Today we’re taking a look at the guilty pleasures of musicians and critics. Turns out they all have very different ideas of the concept. Slash on Rihanna: “One of my guilty pleasures is probably really attractive young pop singer females that can sing. I really think that’s sort of a turn on. She’s got a great voice.”
Dave Grohl: “I couldn’t get [Spice Girls’ ‘Two Become One’] out of my head, and it’s not even a dance song it’s just this slow love shit. Lord I love it I don’t know what to do! In Nirvana, Krist Novoselic joked that he was going to call his autobiography ‘What The Hell Was I Thinking?’ Now I know what he means. Do I need a shrink?”
Gavin Haynes, NME writer: “t.A.T.u.’s ‘All The Things She Said’ represented not so much a tarty ‘can you snog your friend for our cameras’ take on faux-lesbianism, as a canny new take on the outsider narrative of so much great pop. ‘It’s us versus the world,’ they professed, sexily, while Trevor Horn’s chorus of 600 guitars blazed. They were the Smiths of the early-noughties.”
Fraser McAlpine, NME writer: “I don’t feel remotely guilty for liking Soulja Boy‘s ‘Yahhh!’, a song which is objectively very bad indeed, but still rather brilliant. It’s just a very bratty, ungrateful moan about being harrassed by fans, over a cheap synth line you could play with your nose, and some shouting. It’s rubbish, but a LOT of fun.”
Ben Cardew, NME writer: “Enya’s ‘Orinoco Flow’ may be just about everything rock and roll isn’t – gibberish new age lyrics, an overwhelming sense of niceness and the judicious use of a harp – but, as the countless rave producers who have made use of it might agree, it’s a wildly catchy beast with a horribly great tune.”
BBC Radio 1’s Jen Long: “I like ‘That’s How You Know’ by Amy Adams. It’s from the film Enchanted. It makes me feel like a giggling girl. The lyrics, the sentiment, the shame.”
Miles Kane: “I love ‘Staying Alive’ by The Bee Gees. You could probably pick up on that.”
Mike Williams, NME Deputy Editor: “I have a weird infatuation with Lisa Loeb’s ‘Stay (I Missed You)’. What’s not to like? It’s catchy, it doesn’t really have a chorus, she’s got amazing glasses, it was on the Reality Bites soundtrack and I once had a dream where I was playing it on an acoustic guitar at the back of the school bus and loads of girls fancied me.”
Gary Jarman, The Cribs: “I think [The Bee Gees ‘Size Isn’t Everything’] is phenomenal – it’s one of my favourite albums. It’s the much maligned, late era of The Bee Gees, but the pop songs are fantastic. That’s really all that mattered to me. It was a big record for me when I was a kid.”
Ash Dosanjh, NME writer, has been caught listening to Five Star’s ‘System Addict’.
Jonathan Higgs, Everything Everything: “I suppose it’s our own music, actually. Sometimes I do listen to the demos we’re working on – which is understandable, and not that weird…”
Rebecca Schiller, NME writer: “Does anyone really know what Chumbawumba’s ‘Tubthumping’ means? Probably not. Does it matter? Not really. I remember buying this CD (and loving the weird purple baby on the cover) when I was 10. I brought it to a sleepover that night, and we had a massive singalong to this track. Plus it’s got a killer trumpet solo.”
Luke Lewis, NME.com Editor: Yes, Whitesnake’s ‘Here I Go Again’ is as stuffed full of lyrical cliches as David Coverdale’s crotch is stuffed full of gym socks, and yes the guitars are as epically overblown as the band’s haircuts at the time – but what a chorus! The perfect song to hear drunk at 3am with your best friends, shortly before vomiting into a plant pot.”
Matt Wilkinson, NME‘s New Music Editor: “From the very first time I heard about White Town’s ‘Your Woman’, I fell for this computer-classic. I don’t care what anyone says – it’s catchy as fuck, lyrically deceptive (“Your woman”? But you’re a bloke!) and equally eerie/freaky/weird. AKA everything wicked pop music should be.”
Ailbhe Malone, NME writer: “An embarrassing song that I really like is Dublin club classic ‘Maniac (2000)’. It’s a remix of the Flashdance theme tune by local DJ Mark McCabe (a bit like the Irish Tim Westwood) that has a rap section that I know all the words to.”
Tom Goodwyn, NME News Reporter: “The only good thing LeAnn Rimes ever did was ‘Can’t Fight The Moonlight’. This track is an absolute stormer. It’s rocking, it’s supremely catchy, it defies both her horrible pseudo country pop background and the bad film it soundtracks to be really good.”
Krissi Murison, NME Editor: “Is it wrong that of all the albums released in 2004, the one I actually still listen to the most is ‘Love Angel Music Baby’ by Gwen Stefani? Or that my favourite song on it wasn’t, y’know, ‘Tick Tock’ or ‘Hollerback’ or any of the universally-agreed good ones, but the teeth-rottingly cute, Akon featuring sap-fest ‘The Sweet Escape’?”
Alan Woodhouse, NME Senior Sub-Editor: “I personally don’t feel guilty about anything I like, but I suppose people would be surprised if I admitted that I love quite a lot of cheesy songs from my childhood – in particular, Starsky And Hutch actor David Soul‘s titanic UK chart-topping singles ‘Don’t Give Up On Us’ and ‘Silver Lady’.”
Priya Elan, NME.com Assistant Editor: “Yes, The Dream Academy’s ‘Life In A Northern Town’ might be available on a million terrible 80s compilations. Yes, it may contain a chant which makes many think of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’, but to me it’s weird, magical and rather beautiful.”
Zach Blair, Rise Against: “I actually like the first Lily Allen record, ‘Alright, Still’. The song ‘Alfie’ was infectious for me.”
Liam Fray, The Courteeners: “I think the Lightening Seeds will be pretty good, they’re like a guilty pleasure.”
Paul Donoghue, Glasvegas: “My first ever album I bought was East 17’s ‘Steam’. I stuck by it. The best thing was this catalogue. I found it a few weeks ago. You could buy East 17 dogtags.”
Tom Edwards, NME writer, admits to loving Ke$ha’s ‘TiK ToK’.
Jazz Monroe, NME writer, enjoys the occasional spin of Destiny’s Child’s ‘Jumpin’ Jumpin’.
Rob Webb, NME writer, gets a bit of guilty pleasure from Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’.
Anne Donahue, NME writer: “Right, so this should be listed under ‘intentionally ironic favourite’, but Boney M.’s ‘Rasputin’ has my heart ’till the end. Combining historical relevance, a killer beat and an excuse to dance like an idiot are the makings of a musical dream.”
Professor Green has admitted to loving Take That’s ‘Patience’.
Serj Tankian has admitted to enjoying the occasional play of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’.
Dev Hynes: “Cyndi Lauper is a big, big idol of mine. She isn’t a guilty pleasure, to me she is just as credible as the rest.”
Owen Pallett: “I don’t feel guilt about any pleasure. I’m a Bach glutton; I listen to Bach more than anything else and I play Bach at home for about an hour a day.”
Benjamin Curtis, School Of Seven Bells: “On one specific tour, we listened to the hell out of that David Archuletta album. I like simple songs that are about mundane situations. I can’t do that shit. My body naturally rejects it and knows it’s garbage, but then when I hear it, I’m so impressed. Like that horrible Black Eyed Peas song “I’ve Got a Feeling.”
Florent Lyonne, Jamaica: has confessed to liking Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’, Montell Jordan’s ‘Get It On Tonight’ and TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’.
Nick Carter, Backstreet Boys: “I have a lot of guilty pleasures! I’m not going to say it’s guilty, but [I’m] loving and absorbing so much Prince right now! I watched Purple Rain like three times in a row in the past week. I think it really doesn’t matter. It’s music.”
Tre Cool, Green Day: “One of my guilty pleasures is I listen to the On Broadway station on Sirius. When I’m alone.”
Lady Gaga: “I don’t want to hurt her feelings because she’s lovely – that Taylor Swift song ‘You Belong With Me’. Oh my God, when it comes on the radio I sing so loud, I’m so embarrassed.”
Henry Rollins: “With the advent of CDs, that ‘Best Of Kansas’ was one of the first purchases I made, along with some Madonna albums. Those new Boston remasters are so rockin’ I can’t stand it! Sometimes it is these records that hit the spot like no other, which, it seems to me, is one of the great things about music.”
Lincoln Parish, Cage The Elephant “I think [bandmate Dan Tichenor] likes that ‘Bulletproof’ song by La Roux. I don’t mind that song either.”
Theo Hutchcraft, Hurts: “Katy Perry. She’s kinda good. I mean, I can’t really work out whether I just like watching the videos on telly or…”
Slayer’s Tom Araya has fessed up to enjoying country music and Elvis Presley.
Scroobius Pip: “We used to cover ‘Push The Button’ by the Sugababes and that is a fucking brilliant song. It should be a guilty pleasure but I show no guilt at all about it. I’m one of the biggest Cyndi Lauper fans you’ll ever meet. She’s a legend, and I would never refer to it as a guilty pleasure.”
Mark Ronson: “I’m not embarrassed of my tastes as I’m an unabashed pop music fan. But I guess Phil Collins might count.”
Robbie Furze, The Big Pink: “My guilty pleasure is John Farnham’s ‘You’re The Voice ’. It’s just incredible. One, the video’s incredible. The chorus is incredible. The video, the guitarist is pretty much dressed in Rambo. They’re all in trench coats.”
Kele Okereke: “I heard [Britney Spears’ ‘I Wanna Go] in a club a few weeks ago. I’d never heard it before, but I was quite surprised that I quite liked it. I think she’s probably someone I can feel guilty about liking, because she’s just a machine now.”
Romy Madley Croft, The xx: “I’m actually a bit of a Mariah Carey fan: ‘Fantasy’, ‘Heartbreaker’, ‘Dream Lover’, ‘Be My Baby’, all that.”
Bernard Sumner, Joy Division: “[Cassie’s ‘Long Way 2 Go’] is put together with not very much, but it’s still very effective. It’s quite a simple track and not with shitloads of overdubs.”
Gaz Coombes, Supergrass: “[The Edgar Winter Group’s ‘Free Ride’ ] is a really cheesy classic rock song which is perfect for driving down California’s Highway 1.”
Jack Steadman, Bombay Bicycle Club: “My girlfriend got me into [‘Upside Down’] because she’s obsessed with Diana Ross and she’s really into this track. When I heard it, ‘I thought yeah that’s a good song’. But I never expected to find myself actually dancing to it.”
Rab Allan, Glasvegas: “I went to see Take That a couple of weeks ago. But on the up side, Pet Shop Boys were supporting them. But I was surprised how good Take That were. Geraldine dragged me. I said I didn’t have a choice, but I kind of did.”
Big Boi: “I don’t know, maybe Conway Twitty. I listen to some Conway Twitty, but that’s not really embarrassing because to get your dick sucked to a Conway Twitty record is something else.”