Thursday 27 January 2011

What is a Guilty Pleasure?

Guilty Pleasure is defined as: Something that you shouldn't like, but like anyway.

In reference to music, I believe it comes from Sean Rowley's regular club nights, and was originally a celebration of those great, sometimes borderline-naff, but generally forgotten songs (eg Starlight Vocal Band: Afternoon Delight, Brian Protheroe: Pinball, 10cc: The Things We Do For Love, Andrew Gold - Never Let Her Slip Away)

The Guilty Pleasure "franchise" has since expanded to include TV, Film, Books, indeed any form of media/entertainment/sport (or so it seems).

But, with this expansion appears to come mis-understanding of what it actually is.

Now it just seems to be an excuse to celebrate the extremely naff ("I listens to The Nolans - it's my Guilty Pleasure", "I watch 'Terry & June' - it's my Guilty Pleasure").

There is no such thing as a Guilty Pleasure, unless you are really worried about what others think of you so you have to a reason/excuse for listening to or watching what you enjoy.
A good song is a good song, a good film is a good film, good TV is good TV - there is no need to describe it as a Guilty Pleasure to justify your actions - if you like something, enjoy it.

Personally, I wouldn't usually listen to The Carpenters, but there is this one track ('Goodbye To Love') which has just about the greatest guitar solo in it.  Is it a Guilty Pleasure, or is it just a good song which should be recognised and celebrated as such?

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