By Guest Blogger Michael Shapiro
There are certain movies that people consider “Remote Drops,” those timeless and re-watchable movies from throughout our lives that we come across when flipping channels and reflexively make us drop the remote and watch for the umpteenth time. Depending on your taste, your Remote Drop might be a classic like Casablanca, The Godfather,”\ or a more modern classic such as Shawshank Redemption. Then there are the “guilty pleasure” Remote Drops. For me, it’s movie candy like Big Trouble in Little China with Kurt Russell’s timeless John Wayne send-up. Then there’s Patrick Swayze in both Road House and the original Point Break (you gotta go down, Bodi!).
I’ve been thinking about guilty music pleasures, particularly during a recent Sirius XM trial in which I kept dialing back to the 70’s on 7. Much of my list derives from the 70’s with a few more recent exceptions and one slightly older one. These are songs, albums, and artists that aren’t necessarily bad, it’s just that the music is not universally lauded or appreciated (or the artist for that matter). I give you my musical guilty pleasures and just a bit of the “why.”
“All Over the World” – by ELO
If I’m not mistaken this comes from the “Xanadu” soundtrack, a movie I’m fairly certain I’ve never seen more than five minutes of. This is classic ELO, poppy, bombastic, lyrically straightforward, and upbeat. There’s a flash-mob video for this song and I’m a sap for it. It just makes me smile.
The album On – by Off Broadway
I’ve done no research to discover whether or not this three-chord rock and roll band from the 70’s ever made another album. They had a small hit with the single, “Stay in Time,” and the rest of the songs are similarly basic rock and roll. Decent harmonies, strong lead vocals, and a good beat.
“Ants Marching” – by The Dave Matthews Band
The quintessential 90’s Bro Band, there’s an apocryphal story about a DMB tour bus dumping human waste in the Chicago river, but that has nothing to do with this silly song that features the iconic violin and saxophone combo that they were known for. When I hear this song, I remember driving down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills during the one year I lived in LA, looking for a very specific size Tums package for my manic movie producer boss. ”Place them in a box until a quieter time. Lights down, you up and die.”
“Ob-la-di-ob-la-da” – by The Beatles
Any list ranking the Beatles songs from 1 to whatever, inevitably lists this song near the bottom. True it has neither the lyrical depth of “In My Life” or the musical majesty of “A Day in the Life,” it just bobs up and down and you can’t get it out of your head all day. Though there is the prophetic use of the word, “bro” sounding more like “bra.”
“Nights on Broadway” – by The Bee Gees
Pre-disco Bee Gees. This is a good song. Great melody, harmonies, strong production. It’s just a good song.
“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” – by Gordon Lightfoot
“The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down…” to make a long story short, the big f-ing boat sinks. The master Canadian singer-storyteller regales with a true tale of a Great Lakes disaster. If you ever get the chance, you’ve got to hear Burton Cummings, lead singer of the Guess Who sing “If Gordon Lightfoot’s Favorite Singer Was Rod Stewart.”
The Little River Band
Anything by the Little River Band. So sue me.
What are your guilty pleasures?