Confessing Pop Music's Sins There are guilty pleasures, and then there are those dirty musical secrets nearly too embarrassing to admit. Listeners join music critics and WNYC hosts in dragging the less tasteful pop-music skeletons out of their closets.
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Confessing Pop Music's Sins

Confessing Pop Music's Sins

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Soundcheck host John Schaefer admits to liking Vanilla Ice's rap hit "Ice Ice Baby" when it first came out in 1990. Dave Hogan/Getty Images hide caption

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Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Soundcheck host John Schaefer admits to liking Vanilla Ice's rap hit "Ice Ice Baby" when it first came out in 1990.

Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Everybody has a dirty little secret from his or her pop-music past.

They go far beyond guilty pleasures. Everybody has songs, albums, concerts, and other fan moments too embarrassing to remember and/or too shameful to acknowledge.

Host John Schaefer — who owns up to his initial attraction to Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" — talks to culture writer Cintra Wilson, of Salon.com and The New York Times, and music journalist Anne Midgette, acting classical-music critic for the Washington Post, about their dirty musical secrets.

For Wilson, it's "Love Me in a Special Way" by the '80s R&B band DeBarge. "I mean, it really goes beyond just a guilty pleasure into a mortifying skeleton in my closet," she says. "Or actually, I was thinking of it more about — like, sort of admitting that I have an inflatable sheep in my bedroom."

Midgette admits to her own flirtations with questionable taste, long before she started writing about classical music. "Well, I suppose my dirty music secret begins when I moved to New Mexico at the age of 15, when all the music I owned was completely strange to everybody, and I tried to assimilate quickly by buying all of the music everybody else was listening to," she says. "Which meant that I amassed an enormous collection of ABBA, Air Supply, Barry Manilow to such a degree that my best friend from high school, when she visited me this summer 20 years later, said, 'It's amazing that somebody with such lousy taste in music became a music critic.'"

They field phone calls and listener comments — and hear from WNYC hosts Brian Lehrer and Leonard Lopate about their more ignoble musical admissions.