Category Archives: Guilty Pleasures

Deep Tracks: Night Ranger – Rumours in the Air

Rumours in the Air (1983)

This song captures the same insidious idea of the destructive nature of rumours that can be found in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Take It On the Run” by REO Speedwagon, and the obvious “Rumours” by the Time Social Club. This song begins with nice keyboards by Fitzgerald that build to a steady beat and a second keyboard melody that sustains the beginning of the song. Naturally, then, a strong rhythm guitar kicks in – but those keyboards never really leave. The solo in this song is played by Gillis and is balanced nicely with the strong keyboards. As one would expect, the rumours in the song are in reference to a couple who seem to be on the outs. The speaker has heard a rumor that, “. . . you have a new friend and lover / Who keeps you warm on the cool, cool nights.” Naturally, he does not want to believe that this is true. Instead, he choose to discuss the evil nature of rumours and how destructive they can be. Ultimately he is forced to admit that the rumours are true, “You used to call me by my first name / Now you never even call me at all / Now you say that I’m the one to blame / Doesn’t matter how I feel at all.” So it’s true. Just like in those other songs and stories, rumours are not a good thing and can put a quick end to things that could be a life long positive.

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Guilty Pleasures – Debbie Gibson

In honor of Debbie Gibson’s birthday today, I am reposting this article which was originally published on January 28, 2011. Previously, there was only a preview of the “Snake Charmer” song. Now the full version is available, so I updated it.

Growing up, some of my favorite bands were AC/DC, Def Leppard, Journey, Kiss, Quiet Riot, Van Halen, Ozzy, and Judas Priest. So naturally, the first concert I ever went to was….Debbie Gibson!! Ah yes, the Out of the Blue tour!
Debbie Gibson may have been a teen-queen, but unlike the teen queens of today, she actually had talent.

Her debut album, Out Of The Blue was a huge success. Four singles from the album reached the top 5 of the Billboard charts: Only in My Dreams”, “Shake Your Love”, “Out Of The Blue”, and the # 1 hit “Foolish Beat”. “Foolish Beat” set a record for Gibson, making her (at 17) the youngest artist ever to write, produce, and perform a Billboard # 1 single, as entered in the 1988 Guinness Book of World Records, and she remains the youngest female artist to write, record, and perform a #1 single to date.
There was no sophomore slump for Ms. Gibson. The Electric Youth album spent five weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart. The first single released, “Lost in Your Eyes”, was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, which gave Debbie another achievement with both the Electric Youth album and the single “Lost In Your Eyes” simultaneously at #1. She shared ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Award 1989 with Bruce Springsteen. She had other hits on the Electric Youth album, but not as big: Electric Youth (#11), No More Rhyme (#17) and We Could Be Together (#71).

However, just like Tiffany, Debbie’s popularity dwindled at the dawn of the dreaded ’90s. In 1995, she released the very underrated album Think With Your Heart. In the meantime, Gibson has starred in some Broadway shows, such as Les Misérables, Beauty and the Beast, Gypsy, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Grease.

Like Tiffany, Debbie posed in Playboy, and has also appeared in some reality/competition shows over recent years. In January 2006, she joined the cast of Skating with Celebrities on Fox Television, partnered with former Canadian World Champion figure skater Kurt Browning. She was voted out in the third episode. On January 6, 2008 Gibson appeared on Deal or No Deal along with Corey Feldman as part of an ’80s special.

“Mega Python vs. Gatoroid” is not Debbie Gibson’s first foray into cheesy sci-fi movies. She co-starred with actor Lorenzo Lamas in “Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus” which was released on May 19, 2009 (and is also airing again earlier tomorrow at 5:00pm Eastern).

10. Only In My Dreams

The one that started it all. You could tell that Debbie Gibson would become a star. She was cute and had a very good voice. This video is from the tour where I saw her:

9. Out of the Blue

Another very good song from her debut album. It was a welcom change after hearing so much of “Only In My Dreams” and “Shake Your Love”.

8. Should’ve Been the One/We Could Be Together

These are pretty good songs from the Electric Youth album. They both have a similar sound, but they are both good.

Again, I saw her do this in the concert I was at. Wow, it feels like yesterday!

7. Didn’t Have The Heart

Great ballad from the Think With Your Heartalbum. This is a very emotional sad song.

6. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

Debbie did an outstanding job on this remake on her Think With Your Heartalbum. I think this is one of the better versions.

5. Electric Youth

The first dance song off of the album of the same name. Very awesome upbeat song.

4. Naked

This song came out around the same time that she appeared in Playboy. The song isn’t about Playboy, or posing naked though. It is a very good adult contemporary song. I can listen to this over and over.

3. Can’t Do It Alone

My favorite song from Think With Your Heart. You can tell that Debbie put a lot of feeling into this.

2. Snake Charmer (From the Motion Picture “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid”)

This song was just released, and I can’t get enough of it! It is a great upbeat song with an Indian sound to it:

1. Lost In Your Eyes

By far, this is Debbie Gibson’s best song. It stands the test of time.

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Guilty Pleasures – Tiffany

The former teen-queen will star along side fellow teen-queen, Debbie Gibson, in the upcoming guilty pleasure itself, “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid” on SyFy tomorrow.

I liked Tiffany. Her voice has kind of an edge to it. It is kind of like Stevie Nicks-lite (which is a compliment). Her dance music was popular, but I think her ballads are just as good, if not better.

In 1985, Tiffany appeared on Star Search with Ed McMahon, where she came in second place.

In 1987, Tiffany released her first album – Tiffany. In order to promote the album she went on a tour of shopping malls across the United States, called “The Beautiful You: Celebrating The Good Life Shopping Mall Tour ’87”. Her popularity exploded with the release of the Tommy James & the Shondells hit, “I Think We’re Alone Now”. The song skyrocketed to number 1. In February 1988, her ballad, “Could’ve Been” also shot up to number 1. She also had a hit with “I Saw Him Standing There”, which was a modified remake of the Beatles hit, “I Saw Her Standing There”. When she went on a concert tour in 1988, she cast the then-unknown singing group New Kids on the Block as the opening act. During the tour she briefly dated Jonathan Knight.

In late 1988, Tiffany released her second album, Hold an Old Friend’s Hand, which was less successful than her first album. Although it did not feature any number one hits, the song “All This Time” made the top ten. The album still went platinum.

However, like most ’80s acts, Tiffany’s popularity disappeared in the early-90s as musical tastes changed. Grunge and harder-edged rap were taking over, and dance-pop was fading.

Tiffany has been slowly coming back over the past decade. In the April 2002 issue of Playboy, she appeared fully nude. Then she started appearing in reality/competition shows. On April 2, 2005, Tiffany was featured on the British TV show Hit Me Baby One More Time, winning the first heat and securing a place in the show’s finale (which Shakin’ Stevens won). She also appeared on the U.S. version of the show on June 2, 2005, but lost to hip-hop group Arrested Development. Both versions of the show aimed to bring former pop stars back into the limelight. In 2007, Tiffany was also one of the contestants on the fifth season of the TV show Celebrity Fit Club, going from 152 to 124 lbs for a loss of 28 lbs. On October 18, 2008, Tiffany appeared on the CMT reality show Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling (CCW) where she was eliminated in the first episode due to poor wrestling performance. She was the first contender to be eliminated from the show.

Tiffany continues to record new music.

Here is my top-10 Tiffany songs:

10. I Saw Him Standing There

This song was a huge hit for Tiffany. But, I do not recommend listening to the Beatles’ version first. If you do, then you might be able to take Tiffany’s version for about 2 seconds before your ears start hurting, and you need to turn it off.

9. It’s the Lover Not the Love

This was a nice ballad off of Hold An Old Friend’s Hand. It sounds like it could be a Gloria Estefan song.

8. Spanish Eyes

This a good song that is not a ballad, but not a fast paced song either. However, you can get quite the earworm from this one. There could be worse songs that get stuck in your head, though.

7. Here In My Heart

This was a really good ballad from Tiffany’s New Inside album. It was written by Diane Warren.

6. All This Time

This was a big hit off of Hold An Old Friend’s Hand. It is a pretty good ballad:

5. I Think We’re Alone Now

Now this is a great remake. It deservedly became a hit. It’s a good fun song, and she made it her own. I like Tommy James and the Shondells, but I think I actually like Tiffany’s version better.

4. Hearts Never Lie

I love this duet off of Hold An Old Friend’s Hand. She is singing with Country Music artist Chris Farren. This could probably be a hit on Country Radio today.

3. Could’ve Been

Tiffany’s first hit ballad. It’s a really good heartbreaking song:

2. Hold An Old Friend’s Hand

This was always one of my favorites. The lyrics kind of have a country or folk feel to them. It’s another one of those songs that record companies probably did not like because it wasn’t a ballad, and it wasn’t a dance song.

1. Feelings of Forever

“Could’ve Been” was a bigger hit, but this was always my favorite ballad by Tiffany. The music is powerful, and it is very uplifting.

Guilty Pleasures – Frank Stallone’s “Far From Over”

Ah, there’s nothing like cheesy pop-rock of the ’80s to get you pumping. Especially, when it is sung by a legendary Stallone. No, not Sylvester (although, that would have been very interesting). I am talking about Sly’s younger brother, Frank Stallone. He scored a top-10 hit with “Far From Over”, which he wrote and recorded for the 1983 movie Staying Alive. Staying Alive was a sequel to the hit Saturday Night Fever, and starred John Travolta once again.

“Far From Over” was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture and a Grammy Award for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special. The song was Stallone’s only hit. This song came out around the same time that I started lifting weights. It was a great song to work out to. It did not make me interested in watching the Staying Alive movie, but I did like the song. I now have more Frank Stallone songs on my iPod than I have Wham!. But, I do have as many Frank Stallone songs as I have Sir-Mix-Alot, but that’s a different story.
Frank Stallone is still around, and has a Myspace page, and an Official Site.

Here is the music video:

Guilty Pleasures – Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Sometimes they say that it is be a one-hit wonder than it is to have two or three hits. But Frankie Goes to Hollywood did pretty well for themselves. When the band from Liverpool, England burst on to the U.S. scene in 1984, there was considered to be a new British Invasion. To me, it seems ridiculous to put Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Culture Club and Wham in the same category as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Who.
Although, Frankie only had a couple of hits in the U.S. with “Relax” and “Two Tribes”, they caused quite an impact on pop culture. Everywhere you turned around, you could see a “Frankie Says” t-shirt. It was a brilliant marketing campaign for a short time. The most popular shirt was “Frankie Says Relax”. There was also “Frankie Says War! Hide Yourself”, and several other customized shirts.

Uggh! How about “Frankie Says Go Away Already”!!! Oh wait, they listened to me! It worked!! But, before they left, they gave us these catchy electronic pop songs:

Two Tribes

Relax

Guilty Pleasures – Culture Club

The Guilty Pleasure series continues. Although I do enjoy most of the artists that are going to appear in this series, there are some that I really can’t stand. Today’s band falls into the latter category. That would be Culture Club. I was even going to make a sacrifice for the blog, and actually download some of their hits. But, I could not bring myself to do it! When Boy George sang the words, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”, was I the only one who screamed an angry whole-hearted “YES!!” every single time?

When Culture Club burst onto the scene in 1982 with their debut album Kissing to Be Clever, many of us asked, “Is that lead singer a guy or a girl?” It looks a lot like a girl with that hairdo and those clothes. But, if it is a girl, she is kind of freaky looking. Oh, wait, the name is Boy George, so it must be a guy. right?
Yeah, yeah, confirmed. It’s a guy.

Well, as much as I was not a fan of the group, there is no denying Culture Club’s success of the early to mid 80s. Kissing to Be Cleversold over two million copies in the US, and another four million worldwide at the time of its release.

Culture Club definitely did not suffer a sophomore slump. In 1983, Colour by Numbers was released, and it sold four million copies in the US and another five million worldwide at its time of release. The second single, “Karma Chameleon” became the band’s biggest hit as it was #1 in the UK, #1 in the U.S. for 3 weeks, and was #1 in sixteen other countries, and became one of the top twenty best-selling singles of the 80s.

After the success of Colour by Numbers, Culture Club had a nose dive. I suppose that they literally had a nose dive as Boy George became addicted to cocaine, which then led to a heroine addiction. The band eventually broke up in 1986, and Boy George pursued a solo career.

The band reunited a couple of times since. They reunited in 1998, and appeared on VH1 Storytellers. They went on a small tour, then reunited again in 2002 for their 20th anniversary. They broke up again due Boy George’s successful DJ career.

I could not even come up with a top 5 list of Culture Club songs. Here is a list of my top 4 hits:

4. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me

I really could not stand this song. But there’s no denying it’s success. It put Culture Club on the map. Ironically, it is the only Culture Club song I own right now. That is because it is on The Wedding Singer Soundtrack.

3. Church of the Poison Mind

This top 10 hit is a little more tolerable. It has a pretty cool Motown vibe. Could they be winning me over? I do love Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)“, which is very similar.

2. I’ll Tumble 4 Ya

This song is alright. It has a pretty good reggae beat. It makes me want to go on a Caribbean Cruise.

1. Karma Chameleon

This was Culture Club’s most successful song. It’s kind of a fun song. Not fun enough for me to spend $1.29 on. When I was in Junior High school, I was some place where there was a raffle for all different items. You buy a bunch of tickets, and put them in the cans in front of the items. I threw a ticket in for the 45 records of “Karma Chameleon” and Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”. You can see where this is going can’t you? These 45’s were the first things I ever won in my life. Now I had something else to bring to the school dances (that I mentioned in the Air Supply article), and I didn’t need to bring AC/DC’s Back In Black anymore! And they actually played my records at the dance!

So did I offend any Culture Club fans out there? Or did they irritate you as much as they did me? I won’t stick my nose up at you if you’re a fan. They’re just not my cup of tea.

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Guilty Pleasures – Music Edition (Air Supply)

Aren’t headphones great? You can listen to whatever you want without bothering anybody else. That’s not the only reason they are great, is it? You can listen to whatever music you like, and nobody has to know what you are listening to. So, what would happen if you are listening to your iPod, and some nosy person came up to you and said “Hey, what are you listening to?”, and then they grab your headphones and put them on. Would you be embarrased by what you were listening to? But, you can’t help it! “Dancing Queen” makes you feel good and puts a smile on your face! [Personally, I can’t stand “Dancing Queen”. But, it is a classic guilty pleasure. I won’t judge though. I’m more of a “Take a Chance on Me” and “Mamma Mia” guy myself, as far as Abba goes.] Ah, the Guilty Pleasure. They are so wrong, but they feel so right!

And so begins the new Guilty Pleasure Series – the Music Edition. Let’s take a look at some Guilty Pleasure artists/songs of the ’80s. So, after the nosy jerk took your headphones, and you hurried up and skipped to the first Beatles song you could find (everybody likes the Beatles, right?), grab your headphones back, disinfect them (greasy eared bastard!), and put on a song you really feel like listening to. It could be a song from today’s Guilty Pleasure:

Air Supply

The Australian duo ruled the early ’80s soft rock world. If their songs weren’t about falling in love, they were about falling out of love. Love, Love, Love. That’s what they were all about. And boy, did we enjoy that big time or what?! Most of the songs were sappy, but they were the best romantic game in town.

In Junior High, I went to a private school. Our class dances were not in an auditorium with a DJ. They were held in a classroom. Before the dance, we had to move the desks to the sides of the room. And our “DJ” was the mother of a classmate. She brought in a stereo that played cassettes and albums. The day of the first dance, she came in and told us that we could bring in any tapes or records for the dance. She said that she just did not want us to bring in “asinine” music. I still remember that as clear as day, because that was the first time I ever heard that word (hehe. She said “ass”. hehe) Anyway, I brought in my AC/DC Back in Black tape.
That’s not asinine! “Let Me Put My Love Into You” is a slow song! I still have the tape with my name written in pencil on the inside sleeve.

Anyway, I don’t believe we heard any AC/DC that night. But, every single slow song for the dance was Air Supply. I can’t remember who the first girl I ever danced with was. But I can tell you that it was to an Air Supply song.

They may be a guilty pleasure, but I don’t mind announcing to the world that I love Air Supply!! Well, love may be too strong, but I do really like them a lot.

With that, here is a list of my top 5 Air Supply songs:

5. The One That You Love

This was always one of my favorites. They had another song called “Here I Am“, and I would get confused with “The One That You Love”. Then I would be let down when it never got to the hook where Russell Hitchcock would sing “Here I am, the one that you love”. Am I the only one that got the 2 songs confused. I prefer this one much more:

4. All Out of Love

Powerful song. Graham Russell does an incredible job singing in this one. And then Russell Hitchcock kicks it up a notch with the chorus.

3. I Can Wait Forever

This song came out in 1984, and was in the movie Ghostbusters, and was on the Ghostbusters soundtrack. I never heard the song until a few years later, but I loved it and couldn’t get enough of it when I did hear it. The song was written by David Foster who produced songs by Chicago, Whitney Houston, Bryan Adams, and Olivia Newton John. I still love this song today:

2. Just As I Am

This song and the next are basically 1 and 1A for me. I had a hard time deciding on this one. The music is powerful, and the vocals are soaring and powerful.

1. Making Love Out of Nothing At All

Yeah, this has to be #1. Yet another powerful song. It starts slow and builds up. This song was written by musical genius Jim Steinman, who basically wrote all of Meat Loaf’s hits. Meat Loaf was actually offered this song along with “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. He turned them both down because they were not able to reach an agreement over finances. So Air supply got this song, and Bonnie Tyler got “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. Tyler actually recorded this on her 1996 album Free Spirit.

So what do you think? Should Air Supply be considered a “Guilty Pleasure”? Am I alone in liking them, or are there other fans out there? What are your favorite Air Supply songs? And do you have any guilty pleasures you would like to see featured?