We can’t be ‘cool’ all the time!

My post on Supertramp has raised the hackles of a couple of readers, especially our correspondent from the U.K., Nick Haines, who said:

“You HAVE to be joking.
If you really believe that Supercrap were/are worth listening too/debating then I’m afraid our working relationship is at an end.

Seriously mate…..and this is what confuses me about you transatlantic types. You name a top 10 fave bands,,,7 or 8 of which are credible…and then you include Rush or some other excrement. PLEASE tell me this post was a joke!”

No, mate, I’m sorry to disappoint, but it wasn’t a joke. Every once in a while the rock snob in me takes a sabbatical and is replaced by the 12 year old boy that was discovering his cousin’s record collection. When you’re that young you’re vulnerable to all sorts of musical diseases. Some, like genital warts, stay with you for life. Others can be cured with an injection of The Flaming Lips or Nick Lowe.

Some guilty pleasures are just a song or two, others whole albums. It depends how bad you were bitten back in the day, I suppose. And it’s also relative. You see, I would consider Green Day a guilty pleasure; a laughable but passable attempt at recreating the punk rock of the Clash, Ramones and the Sex Pistols, not too dissimilar to the Monkees back in the 60’s. I think that the ‘guilty pleasure’ tag is often placed on a band by the critical “elite” which becomes so popular with the general population that their music becomes hip to hate. Fleetwood Mac, The Bee Gees, Michael Jackson circa Thriller, Steve Miller, E.L.O., Queen, etc, etc etc etc. Decades can rehabilitate these bands, sometimes for good, sometimes not. How else do you explain ABBA’s lasting appeal, fer Christ’s sake? Time wounds all heals, so they say.

I like what I like, and there ain’t no more to it than that. Here are some more “guilty pleasures to get your Imperial blood flowin’, my friends:

The Monks (no, not THAT Monks): Bad Habits

A ‘joke’ band that unexpectedly scored a couple of hits with “Nice Legs (Shame About Her Face) and Johnny B. Rotten back in the late 70’s. There are other great tracks, though, such as Skylab, the title song, and my personal favorite, Drugs In My Pocket. It’s extremely difficult to find, even on Amazon, but if you like fun power-pop flavored tunes, I’d suggest searching for it.

Adam And The Ants, Kings Of The Wild Frontier

A real gem of a record. There was nothing like him and his Burundi-based pirate/spaghetti western/punky pop rock before, and for a few years, in Britain at least, he was as big as big gets. He flrted with fame here in the States with Goody Two Shoes, but was never really thought of as anything other than a novelty act. Maybe he was, but this album remains a wonderfully creative, and extremely fun, listen. A landmark of 80’s rock and roll.

The Cars, The Cars and Candy-O

They were pure new-wave pop tasty goodness; the blueprint for all new wave power pop bands to come after. Still sounds great and fresh today. Their newest record, without the late Ben Orr, is a fantastic throwback to these two albums. Thankfully they didn’t base it on their later, crowd and AM radio pleasing ‘Door To Door’ album.

Gordon Lightfoot, Gord’s Gold

I got no excuse for this one. Except that I’m half Canadian…and Sundown contains one of my all time favorite lyrics in “Sometimes I think it’s a shame/ When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain.” Poetry. Sheer Canadian, hockey luvin’, tuke wearin’ drunken poetry.

Now….how ‘bout you?