Fellow NPR Music producer Stephen Thompson says there's no such thing as "guilty" pleasures when it comes to music. Anything we like, no matter how sappy or vapid, is simply a pleasure. That said, if anything ever happens to me, these are the five songs I'd like a close friend to delete from my iPod before anyone at NPR finds them:
1. "All By Myself" by Eric Carmen: Coworkers say I'm dead inside and don't have a sentimental bone in my body. The truth is, I'm a "sensi" and still cry every time I see E.T. I think this song rules.
2. Theme to E.T. The Extra Terrestrial: John Williams wrote the soundtrack to my youth. As such, I find his music very evocative. If this track pops up, I'm back in the theater, scrunched in my seat with wide eyes. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen loathes John Williams. But we'll save that for another post.
3. "The Crawdad Song" by Andy Griffith: Andy Griffith was another childhood hero. The sheriff without a gun! Every now and then he'd serenade a girlfriend with his guitar, or the Darling family (played by real-life bluegrass band The Dillards) would come down from the mountains for a jam session. I thought the music was pretty awesome. So I bought this collection of Andy Griffith hits.
4. "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins: Honestly I don't know how this one ended up on my iPod.
5. "I'm Not in Love" by 10cc: I think I read about the ridiculous origins of the band's name and subsequently downloaded this song from iTunes. The truth is, no matter how cheese-tacular this song is, it's a pretty remarkable studio feat. Recorded in 1975, the track includes multiple choral overdubs by the band, each singing the same, continuous note, creating a total of 256 voices. This was obviously before computer sampling and loops.
Runner Up: "Logical Song" by Supertramp. So embarrassing it might actually give me street cred by having it on my iPod
Second Runner Up: "Freedom" by George Michael. He was everything I hated about '80s pop. Then he released this song in 1990 and I couldn't believe how much I loved it. I still can't believe how much I love it.
Consider this a tree of trust where you can confess everything. What do you hope no one ever finds on your iPod?