Can we stop using the phrase “Guilty pleasures”?



Why are bands like ABBA and the Bee Gees seen as guilty pleasures these days? Everyone knows the songs and many of us have a copy of their greatest hits yet they are referred to in this derogatory way and I don’t get it.

Sitting watching “Glee” last night they performed songs by the Spice Girls, Barry Manilow and Phil Collins in the episode called “Guilty Pleasures” which baffled me as they are all huge stars that have sold tens of millions of albums to cement their place in music history. I can’t quite understand why society looks down on these pieces of music as something they can’t admit to liking.

Then it hit me – the fashion police, the cool kids and the critics. These groups seem to decide on our behalf that something is good or bad (and there was me thinking I had free will- damn you philosophy). These are people who are paid to tell us what we should wear and like and listen to and watch when actually it is only an opinion and nothing more.

I love music of all kinds, and more than anything else in life I don’t see why we should be snobby about what we listen to because it is an emotional connection we have with music that makes us love or hate songs not one based on someone else’s perception of it. People are very quick to put down other bands and songs demanding that you like their taste and nothing else. To be fair these are usually middle aged men who still listen to Zane Lowe and pretend they know what they are talking about.

If guilty pleasures exist in music then I have loads from The Buggles “Video killed the Radio star” to Starship’s “We built this city on Rock and Roll”. I’m just as happy to listen to things that have become ironically good like Chas & Dave as I am to Fleetwood Mac, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel or Tom Jones. While I have songs and albums from the current charts it shouldn’t mean that everything that went before that wasn’t the Stone Roses and Oasis was shit should it?

To me those bands are overrated – if I find myself singing “Bachelor Boy” by Cliffy or “Call me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen it’s not a crime so stop having a go at good pop music. Listen to the early stuff by the Beatles – it’s all bubble gum pop of its day. Disco music is fantastic too but now it’s confined to quirky and ironic – you put on the Bee Gees “You should be dancing” or “Daddy Cool” by Boney M and see how long it is before you start bopping along.

You can guarantee at a family disco more people would be up dancing to Footloose than Enjoy the Silence. So let’s stop this music snobbery – pop music is great all hail ABBA and Take That and Backstreet Boys and Kylie and Girls aloud and stop being such stuck up pricks!


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