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The Annals of Rock Snobbery

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As promised, the two members of the Rock Snob brain trust herewith confess some of their Guilty Pleasures, the revelation of which will prevent us from ever being invited into some Eno- and Beefheart-favoring households again. Do you have Guilty Pleasures that you’re willing to admit to, even at the risk of public Snob humiliation? If so, write to us care of, and we’ll publish the most egregious admissions. (Also, to all of you who have sent in Desert Island Disc lists, the best of your lists will be posted this weekend.)

Without further Hüsker a-Dü, here are our first stabs at Guilty Pleasures lists, with—ulp!—more to come.


“I Want to Know What Love Is,” Foreigner
Pure musical morphine; almost absolves these airbrushed dinosaurs from all the FM Hell they created.

“How Did You Get Here,” Deborah Cox
Personally, I have never done karaoke, but if I did, this lachrymose house-music showtune would definitely be My Song. Who you lookin’ at, bitch—you don’t know me!

“Beautiful,” Christina Aguilera
For when Steve is feeling a little :(

“Accidents Will Happen,” Elvis Costello
Costello is the ultimate self-conscious, try-hard Rock Snob artist-lecturer. But he does occasionally write a good tune.

“You Make Me So Very Happy,” Blood, Sweat and Tears
The very dregs of late-sixties counterculture; deracinated corporate soul for blokes who bought their hi-fis from Playboy ads. But try dancing to this song barefoot on a shag carpet, and you will believe.


“Free Me,” Emma Bunton
The only ex-Spice Girl solo record I’ve ever heard. As stated in a previous post, Elvis Costello would justify such a pick by saying it “evokes John Barry’s arrangements for Shirley Bassey” or somesuch. I just like the tune and her vocals.

“Breathe Your Name,” Sixpence None the Richer
We refer to this group in the book as a bunch of “anemic Christian alt-poppers,” but this song has a lovely, levitational quality; the kind of song a teen moppet like Hilary Duff should do.

“Harry Truman,” Chicago
Toe-tapping and, dare I say, topical song by AM-radio stalwarts Chicago, plus it’s sung by pianist Robert Lamm, so there’s no grating Peter Cetera vocal to endure. Oh, hang it all, I like the Peter Cetera songs, too!

“I’m Telling You Now,” Freddie and the Dreamers
Loathed by sixties-pop purists as a cheesy, cabaret-style Brit Invasion coattail rider, bespectacled Freddie Garrity was actually a better showman and singer than anyone in pop today.

“Big Bang Baby,” Stone Temple Pilots
Doomed grunge bandwagoneers make an eleventh-hour attempt to be funny. The critics and faithful hated it; me, I thought it was catchy.

May 03, 2005 More Rock Snobbery »

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