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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 03/ 9/2007

Friday List: Sweet-Sounding Guilty Pleasures

By Liz Kelly

Just admit it: We all (heart) Abba. (Copyright Torbjorn Calvero)

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with one of washingtonpost.com's head honchos (a hip kind of guy who defies comparisons to Ricky Gervais or any kind of Dilbertian manager in that he is certainly above being swayed by base flattery) at a company event (whose swank factor was not at all affected by drinking wine out of paper cups) about some of the more embarrassing songs we happen to have on our iPods. What started as a passing reference to the Starland Vocal Band ("Afternoon Delight") and my current obsession with "Itchycoo Park" soon morphed into a conversational one-upsmanship featuring a smorgasbord of cheesy songs of yesteryear.

Often we can't explain exactly what it is that makes a particular cheesy song so appealing. Sometimes it's an infectious chorus or a musical hook that just gets you in the gut. More often, it isn't so much the music or lyrics as the era or memories the song evokes for you. For instance, the song "Wildfire" (for which I have been mercilessly teased by Gene Weingarten) instantly takes me back to the late '70s, soda can tab chains, winged hair and the stray cat I named after the song, while "We're Not Gonna Take It" just never fails to bring a smile to my face.

While I set my iPod to shuffle and hope "Lonely Goatherd" and "Harper Valley PTA" only come up when I'm alone in the car, this manager -- we'll call him "Jim" -- confessed to sequestering his songs in a special playlist he calls "Guilty Pleasures." Genius.

That very evening I rushed home to re-arrange my iTunes library and create a playlist so cheesy that Asiago, provolone and even Camembert would melt in its presence.

In the spirit of I'll-show-you-mine-if-you-show-me-yours, today we will achieve maximum group cathartic release by sharing songs from our guilty pleasure playlists.

A Few from Mine:
More Than Words, Extreme
Joanna, Kool & the Gang
Brandy (You're a Fine Girl), Looking Glass
All Cried Out, Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam
Saturday Night, Bay City Rollers
Mr. Roboto, Styx
Hips Don't Lie, Shakira

A Few from "Jim's":
Midnight Train to Georgia, Gladys Knight & the Pips
Dancing Queen, Abba
Mandy, Barry Manilow

Your turn. Share your guilty pleasure playlists below...

Bonus Material:
Homer Simpson on the Starland Vocal Band (YouTube)

By Liz Kelly  | March 9, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists  
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