We all have musical skeletons in our closets – whether it’s Milli Vanilli, Michael Bolton or some other artist that we thought was cool at one time or another (I never thought either was cool, BTW), but would never tell anyone about.
Well, it’s confession time, and I feel a need to tell you all about certain lapses in judgment that I’ve had over the years – mostly pre-teen and adolescence, as if that makes it better. So please forgive me for what you’re about to read.
- Olivia Newton-John. This one happened early in life, when I was 7, so I can forgive my younger self. But it was the era of “Have You Never Been Mellow” and “Please Mister Please.” I don’t know if that’s forgivable.
- Shaun Cassidy. The 70s version of Hannah Montana. I try to rationalize this one by pointing toward my interest in all things Hardy Boys and Cassidy’s liberal use of songs by Eric Carmen and Phil Spector.
- Chicago. I’m embarrassed to say that I owned Chicago 16 (“Hard to Say I’m Sorry”) and 17 (“You’re the Inspiration”).
- Toto. This one’s iffy. “Rosanna” was a great song written about Rosanna Arquette. But then there was “Africa.”
- Midnight Star. It was not until much later that I realized that “Freak-a-Zoid,” “No Parking on the Dance Floor” and “Operator” were all the same song.
- Night Ranger. Peer pressure, I swear! That’s all it was!
- Ray Parker, Jr. At the time, I thought he was cool – after all, he wrote the theme to “Ghostbusters”! Nowadays, I have discovered that “Ghostbusters” is a rip-off of “I Want a New Drug” (he even got sued!) and “I Still Can’t Get Over Loving You” is a rip-off of “Every Breath You Take.” C’mon folks, think: He had to have gotten “The Other Woman” from some other song, too…
- Contemporary Christian music. At one time, I went to a conservative Baptist church that tried to stuff CCM down my throat. So I listened to Petra, Sandi Patty, Michael W. Smith and Mylon Le Fevre until I realized three things, to the youth director’s chagrin: (1) CCM is not the only music Christians can listen to; (2) Listening to CCM does not make you a Christian; and (3) Most of the songs were really bad.
- Stryper. This one’s so bad it deserves its own spot outside CCM. Combine loud tight pants, makeup, copious amounts of Aqua Net and a gimmick (“Hey, we’re heavy metal, but we’re Christian! Sin sucks! Christ rocks!“) and you had Stryper. I even went to a concert and bought a jersey T-shirt and a striped head scarf. And I’ll never, ever be able to get that money back.
- The Cranberries. I really liked “Linger” and “Dreams,” but with each subsequent album, Delores O’Riordan’s voice resembled nails on a chalkboard. The two above songs are also two of the most overplayed songs of the 90s, which means there’s an automatic backlash. I, too, will jump on the bandwagon.