My Endless Love: So-Bad-it’s-Good Music

I’ve decided I need a regular topic to write about—something to jog my writing memory and get the thoughts flowing each week. I’ve been trying to come up with a topic for the last few weeks, and then it hit me yesterday while breaking the maddening traffic with crazy  car dancing on the road to the coast with Wabi: Great loves!

Now, before you start imagining Carrie Bradshaw-esque adventures, let me be very clear: I do not plan to conquer the local male population of Toowoomba in my love den. Rather, I will write about all my favourite and most loved people/places/things. I reckon, at one post a week, that should get me through til at least 2016 with my incessant love for pretty much everything. Expect to the see a multitude of posts on food, clothing, shoes, pretty things, sparkly things, shiny things, and pretty much anything cute, girly, or retro because that’s pretty much me in a nutshell.

Which brings me to my first great love, and the inspiration for both topic and title: music. But not just any music. The kind of music you only listen to in the car by yourself, or with your very best friends. The kind you’d never admit to ever listening to on a first date….actually, probably not until you’ve got that ring on your finger and the pre-nup signed. I’m talking about those songs that are so bad but sooo incredibly good, the ones you secretly love, the ones you can’t help but sing and/or bop along to whenever you hear them.

This is easily one of my favourites:

In fact, pretty much anything my Lionel Richie will have me throwing some keen 80s moves in my head. Love him.

But he’s certainly not the only member in the League of Secretly Good Music. What would the world be without car trips, drunken adventures, and general crazy dancing including the likes of Mysterious Girl (Peter Andre), Mr Vain (Culture Beat), and Ice Ice Baby (Vanilla Ice). Good times? The best!

What is it that I (we—go on, admit it! You’ve danced around your bed to at least one of the songs listed) love about these tunes? It can’t be that they’re actually good lyrically, because they’re not. I mean:

‘Cause my style’s like a chemical spill

Feasible rhymes that you can vision and feel

Ah, a chemical spill isn’t a good thing to compare yourself to Mr Ice. Jus’ sayin’ (hey, if he can get all ghetto, so can I). And that’s some of the better lyrical waxing in these songs.

So if it’s not the lyrics, what is it? The melody is a simple poppy tune. The voices of most of these artists aren’t that fantastic (Lionel being one of the exceptions). As musical masterpieces go, they pretty much fall short everywhere, but we love them (secretly) all the same!

You know what I think it is? The time! Most of them come from the 80s—the ones I love anyway. The 80s and early 90s were my childhood years and, I think, maybe these songs remind me of that, and remind me of ‘happy’, and ‘goofy,’ and all those other moments we associate with the innocence and joy of youth. These songs always seem the best when I’m verging on a bad mood. They pull me right out and get me climbing all the way to the top of the cheery tree. They’re the quickest way to brighten a room and get everyone on the dance floor. And they are probably the only time you will ever here the word gavotte in a song outside the 1800s:

You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht

Your hat strategically dipped below one eye / Your scarf it was apricot

You had one eye on the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte

                                                                                                You’re so Vain, Carly Simon

What’s your favourite shoddy song?


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