S-s-s-s-s-soundtrack of sh-sh-sh-shame

Posted by Job O Brother, February 5, 2008 11:55am | Post a Comment
I thought it would be difficult to find songs I was ashamed to love. Fact is, it’s much more challenging to keep my attention span with this series, so, I’m going to wrap this “soundtrack of shame” up with a grand finale. Cringe with compassion.


Little River Band had a gift for recording songs that would one day become a staple of grocery stores’ piped-in music. It might surprise you to know they had 13 American, Top 40 hits, despite the fact that their “sound” is akin to a waiting room lobby in a retirement home.

This song got a lot of radio play in Hawaii when I was growing up there – learning how to body surf and not learning my times-tables – so I associate it with childhood and a dark, iced tea that you could always buy at Kailua Beach.

This video is a perfect example of what “boring” means. I mean, even the lead singer brought a book to read during the bridges! I was surprised to see a 30-something-year-old Cousin Oliver as part of the band.

MARY COSTA “Once Upon a Dream”

I think animated Disney films are pretty swell, provided they were actually produced by Walt Disney himself (the last of which was “The Jungle Book”). Something happened in the 1970’s when the Don Bluth posse was still working at Disney – something gross feeling. I’m not saying Bluth is a bad man, but (with the exception of “The Secret of NIMH”) every movie he worked on, post-Walt, makes me crazy. And not crazy in a rad, Spuds Mackenzie way. Crazy in a “Christina, bring me the axe!” sort of way.

My favorite Disney film is “Sleeping Beauty”. The animation – based on Medieval illustrations, and thusly more stylized than any film Disney had made before, is gorgeous. The choice of colors – mostly cool and brilliant – are spooky, which is always a compliment coming from me. It’s also the last Disney film to have cells that were inked entirely by hand, which I much prefer to the computer-generated creations of today. Also, I defy you to find a better villain in an animated film than Maleficent. She rocks. She rocks so hard.

Doesn’t sound like I’m ashamed of this film, does it? For the most part, I’m not. Until this happens…

This song (with music based on the ballet “Sleeping Beauty” by Tchaikovsky) makes me all knobby-kneed. I think it’s romantic. And it makes me wanna barf. Is there a word that means both those feelings at once? Someone let me know so I can use it next time I talk about this.

FRIDA LYNGSTAD “I Know There’s Something Going On”

Known by many as “not the blonde one” from ABBA, Frida (born Anni-Frid Synni Lyngstad) left the group (the closest thing Sweden’s had to a WMD) to pursue a solo career.

The result was “Something’s Going On”, her third solo album and biggest departure yet from ABBA’s sound (in interviews it’s mentioned that she wanted something akin to Pat Benetar). The album was produced by… uhh… urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

Sorry… getting woozy here…

…The album was produced by fuh fuh fuh… Phil Collins fkjdfhjlndlf knk fjklsdjlksjfsd, jhsg ueru 84urfj kfdkjgk dfgjc.gkdfjgk fjgslijtgshf hsdfui ghkjwh fjsdhfgjhs djhfgsfgu skfghsklhj kdgf789e y98fhieug hdrigiz dfhgkh jhhhhh hhhhh hhhhh hhhhh hhhhh hhhhh hhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhh hhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Uh… ow… Sorry – blacked out and hit my head on the keyboard.

Anyway, the album was produced by… this one guy, who’s involvement is reason enough to feel ashamed for liking it.

While my favorite track from the record is a cryptic ballad called “Threnody”, only the title track has a video attached to it, so that’s what you’ll see here:

I’m guessing she acquired that hairstyle second-hand from David Bowie, who was no longer using it. Note, too, Frida’s apartment, which I assume she’s renting on Cloud City, Bespin.

PEACHES & HERB “Reunited”

Another childhood memory, not limited to this song: I came home one day to find my older sister, Jenny, sporting cornrows. For a five-year-old like me, this was discombobulating, and there was a moment when, at first, I wasn’t sure who she was. I don’t know if my facial expression had something to do with it, but Jenny didn’t have that hairstyle long.

Now, you’re old enough to know the truth: Peaches here (she’s the one wearing the silken Glad bag) is actually Linda Greene, who was the third of five incarnations of “Peaches” (six, if you count potty-mouthed, electroclash sensation, Merrill Beth Nisker). That’s right, my child, there were five Peaches.

See, when a Herb wants a hit single, he finds himself a Peaches and… well… go ask your father.

DOLLY PARTON “Here You Come Again”

I am a proud fan of Dolly’s early, country career, but once she began dabbling in that "pop sound" we kids are so fond of… well, I’m still a fan, but now I’m blushing.

This one is dedicated to Jaime Leftkovich, former Amoeba Music employee and full-time resident of my heart, who’s birthday it is today.

MILLA JOVOVICH “Gentleman Who Fell”

As I am bringing up the tail end of Generation X, I can love all these horrible songs and still retain some semblance of cool because there is a safe distance between now and when they were recorded. For example, all the hipsters today love mid-1980’s Madonna, but back then, admitting you “quite fancied ‘Papa Don’t Preach’” was enough to get your fag-tag yanked (or maybe it was just your use of the term “quite fancied”).

Therefore, this next song is probably the most dangerous one to admit loving, so far. It’s not that old (comparatively) and is sung by someone, not only still famous, but also famous for being a supermodel. (If you never hear from me again after this, you’ll know it was because my blogging privileges were revoked).

That about raps it up. I hope you’ve enjoyed this frivolous and self-absorbed series. Feel free to share any songs you love but dare not speak their name. You have the advantage of posting anonymously, after all. Cheers.

Relevant Tags

Little River Band (1), Sleeping Beauty (3), Disney (36), Don Bluth (1), Tchaikovsky (5), Frida Lyngstad (1), Abba (17), Phil Collins (5), Pat Benetar (1), David Bowie (71), Star Wars (20), Peaches & Herb (1), Peaches (13), Dolly Parton (19), Milla Jovovich (1), Madonna (41)