I’m not sure I really believe in guilty pleasures. As long as it’s not harming anyone, there is little reason to feel guilty about the things that bring you pleasure. Besides, life is too short not to embrace all the little things that make us happy.
Nevertheless, there are a certainly things I love that are uncool, slightly embarrassing even. One of those things is my love of dancing around in my PJs to cheesy Eighties pop music.
The 80s was a terrific era for music anyway – think New Order, Talking Heads, The Cure, The Human League, Depeche Mode. I love that music unreservedly.
And then there’s the other stuff – the cheesy one-hit wonders and the golden oldies that call back to the kitschy excesses of the Eighties – the big hair, the leg-warmers, the shoulder pads, the gaudy eyeshadow.
There are certain songs from that era that make me nostalgic for my childhood. Songs that never cease to put a smile on my face or get me tapping my feet. I’m entirely unapologetic about my love for these songs.
Here are just a few of many, complete with suitably naff, camp music videos.
“Take on Me”, Aha
This cracking synth-pop hit is catchy as hell and the music video is one of my all-time favourites. I still find it impossible to sing the chorus (seriously,has anyone other than Morten Harket ever managed to sing it in anything other than a screeching warble?)
I also highly recommend the literal version of the video (sample lyrics: “Come to me / Magic frame / Sing to you / Band Montage!”)
“You Make My Dreams”, Hall & Oates
Soundtrack to countless movie montages, this is an infectiously upbeat and fun song. I watched this video for the first time tonight and it’s a cracker. Hall’s wide eyes and gawky, bouncy dancing, sassy little shoulder shimmies by Oates – what’s not to love?
“Karma Chameleon”, Culture Club
I loved this song big-time as a child, and remember thinking for the longest time that the lyrics were “Come a come a come a camelia”. Which makes no sense but I loved it anyway.
I’m sure I’ve seen this video many times but for some reason never noticed the two children stuffing a person into a basket near the beginning.
“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, Cyndi Lauper
An empowering feminist anthem that has endured through the decades, I can hear this song hundreds of times and still love it madly.
It’s impossible to listen this without wanting to belt out the chorus at full volume.
I just love the way the no-nonsense librarian keeps her cool while mad shit goes down around her.
“Safety Dance”, Men Without Hats
I…don’t really know what to say about this video. It’s like The Princess Bride on acid or something.
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
How gloriously Eighties is this video? That neon! Those shorts! Those teeth!
Just try to resist dancing to this, I dare you. Can’t do it, can you? Didn’t think so.