Thursday, September 23, 2004

iPod's guilty little pleasures

What sort of crap do you have lurking hidden on your iPod?

That's the question a recent article (found in The Arizona Republic) asked:

"Those saccharine pop tunes and schmaltzy ballads cloaked from friends? There's no excuse anymore. No blaming it on a CD that had just one song you liked. No claiming it belonged to your wife, husband or friend.

You selected each and every tune. Like it or not, these are your greatest hits.

Now, let the melodic mocking commence."

OK, I'm guilty as charged. Not only do I have a slew of really embarrassing guilty pleasures on my pod, but they have actually found their way on to various mixes I've made. That means, no excuses.

How about you? What embarrassing ditties would your close friends be aghast about -- if they knew? Since our last interactive musical discussion -- Greatest American R&R Band -- was so much fun, let's take another swipe at it:

          What are the most horrendous, embarrassing, guilty pleasures on your iPod?

I'll start the HD spinning with my hidden collection of pathetic guilty pleasures ('tho music snob that I am, I foolishly believe my guilty pleasures are superior to most people's -- indefensible as that position might be).

These lists go from least (10) to most (1) embarrassing.

Generally embarrassing pop orotherwise awful commercial song:

0911ipod 10. Semi-Charmed Kinda of Life, Third Eye Blind
9. Undone - The Sweater Song, Weezer
8. Horndog, Overseer
7. Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me), Blessid Union Of Souls
6. I Touch Myself, Divinyls
5. Closing Time, Semisonic
4. Complicated, Avril Lavigne
3. (I Hate) Everything About You, Ugly Kid Joe
2. She Hates Me, Puddle of Mudd
1. Mmmm Bop, Hanson

These are the utterly embarrassing songs on my "Gym Mix" : Ipod_01a3lf56x564i

10. I'm Just a Girl, No Doubt
9. Groove Is In The Heart, Deee-Lite
8. Take It Off, The Donnas
7. Fantastic Voyage, Coolio
6. Murder On The Dance floor, Sophie Ellis Bextor
5. Good Vibrations, Marky Mark
4. Steal My Sunshine, Len
3. That Don't Impress Me Much, Shania Twain
2. I Just Want to Make Love to You, Foghat
1. Rico Suave, Gerardo

And lastly, a mix I named "Bad radio from my Youth" -- and it is utterly ghastly:

10. Bad Time (for Being in Love), Grand Funk Railroad
9. Keep On Loving You, REO Speedwagon
8. Day After Day, Badfinger
7. Without you, Badfinger

A two way tie of simply awful for 3rd place:

6. (Shake, Shake, Shake) Your Booty, K.C. & The Sunshine Band
5. Keep It Comin' Love, K.C. & The Sunshine Band
(I've actually grown to like some other KC stuff, but these 2 -- shudder -- sheesh!)

A three way tie totally lacking any redeeming qualities for 2nd place:

4. Cover of the Rolling Stone, Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
3. When You're in Love (with a Beautiful Woman), Dr. Hook
2. Sylvia's Mother, Dr. Hook

Last, and actually least, a song beyond bad:

1. Coconut, Harry Nilsson

There, I've outed myself and my misspent youth . . .

Update: Monday, September 20, 2004 11:12 PM
There are some interesting comments on this issue over at kottke, which is where I originally saw the pointer for this. Since then, there have been over 100 entries of guilty iPod pleasures, including what must be the playlist from Hell.

Check it out . . .

iPod guilty pleasures
Don Fernandez
Cox News, Sept. 11, 2004 12:00 AM

Posted at 09:47 AM in Design, Music, Web/Tech | Permalink


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While your honesty is admirable, "Rico Suave" and "Mmmm Bop" are simply unforgivable.
My list is as follows:

Dokken - Breaking the Chains
Poison - Nothin' but a Good Time
Go West - King of Wishful Thinking (Pretty Woman Soundtrack)
Jennifer Paige - Crush
Duncan Sheik - Barely Breathing
The Corrs - Breathless
Roxette - It Must Have Been Love (Pretty Woman Soundtrack)
Charlie Pride - Burgers and Fries (I can't believe I am admitting to this)
Backstreet Boys - The One
Abba (the entire Greatest Hits CD)

Posted by: mustardnut | Sep 20, 2004 12:56:46 PM

Sir, you may make fun of my transgressions all day.

However, nothing will ever change the fact that both Roxette (It Must Have Been Love) and the Backstreet Boys are on your iPod.

I declare summary execution for both of us . . .

Posted by: Barry Ritholtz | Sep 20, 2004 1:14:16 PM

Understood. Preferred method?

Posted by: mustardnut | Sep 21, 2004 12:51:38 PM

Death by New Kids on the Block . . .

Posted by: Barry Ritholtz | Sep 21, 2004 5:51:20 PM

All five of them? This is going to hurt.

With your fine taste of humor, I thought that you might appreciate this.

Posted by: mustardnut | Sep 24, 2004 12:18:48 PM

My current obsession is Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again, Naturally" from the Virgin Suicides Soundtrack.

I am a Rhapsody subscriber, so there is no per track charge, no download time, no hard drive space issues. No transaction cost whatsoever, thus, I have come face to face with my inner cheesedog and it isn't pretty.

I've spent far less time checking out the avant jazz that I've been missing than expected and far more time communing with AM radio circa 1975 when I was 8.

"Stone Soul Picnic" by Laura Nyro or the Fifth Dimension.

"Summer Breeze" Seals and Croft

"Sara Smile" Hall and Oats

"Danny's Song" Loggins and Messina

"Please Come to Boston" Loggins

"I'm Not in Love" 10cc

"Sunshine" Jonathan Edwards

"Shanty" Jonathan Edwards

"The Night Chicago Died" Paper Lace

"Ooh Child" The Five Stairsteps

Posted by: Marc Brazeau | Sep 26, 2004 8:59:43 AM

I freely admit to having a stash of Gilbert & Sullivan light opera on my playlist. Why, not just an hour ago, I was heartily belting out the pirate chorus from Penzance:

Pour, O pour the pirate sherry;
Fill, O fill the pirate glass;
And, to make us more than merry
Let the pirate bumper pass.

But surely I have worse secrets in my playlist. Let me check. Hmm.. I have an embarassingly large Adam & the Ants collection I've never listened to, I wonder where I got that from. Oh.. here's a gem in my collection, a karaoke version of "I Can't Get No Satisfaction," it sounds like the Stones but it's incredibly annoying because there aren't main vocals, just the background chorus singing "I can't get NO! Hey hey hey!" over and over. It cracks me up when I listen to it.

Posted by: charlie don't surf | Sep 29, 2004 10:46:08 PM

Dude, nothing against iPod, but first you should consider a normal mp3 player, it's smaller lighter and uses less batterypower.

Anyways, me as a metalhead would listen to this:

Opeth - Drapery Falls
Dimmu Borgir - In death's Embrace
Kataklysm - As I Slither
Nile - Unas Salyer of the Gods
Arch Enemy - Leader of the Rats
Dying Fetus - your blood is my wine
Emperor - Sworn
Burzum - Key to the Gate
Dimmu Borgir - Entrance
Ministry - Just one Fix

Just to make clear, i'm not a goth i'm a very normal dutch person that likes death metal, i don't believe in satan neither do i believe in God. Good luck with your Blog ;-)

Posted by: Linke Soep | Oct 26, 2004 4:20:02 AM

The first two lists are most definitely unfathomable.

I'm either a) at a complete loss of understanding as to how your fingers could even elicit the keystrokes to complete the downloading of such content, or b) in sheer disappointment that you are doing some type of mind-altering-hallucinogenic drug(s) which (and, mind you, more importantly) you're not sharing with the rest of us.

As for list three - what's the problem? I fail to see any shame! What am I missing?!
{head in hands}

Posted by: DJ | Nov 19, 2004 7:58:26 AM

That's the idea -- I am baring my soul and admitting horrific, blood curdling, serial killer type confessions

The 1st list -- well, Im a sucker for a good pop hook

List 2: really embarrassing crap -- disco shiite

List 3 is garbage made palpable thru the rosy glow of nostalgia . . .

Posted by: Barry Ritholtz | Nov 19, 2004 5:34:16 PM

ok here we go
1. Sopranos Theme Song
2. Short People - Randy Newman
3. Rock Lobster - B52's
4. People are People - Depeche Mode
5. Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran

The rest of my iPod is Led Zep, Doors, Who et al. These are embarassing.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 21, 2004 2:19:43 PM

Nobody has the Hamster dance or Macarena? What about Achy Breaky Heart?

Posted by: Mary Kay HofMann | Aug 2, 2005 2:35:06 AM

Last, and actually least, a song beyond bad:

1. Coconut, Harry Nilsson

Sorry, I realize that this is an old article, but I couldn't help but correct the typo where you have "bad" in place of "genius".

I know, I know, I do it myself all the time too!    : )

Posted by: Rob | Aug 7, 2005 5:33:35 PM

Its a fun novelty song -- a guilty pleasure!

but a work of genius?

The legacy of Mozart or John Lennon or John Coltrane are safe from Harry Nilsson

Posted by: Barry Ritholtz | Aug 8, 2005 6:17:37 AM

Hey! I like Badfinger, dammit ... *grump*

Posted by: Chuck | Aug 12, 2005 2:58:54 PM

Great blog.

My Top 10 iPod guilty pleasures, in no particular order:

Styx - "Renegade"
The Buggles - "Video Killed the Radio Star" (a big hit at parties!)
Sister Sledge - "We Are Family"
Puff Daddy's cover of "Big Ole Butt"
Kid Rock - "Cowboy"
Johnny Nash - "I Can See Clearly"
Dio - "Rainbow in the Dark" (hair metal sometimes has a time and a place...)
Roger Miller -- "King of the Road"
Carl Douglas - "Kung Fu Fighting"
"Les Miz" soundtrack (a sentimental choice - my first real "adult" date was when I took a college girlfriend to the musical)

Posted by: West 12th Street Guy | Aug 19, 2005 11:04:33 AM

Did you know Fred Schneider covered Coconut?

Posted by: Christopher Davis | Oct 31, 2005 5:13:59 PM

My problem isn't a collection of bad 80s 'POP' songs but repitition of songs I do love. I don't care who sings them. I don't know how many versions of 'They call the wind Mariah', 'Sukiyaki', 'Cry me a River', 'Cinema Paradiso', and not a few others. In my book, even a bad voice can't kill a good song.

Posted by: Jamie | Nov 18, 2005 9:07:57 AM

while some of your embarrasing songs i agree with their are two i dont they are cover of the rolling stone and sylvias mother by dr hook and the medicine show which are classics and it is and insult to them to say they are embarrasing

Posted by: mank | Feb 3, 2006 1:47:39 PM

I've got Coconut too. Two versions. Harry Nilsson and ... (i turn red) ... the Muppets.

Posted by: Laura | Mar 16, 2006 11:55:42 AM

I still use an excuse for bad music when busted: "I copied these songs to my collection from a friends hard drive and the random selection from iTunes must have picked it. "

Having said that I do have one that is there intentionally: Celine Dion "Because you loved me". I almost threw up writing that.

Posted by: Mike | Apr 18, 2006 11:03:20 AM

There is really no excuse to having bad music on your portable mp3 player. But it happens, right?

Posted by: Bill | Aug 31, 2006 3:43:51 PM

-A Flock of Seagulls
-A-ha (gawd am I ashamed, but I consider Morten Harket's voice one of the best in my generation).
-The Fixx (c'mon they're a REAL band).
-Cocteau Twins (never got sick of them, but my wife has!)

Drum roll...Tal Bachman's "She's So High"

Posted by: Chad in Japan | Sep 29, 2006 11:31:23 AM

Great songs are great songs...pop, R&B, blues, etc., etc., etc. "Keep It Coming Love" and "Shake, Shake, Shake (your booty) are great songs!!! Don't be embarrassed about 'em :-))

Posted by: debbie | Dec 2, 2006 10:51:16 PM

Awesome read. Really handy info.

Posted by: iPod | Apr 6, 2007 5:13:54 AM

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