Inspired by their willingness to open their hearts to the Internet, I now present the five songs I'd really never wanted the rest of the world to know I love:
5. "Obsession" -- Animotion (1985)
I had no idea what this song was about when I first heard it, but the bass line and keyboards are irresistible. I taped the song off the radio and I'd play air keyboards in my bedroom while listening to it. And no, that's not a euphemism: I was 12.
4. "Bird of Prey" -- Uriah Heep (1971)
For about 5 years I listened via the Internet to an afternoon radio show on ROCK103 in Memphis, TN hosted by two guys named Drake and Zeke. They used to play "Bird of Prey" as a joke, and usually just the opening minute. Just when you think it's going to be a power metal number, the vocals come in. I dare you not to laugh. Also, throw up the horns and bang your head. You've earned it.
3. "High Enough" -- Damn Yankees (1990)
The late 1980s and early 1990s were the heyday of "hair" metal bands. The longer the hair, the better the band. And nothing exemplifies the best and worst thing about metal bands than the power ballad. Everyone had at least one, and a supergroup like Damn Yankees is no exception. It's hard to believe that "Motor City Madman" Ted Nugent is in the band that produced this song. They've got a string quartet in there! How the Nuge didn't kill Tommy Shaw with a compound bow is a mystery musical scholars will ponder for decades.
2. "Informer" -- Snow (1993)
Even Snow isn't sure what he was trying to accomplish when he mixed Jamaican patois with rap in 1993, resulting in this grotesque masterpiece. I don't know what the hell he's saying (neither did MTV when they tried a "follow-the-bouncing-ball" version of the video) but the bass line gets my ass moving whenever I hear this song.
1. "After The Loving" -- Englebert Humperdinck (1976)
My man Arnold George Dorsey once said of himself "I can hit notes a bank could not cash" (according to Wikipedia, anyway). In this song, he hits some valuable notes indeed. It's '70s Vegas showiness at its most opulent: full orchestra, a chorus of backup singers, and
the heartfelt words of a man who's just gotten freaky with his lady and has to tell her how he really feels. Does it get any more beautiful than this?:
Thanks for taking me/I will neither confirm nor deny rumors that this is a song on my standard karaoke set list.
On a one-way trip to the sun/
And thanks for turning me/
That's it, folks. You've seen one of the dark places in my soul. Next time you see me with my iPod, you'll wonder "Is he listening to one of THOSE songs again?"