leave your inhibitions at the door
I have a whole list of future Guilty Pleasures written down and this one was stashed halfway down the list, right above Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me”. I was going to save it for later, but earlier this week The Sicilian mentioned her young son loving it. Yeah, this is clearly bad enough to be a guilty pleasure.
I can hear the haters now – “You arrogant, elitist bastard. You think you’re so hip and so cool with your Kanye East, Sanford and Sons, and Kathy Perry. You can’t bring yourself to admit that there are classic songs out there that people from every generation love the first, tenth, and the thousandth time they hear it… And flush the damn toilet!” (OK, that last one was something Boom Boom just said to me.)
Hmmmm. Maybe the haters are right. Maybe there is truly a song that is universally beloved for its artistic merits, cultural impact, and ability to trigger emotions. Maybe there is a song from my generation’s younger days that will make a 4th grader forget about Taio Cruz. Could it be that there’s a song that’s downright instinctually good?
Hell no! This is a prog rock anthem, thus is automatically eligible for Guilty Pleasure status. Think about it – prog musicians thought they could, by using jazz and classical influences, elevate rock past its blues-based roots to the same credibility stratosphere as Mozart. (And you thought I was elitist.) Any musicians who take themselves so seriously deserve a) a kick in the nuts, and b) to be talked about in the same breath as The Pussycat Dolls.
I have to admit I really appreciate the musicianship here and the way the song was crafted – the classical-tinged piano beginning, the dreamy synthesizer interlude, and the heavy guitar flourish at the end. The instrumentation and Dennis DeYoung’s voice are all very beautiful and put together well.
But it all falls apart with this line – “I thought that they were angels, but much to my surprise, they climbed aboard their starship, and headed for the skies!”
Of course, no discussion of this song would be complete without mentioning Cartman’s version…