Wednesday, August 02, 2006

THE WHISKY PRIESTS OF COOL

We always have trouble understanding the whole "guilty pleasures" concept - if a song fills you ears with joy and makes you smile, why would you want to keep quiet about it? It's a bit like sex: if you're ashamed doing it, you're probably not really liking what you're doing. And if you enjoy it, you shouldn't feel guilty.

So there's something a little bullying about the guilty pleasures chart in Q, which requires you to accept that there's something wrong about liking ELO or any of the other top ten:

1. ELO - Livin' Thing
2. Boston - More Than A Feeling
3. S Club 7 - Don't Stop Movin'
4. 10cc - I'm Not In Love
5. Gary Glitter - Rock'n'Roll Part 2
6. Foreigner - Cold As Ice
7. Billy Idol - Rebel Yell
8. Status Quo - Whatever You Want
9. Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street
10. Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive


Okay, the presence of Gary Glitter is a reminder that, at least when it comes to sex, there are some things you should feel guilty about. But if you like Boston, just because it's inexplicable to anyone with ears, there's no reason you should feel bad about yourself.

The whole exercise raises the question: if you're feeling guilty, in what court do you think you'll be convicted? And if they tell you what you like is wrong, why do you accept their authority? And if you do feel guilty for liking things this court of opinion have ruled beyond acceptable, should you also feel guilty for not liking the things they laud.

If you can't be certain of your own taste, can you be certain of who you are? Sarah Sands might be nuts for loving James Blunt, but you'd have to take sides with a person who knows their own mind over somebody who thinks that liking boogalooing round their room to S Club 7 is the sort of thing that one must keep from their own children.


2 comments:

Tim Footman said...

Guilty pleasures have a fashion cycle as well, it would seem. The ironic (?) reassessment of ELO (Divine Comedy doing cover versions; Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind; Andrew Collins sings their praises; featured in Dr Who) has been going on for several years.

Face it, if a list appears in Q, they're dealing with a pretty lowest-common-denominator readership, so anything they cover has to have reached some sort of critical mass of popularity. So how can it be a guilty pleasure if all your dull, Coldplay-loving mates are boogying to it? It's like that moment when you realise everybody else masturbates as well, even your mum.

Coldplay... now that would be a guilty pleasure...

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