Sunday, 3 August 2014

Those who live in glass houses - another selection of my embarrassing pop favourites

Obviously there's nothing here remotely as shameful as, say (just plucking examples out the air) Pickettywich or Prefab Sprout, but I will admit that - despite having superb musical taste - there are certain tracks which, in order to avoid people openly laughing at me in the street, or being dragged in to explain myself to the style police, I can only play in the privacy of my study through headphones. I'll start with a 1958 Andy Williams B-side to which, for reasons I can't explain, I often sing absolutely filthy alternative lyrics:

Marc Almond? Bananarama???  Why couldn't a less embarrassing producer and a less awful girl group got together to create this dance classic. Almost makes me wish I were a gay clubber (remember, I said "almost"):

There is no excuse for the following record - but it makes me laugh and sing along. The "song" (or, if you prefer, "outrage") starts 25" into the video - apologies, but all the other versions appear to be the absolutely dreadful US remix:

I've never been a big fan of pop ballads, especially ones as screamingly wet as the following - but I've loved it ever since I bought it in 1962 (I also bought his follow-up, "Sealed with a Kiss"):

I almost didn't include the following in case it piqued the interest of the Operation Yewtree squad. It's French pop, from the 1980s, and it's sung by a 15-year old girl - not exactly the attributes I generally look for in a record - but it's rather lovely. (Vanessa Paradis, as you probably know, went on to become an actress and Mrs. Johnny Depp.)

As for the following - I know, I know. But at least I've spared you any video involving Bobby Farrell, the male member of the group, who had to pretend to be able to dance and sing:

I don't know any other record which contains a part spoken in a heavy Brummy accent. And I always think it's jolly nice of the despatcher to let the heartbroken copper off the hook:

The following 1961 song by Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto was actually called "I Look Up As I Walk", but was retitled "Sukiyaki" (which bears no relevance to the song's lyrics) when it was released in the Anglophone market in 1963. It sold 13 million copies worldwide and is the only Japanese-language song ever to appear in the US charts.

I rushed out to buy the Dutch band Gruppo Sportivo's Ten Mistakes LP after John Peel play this track:

I can offer no excuse for enjoying this 1961 hit:

So I liked Smokie. So sue me!

Everything about my final selection is wrong. Everything.

I feel cleaner now that I've got that off my chest


  1. Frankly, Gronmark I am numb.
    I have just whizzed through your selection again, some days after my first attempt, assuming that I was then experiencing some out of body experience - but no, the horror remains.
    I can only hope that this is a hoax, and if so, it is brilliant but whatever the intention I find the image of you sitting in your study, wearing headphones, tapping your desk, rocking rhythmically in your leather chair and singing along with the oleaginous Andy Williams most disturbing; and then to learn that you sing your own smutty lyrics....much, much more than just disturbing - chilling and alarming.
    I think you should seek help.

    1. Funny, Riley - I would have thought Andy Williams would be right up your alley, as it were.

      I have sought help, but it doesn't seem to have helped.