Have you ever gotten a song stuck in your head that you just can’t get out, something you just hum over and over again? Driving you crazy, but yet you can’t help yourself but to sing it again? And in a way, is something you like to keep singing? Well, we get the same feeling, and we have a top 10 list for it! Thats right – we have a top 10 guilty pleasure song list!
(Dave’s note: My definition of “guilty pleasure” is: having an irrational, illogical like for something in which normally contradicts most, if not all standards you have well-established for liking things belonging in that category. In other words, I admit that there is no reason for me, or anyone else to like the songs on my list. The further down the list, the cheesier the song.)
“The Downeaster ‘Alexa'” is a song originally written, produced, and performed by Billy Joel for his eleventh studio album Storm Front. The album itself went to number one while the fourth single “The Downeaster ‘Alexa'” placed at #57 in the Billboard Hot 100. The song was included on Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Vol. 3 album in 1997.
David – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is a song by Iron Butterfly, released on their 1968 album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.
At slightly over 17 minutes, it occupies the entire second side of the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album. The lyrics are simple, and heard only at the beginning and the end. The track was recorded on May 27, 1968, at Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, Long Island, New York.
The recording that is heard on the album was meant to be a soundcheck for engineer Don Casale while the band waited for the arrival of producer Jim Hilton. However, Casale had rolled a recording tape, and when the rehearsal was completed it was agreed that the performance was of sufficient quality that another take was not needed.Hilton later remixed the recording at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles. The single reached number 30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
In later years, band members claimed that the track was produced by Long Island producer Shadow Morton, who earlier had supervised the recordings of the band Vanilla Fudge. Morton subsequently stated in several interviews that he had agreed to do so at the behest of Atlantic Records chief Ahmet Ertegün, but said he was drinking heavily at the time and that his actual oversight of the recording was minimal. Neither Casale nor Morton receives credit on the album, while Hilton was credited as both its sound engineer and producer.
Keith – Rocket Man
“Rocket Man” is a song composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and originally performed by John. The song echoes the theme of David Bowie’s 1969 song “Space Oddity” (both recordings were produced by Gus Dudgeon), but according to an account in Elizabeth Rosenthal’s book His Song: The Musical Journey of Elton John, the song was inspired by Taupin’s sighting of either a shooting star or a distant airplane. The account goes on to relate that the notion of astronauts no longer being perceived as heroes, but in fact as an “everyday occupation” led him to the song’s opening lines, “She packed my bags last night, pre-flight. Zero hour: 9 a.m. And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then.”
The song first appeared on John’s 1972 album Honky Château (under the title “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)”) and became a hit single, rising to #2 in the UK and #6 in the U.S.
David – Send Me an Angel
“Send Me an Angel” is a 1983 song by Australian band Real Life. Initially released on Real Life’s debut album Heartland, it is the band’s most well-known song. This version originally peaked in early 1984 in the US at No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song’s biggest chart success, however, was in 1989, where an updated version entitled “Send Me an Angel ’89” surpassed the original version from 1983. “Send Me An Angel ’89” reached a peak of No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the summer of 1989 in the US.Both versions are very similar; the 1989 version is missing the louder “claps” in the chorus and the drums sound much less electronic, more like an acoustic kit, as opposed to the typical 1980s electronic drums sound heard on the original. The song is prominently featured in the 1989 film The Wizard, the 1986 film Rad, and the 1987 film Teen Wolf Too.
Keith – Staying Alive
“Stayin’ Alive” is a disco song by the group Bee Gees from the Saturday Night Fever motion picture soundtrack. The song was written by the Bee Gees (Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb) and produced by the Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson. It was released on 13 December 1977, as the second single from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. It is one of their signature songs. In 2004, “Stayin’ Alive” was placed at number 189 on the list of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Upon release, “Stayin’ Alive” climbed the charts to hit the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of 4 February 1978, remaining there for four weeks. In the process, it became one of the band’s most recognisable tunes, in part because of its place at the beginning of Saturday Night Fever.
Decades later, medical associations have found that the song (as well as Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”) is useful for people administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in emergencies with its steady beat being an excellent means of keeping to the proper compression rate in the procedure.
David – A Fifth of Beethoven
“A Fifth of Beethoven” is a disco instrumental recorded by Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band. It was adapted by Murphy from the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The record was produced by noted production music and sound effects recording producer Thomas J. Valentino. It was one of the most popular and memorable pieces of music from the disco era. The “Fifth” in the song’s title is a pun, referencing a liquid measure approximately equal to one-fifth of a gallon, a popular size for bottles containing hard liquor, as well as Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony from which the song was adapted.
The song when released entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 80 on May 29, 1976, and took 19 weeks to reach number 1, where it stayed for one week becoming Murphy’s best known work and his only Top 40 hit. Early in 1977, it was licensed to RSO Records for inclusion on the soundtrack to the movie Saturday Night Fever.
Even though Murphy played nearly every instrument on the instrumental, his record company cautioned that the record would stand a better chance if credited to a group rather than an individual. To Murphy’s annoyance, they came up with the name Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band, only to discover two days after its release that there was already a Big Apple Band. The name on the label was changed to The Walter Murphy Band and then simply to Walter Murphy.
Keith – What is Love
“What Is Love” is a song recorded by Trinidadian-German Eurodance artist Haddaway. It was written and produced by Dee Dee Halligan (a.k.a. Tony Hendrik and Dieter Lünstedt) and Junior Torello (Karin Hartman-Eisenblätter) of Coconut Records in Cologne. Recorded in the early 1990s, it later experienced a revival as the song from the Saturday Night Live “Roxbury Guys” sketches, where two brothers played by Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell frequently went to dance clubs with a third person (including actors such as Sylvester Stallone and Jim Carrey), credited as “Barhop”. These sketches were later made into the 1998 feature film A Night at the Roxbury but the “Barhop” role was dropped during the production of the film.
The song peaked at no. 2 in the United Kingdom and Germany, but it ranked higher at no. 1 in 13 other countries, all of them either European or Asian. The song reached no. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and no. 12 in Australia.
David – Abracadabra
“Abracadabra” is a song by American rock group Steve Miller Band, written by Steve Miller. The song was released as the first single from the 1982 album of the same name the same year (see 1982 in music). The song is said to have been inspired by the American singer Diana Ross with whom Miller had met while performing together on Hullabaloo in the 1960s and is listed at #70 on Billboard???’ ?s Greatest Songs of all time.
The song became a worldwide hit, charting in ten countries and topping the charts in six countries, and has become one of the band’s biggest hits, along with “The Joker” and “Rock’n Me”.
In the United States, the song was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two non-consecutive weeks. It knocked Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” out of the #1 spot, just as Chicago had done to the Steve Miller Band in 1976 when “If You Leave Me Now” knocked “Rock’n Me” out of the #1 spot.
The UK single version has never yet appeared on CD. It is 3:33 and is an exclusive edit where the chorus is edited back in at 3:06 and repeats to fade. The non-UK single version of the song appears in several Steve Miller Band compilation albums such as Young Hearts as well as on the Time-Life compilation Sounds of the Eighties: 1980–1982 and on a CD of songs hand-picked by Guy Fieri titled Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Road Songs That Rock. Capitol issued an alternative version on a promotional 12″ single (Capitol Records #SPRO 9797) for radio airplay; it featured a slightly slower tempo, removal of the second verse and first chorus, and a slightly earlier fade than the LP version. A live version of the song was released on Steve Miller Band Live! in 1983.
Keith – Rubber Duckie
“Rubber Duckie” is Ernie’s signature song, a tribute to his beloved Rubber Duckie. The song enjoyed popular fame, reaching number 16 on Billboard’s “Hot 100 Singles” chart in 1970. It was even nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording for Children, but it lost to The Sesame Street Book & Record, which, ironically, also contains the song.
In the original version, which first aired in episode 0078, Ernie sang the song in a bathtub in a room that resembled his living room. A brief clip from this version was included in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years.
Jeff Moss squeaked a duckie during the original recording, and has squeaked the duck in all Rubber Duckie recordings since then. The same Rubber Duckie has been used because nobody could find a duckie that could match the sound of the original.
In the second season, a new version of the song was filmed, in which Ernie sang in a bathtub in a bathroom with a plain blue background (EKA: Episode 0685). This seems to be the most famous and commonly seen version. It was included in many videos, including Sing Along and a partially-Hebrew version in the Shalom Sesame episode “The Land of Israel”. Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting featured this segment, with portions dubbed into many different languages. This version was also featured in Sesame Street Unpaved, and before that documentary aired, Noggin’s website included this and four other skits for fans to vote on, and this sketch had the most votes.
In 1974, Ernie sang the song as “El Patito,” with a new Latin arrangement and Spanish-language vocals by Jim Henson. This version was released on the album ¡Sesame Mucho!, and later issued as a single backed with the original English version in 1976.
David – Baby, I love your way/Freebird Medley
“Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley (Free Baby)” is a song by the American dance-pop band Will to Power. The song combines elements of two previously recorded rock songs: “Baby, I Love Your Way”, a #12 Billboard Hot 100 hit from 1976 by the British-born singer Peter Frampton; and American Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd’s song “Free Bird”, which hit #19 on the Hot 100 chart in 1975. Will to Power’s medley of these two songs had more of a synthesized dance beat (as opposed to the rock ballad-like nature of the two original songs). It spent one week at #1 on the Hot 100 chart dated December 3, 1988 2 It also peaked at #2 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart. Additionally, in the “Freebird” section, the line “and the bird you cannot change” in the original version was changed to “and this bird will never change”.
In March and April 2009, VH1 ran a countdown of the 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s. Will to Power’s “Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley” placed at #97 on the countdown despite the fact the group having another Top 10 hit in 1991 with a cover version of the 1975 10cc hit “I’m Not in Love.”
Keith – Duel of the Fates
“Duel of the Fates” is a musical theme recurring in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and the Expanded Universe. It was composed by John Williams and recorded for the film soundtrack by the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and the London Voices. This symphonic piece is played with both a full orchestra and a choir. With the music video for this theme, the LSO became the only classical group to ever have a video debut on Total Request Live.”Duel of the Fates” lasted 11 days on the countdown. The lyrics are based on a fragment of an archaic Welsh poem Cad Goddeu (Battle of the Trees), and sung in Sanskrit.
David – Sailing
“Sailing” is a song written and recorded by American artist Christopher Cross. It was released in June 1980 as the second single from his eponymous debut album. The song was a success in the USA, winning Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Arrangement of the Year, and helping Cross win the Best New Artist award. VH1 named this the greatest “softsational soft rock” music song of all time.
It was a number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, reaching that position on August 30, 1980, for one week. Since its debut, it has been covered by many artists, including Avant, Barry Manilow, Greenskeepers, ‘N Sync, Phajja, Patrick Yandall and, as a duo, Moya Brennan & Cormac de Barra. Recorded in 1979, the song was one of the first digitally recorded songs, utilizing the 3M Digital Recording System. In his Grammy acceptance speech, Cross acknowledged “Sailing” as his favorite song on the album and that originally it was not meant to be a single.
Keith – Dancing Queen
“Dancing Queen” is a pop song recorded by Swedish pop group ABBA. It was released in August 1976, and is commonly regarded as one of the most successful singles of the 1970s as well as one of the greatest songs of all time.
“Dancing Queen” was written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson, and features the shared lead vocal performance of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. It is considered by many to be ABBA’s signature song. “Dancing Queen” was recorded in 1975, and was released on the group’s album Arrival the following year. The song was re-released as a single in 1992 to promote the compilation Gold: Greatest Hits.
David – Queen of Hearts
Queen of Hearts is the title of a country-pop song written by Hank DeVito, the pedal steel guitarist in Emmylou Harris’ backing group The Hot Band, and introduced by Dave Edmunds on his 1979 album Repeat When Necessary: released as a single it reached number 11 in the UK that year. In 1997 a live version of “Queen of Hearts” was featured on the Dave Edmunds compilation album Rockin’ .
Following an appearance of the 1980 Rodney Crowell album But What Will the Neighbors Think, on which the song’s composer Hank DeVito played guitar, “Queen of Hearts” had its highest profile incarnation via its inclusion on the 1981 album Juice by Juice Newton who’d recall: “I did [“Queen of Hearts”] live for about a year…Then I brought it to [producer] Richard Landis when we started the Juice album. He wasn’t convinced at that point that it was a breakout song but I told him I think this is a real cool song…so we cut it.” Newton’s own favorite cut on the Juice album, “Queen of Hearts” was issued as the album’s second single and would afford Newton her career record reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in September 1981, only behind “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie. And while it was still at #2 Newton’s “Queen of Hearts” was certified Gold for domestic sales of one million units.
“Queen of Hearts” also afforded Newton an international hit with Top Ten hit status in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Switzerland and more moderate success in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. For her recording of the song, Juice Newton earned a 1982 Grammy nomination for Best Female Vocalist in the C&W category, “Queen of Hearts” having been a #14 C&W hit.
Newton re-recorded “Queen of Hearts” for her 1998 album The Trouble With Angels.
“Queen of Hearts” is featured prominently in Oliver Stone’s 1986 film Salvador, as well as in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in which it plays on the fictional radio station K-Rose. The song is also featured in the film Boogie Nights (1997).
Keith – Running
Running is a single by the band InSoc (Information Society) originally released on the Creatures of Influence album in 1985. The single for Running was distributed to club DJs, and became a favorite all over clubs, particularly in the Latin clubs of New York City. The single was later remixed by Tommy Boy Records and the remix single was released and became even more of a club hit, eventually reaching #2 on the Dance/Club Airplay charts and becoming an enduring classic of the Freestyle genre. Tommy Boy Records signed Information Society in 1986 and their self-titled album soon followed, featuring a mix of the single. In 1988 Information Society’s self-titled album was released and went platinum.
Unlike other singles in the catalogue, “Running” does not feature Kurt Harland on lead vocals, as the song was written and recorded by short-lived band member Murat Konar, who left the band in 1985 and would later be an integral part of the development of both SoundEdit (a Mac hosted sound editing application) and Adobe Flash applications. For a very long period of time, the band would not perform “Running” live, requesting not to be asked to play it and generally refusing all questions pertaining to their dislike of the song. It is generally believed this is due to the song being very difficult to play live, and because the song was written at a particularly fractious period in the band’s life.
David – Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” is a novelty Christmas song.
Written by Randy Brooks, the song was originally performed by the husband-and-wife duo of Elmo and Patsy Trigg Shropshire in 1979. In the lyrics, a family matriarch gets drunk from drinking too much eggnog and, having forgotten to take her medicine and despite warnings from her family, staggers outside into a snowstorm. On her walk, she is trampled and killed by Santa Claus and his reindeer. The second and third verses describe the next day’s Christmas gathering: “all the family’s dressed in black” while the widower acts as if nothing’s happened, drinks beer, watches football and plays “cards with cousin Mel”. The song closes with a warning that Santa, “a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves”, is unfit to carry a driver’s license, and that the listener should beware.
Keith – Forever in Blue Jeans
“Forever in Blue Jeans” is a song by Neil Diamond which was co-written with his guitarist Richard Bennett. This up-tempo track, released as a single by Columbia in February 1979, was taken from the previous year’s Neil Diamond album You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.
The song officially peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #2 on the Easy Listening chart in March, 1979.
According to Cotton Incorporated “Neil Diamond might have been right when he named his 1979 #1 hit “Forever in Blue Jeans”: 81% of women are planning their next jeans purchase to be some shade of blue.” The song has been used to promote the sale of blue jeans, most notably Will Ferrell, impersonating Neil Diamond singing, for The Gap. Coincidentally, Diamond himself did radio ads for H.I.S. brand jeans in the 1960s, more than a decade before he sang this song.
The song was referenced on an episode (“Parent Trapped”) of The King Of Queens, in which Doug Heffernan incorrectly refers to it as “Reverend Blue Jeans” thinking it was a song about a hip reverend that wore jeans.
David – 2 become 1
“2 Become 1” is a song by English girl group Spice Girls. Written by the group members, Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard during the group’s first professional songwriting session, it was produced by Rowe and Stannard for the group’s debut album Spice (1996). It was inspired by the special relationship that was developing between Geri Halliwell and Rowe during the writing session.
“2 Become 1” is a pop ballad, that features instrumentation from a guitar, an electronic keyboard, and string instruments. The lyrics focus on the bonding of two lovers, and also address the importance of contraception. Its Big TV!-directed music video, which features the group performing against time-lapse footage of Times Square in New York City, was completely shot against a green screen at a studio in London. The backdrop was later superimposed.
Released as the group’s third single on 16 December 1996, it was generally well received by music critics and was a commercial success. It topped the UK Singles Chart for three weeks, becoming the group’s third consecutive chart-topper, their second million-selling single, and their first Christmas number-one single in the United Kingdom. In July 1997, the song was released in the United States, peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100, and receiving a gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It performed similarly internationally, peaking inside the top ten on the majority of the charts that it entered.
Keith – The Scientist
“The Scientist” is the second single from British alternative rock band Coldplay’s second studio album, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002). The song was written collaboratively by all the band members for the album. It is built around a piano ballad, with its lyrics telling the story about a man’s desire to love and an apology. The song was released in the United Kingdom as the second single from A Rush of Blood to the Head and reached number 10 in the UK Charts. It was released in the United States as the third single and reached number 18 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and number 34 on the Adult Top 40 chart. The single was the lowest-charting single from the album, with “In My Place” and “Clocks” both charting higher, despite that, it was considered the album’s most popular song and it was certified Gold by the RIAA as “Clocks” did and “In My Place” was the least popular single of the 3.
Critics were highly positive towards “The Scientist” and praised the song’s piano ballad and falsetto. Several remixes of the track exist, and its riff has been widely sampled. The single’s music video won three MTV Music Video Awards, for the video’s use of reverse narrative. The song was also featured on the band’s 2003 live album Live 2003 and has been a permanent fixture in the band’s live set lists since 2002.
David – Barbie Girl
“Barbie Girl” is a song by the Danish-Norwegian dance-pop group Aqua. It was released in July 1997 as their third single overall, and the first United Kingdom release, it is included on the album Aquarium. The song was written by Johnny Mosegaard Pedersen and Karsten Dahlgaard after the group saw an exhibit on kitsch culture.
The song topped the charts worldwide, particularly in European countries such as the UK, where it was a number-one hit for three weeks. It was also on top of the charts in Australia for the same length of time, and debuted and peaked at No. 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on 6 September 1997 and it remains Aqua’s biggest hit single in the US to date, and their only one to reach the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. It is Aqua’s most popular work. The song became the subject of the controversial lawsuit Mattel v. MCA Records.
Thats some list, right? Are any of our songs on your list? What’s your list? We want to know. Want to hear us talk about out list? Well now you can you can. Just go to podcastunlimted.com and listen to, or download episode #23! To see our Honorable Mentions, check out our sister blog here. Let us know what you think!