More Guilt

Flipping through the mp3s on my laptop, I find that I’ve stashed away plenty of guilty pleasures. They seem to fall in three general categories: bubblegum, disco, or sappy love songs. Since we took care of the disco and bubblegum yesterday, here are two from column 3.

“The Other Side of the Sun”/Janis Ian. This seems pretty insubstantial, a generic example of the sort of thing that would pop up on adult-contemporary radio in the early 80s and then disappear just as quickly—in this case, without ever making the Hot 100. But I was hooked by it then (and still get hooked now) in about half-a-dozen different ways, from its dreamy keyboard intro to the inevitable saxophone solo—played by Clarence Clemons.

Lobo. It was the decade of the sensitive male, but Lobo was a bit of a wuss even by 1970s standards, making a career out of songs about being in love with unattainable girls. Two of his three Top-10 hits, “I’d Love You to Want Me” and “Don’t Expect Me to Be Your Friend,” came back-to-back in the fall of 1972 and the winter of 1973—the precise moment at which I was in love with an unattainable girl. Thus, there was never a chance that I wouldn’t become a Lobo fan.

My thanks to those of you who have shared some of your own guilty pleasures so far. If you’ve got more, add ’em in the comments.

“The Other Side of the Sun”/Janis Ian (buy it here, but on a pricey Australian import)
“I’d Love You to Want Me”/Lobo (buy it here)

5 thoughts on “More Guilt

  1. Janis Ian is pretty much Uncool for Life due to “At Seventeen” — a good song, predictably mocked — to such an extent that almost no one seems to have paid her career any notice outside of her dedicated fanbase. Her late-period album God & the FBI is an excellent album with a varied sonic palette that would surprise most people.

  2. Back when my Seventies Survival Project was still a going concern, I had this to say when eliminating “Don’t Expect Me To Be Your Friend”:

    “It’s hard to be a mellow musician with something bitter to say. ‘I love you too much to ever start liking you / So let’s just let the story kinda end.’ Ooooh, snap.”

  3. JP

    “It’s hard to be a mellow musician with something bitter to say. ‘I love you too much to ever start liking you / So let’s just let the story kinda end.’ Ooooh, snap.”

    I disagree.

    The bitter part about this song isn’t the line, it’s that TITLE. “Don’t Expect Me To Be Your Friend.” In an era of “Lean On Me” and “You’ve Got A Friend,” that’s the strongest fuck-you message a sensitive guy could give to a lady…

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