do.
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Cake: ‘The Distance’
I’m guilty of buying ‘The Distance’ by Cake on CD single in 1996. Guilty. It was my first music purchase and to this day still reigns as my guiltiest musical pleasure. Who knew a steady bassline and a frontman operating in a ‘is he rapping or is he singing’ musical no-man’s land, were the keys to my young heart? On paper it was all so wrong, but to the ear it was oh so right. You cannot deny a song that blessed us with the lines: ‘Bowel-shaking earthquakes of doubt and remorse /
Assail him, impale him with monster-truck force’. ‘The Distance’ was Cake’s musical sweet spot and 17 years later it still endures, guilty as charged.
SUBMITTED BY THIS IS THE GOLDEN AGE
Pachelbel: ‘Canon in D’
I’m aware that this song is played as thousands of wide-eyed brides walk towards their future ex-husbands. I’m aware that this sappy tripe has scored the closing credits of countless early 2000s rom-coms. I’m aware that the chord structure has been used time and time again for poisonously sweet pop songs about growing up. I know it’s my own fault that this song makes me feel like I can lead any army to victory or make the sweetest love to the most beautiful woman. And I know I shouldn’t get goose bumps every time I hear it, but I do.
SUBMITTED BY TIMBER AND STEEL
Dream Academy: ‘Life In A Northern Town’
While I don’t believe in “guilty pleasures” (there’s nothing to be guilty about when it comes to music) people would be surprised to know I love ‘Life In A Northern Town’ by Dream Academy. There’s something about the big drums, the chanting and that synth line. It helps that the song is about Nick Drake, yet sounds nothing like a Nick Drake song.
SUBMITTED BY WE TALK, YOU DIE
Fall Out Boy: ‘Thnks Fr Th Mmrs’
I have a rich history with those black fake band t-shirts you picked up at Retrostar. So it’s not too much of stretch to imagine why I used to really loved Fall Out Boy (and still kinda do). I really could’ve chosen anything from the brilliant, Infinity On High record, but decided on ‘Thnks Fr Th Mmrs’ – as it really is pop-punk at its finest. It was slightly angsty and harsh – but also way too slick and produced for anyone who actually liked punk to handle. And wasn’t that the whole point of the genre?? Fuck it, I’m going to listen to the album right now.