In this 21st century of all-the-worlds-music-at-your-fingertips, when folk can listen to any song they want behind the anonymity of their smart phone and headphones, it would appear that the music they want to hear the most is pop. And by pop I mean the stuff that in the pre MP3 era (roughly 1960 to 2000) you could never admit to liking for fear of being ridiculed by your peers. Or to be more precise, that concentrated set of incredibly catchy, occasionally dopey tunes known as Guilty or as we like to call them, Secret Pleasures.

   You see, since streaming became our preferred method for listening to music, sites like Spotify and Apple Music have done more than simply open up the history of recorded music to anyone with a decent broadband connection. Gradually but steadily over the past five years or so they have been killing off the concept of Secret Pleasures. No-one has a clue what you’re listening to under your noise cancelling Airpod Pro’s or Beats buds, but even if they did, why would they judge you for your brief dalliance with Cilla Black, Mungo Jerry, Spandau Ballet, Ace of Base, Travis or George Ezra when a million other songs are just a mere click way?

   Contrast the present day with that of earlier decades. Can you imagine the walk of shame for a sixteen year old of the seventies if he’d ambled up to the Our Price counter with albums by the Electric Light Orchestra and Supertramp alongside the latest Siouxsie & The Banshees and Kraftwerk masterpieces? That scenario simply never happened. Secret Pleasure pop like the existential cowboy classic ‘Wild West Hero’ and the be-careful-what-you-wish-for fable of ‘Breakfast In America’ were the mortal enemies of pretty much every discerning music fan before streaming. Now they are playlist kissing cousins racking up tens of millions of plays more than The Banshees or Kraftwerk could ever hope for. Once despised by the cognoscenti, they are now adored.

   It could even be argued that most of the songs here are no longer Secret Pleasures at all. Rather they are brilliant retro pop perfect for your Songs I Used To Think Were Crap But Now Aren’t playlist. Thanks to streaming, these former Secret Pleasures are no longer the songs we love to hate. They are simply the songs we love. Whatever your playlist, they are a perfect fit.

   It’s official. Secret Pleasures are dead. They are also bigger than ever!

 

1. THE FLAMINGOS ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’ (January 1960)
2. THE EVERLY BROTHERS ‘Walk Right Back’ (February 1961)
3. SAM COOKE ‘Having A Party’ (May 1962)
4. TIMI YURO ‘What’s A Matter Baby’ (June 1962)
5. DEL SHANNON ‘Little Town Flirt’ (December 1962)
6. THE COOKIES ‘On Broadway’ (January 1963)
7. BOB & EARL ‘Harlem Shuffle’ (November 1963)
8. CILLA BLACK ‘You’re My World’ (May 1964)
9. SANDIE SHAW ‘Girl Don’t Come’ (November 1964)
10. THE SHANGRI-LAS ‘I Can Never Go Home Anymore’ (November 1965)
11. SIMON & GARFUNKEL ‘I Am A Rock’ (April 1966)
12. BOBBY DARIN ‘If I Were A Carpenter’ (September 1966)
13. GEORGIE FAME ‘Sitting In The Park’ (December 1966)
14. THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS ‘Dedicated To The One I Love’ (February 1967)
15. DUSTY SPRINGFIELD ‘The Look Of Love’ (May 1967)
16. THE HERD ‘I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die’ (March 1967)
17. SCOTT WALKER ‘Joanna’ (April 1968)
18. THE MOODY BLUES ‘Voices In The Sky’ (June 1968)
19. THE ZOMBIES ‘This Will Be Our Year’ (June 1968)
20. THE TURTLES ‘You Showed Me’ (December 1968)
21. LOVE AFFAIR ‘One Road’ (February 1969)
22. BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS ‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy’ (February 1969)
23. PROCOL HARUM ‘A Salty Dog’ (May 1969)
24. OLIVER ‘Good Morning Starshine’ (May 1969)
25. TRASH ‘Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight’ (September 1969)

 

26. M*A*S*H ‘Suicide Is Painless’ (August 1970)
27. JIMMY CLIFF ‘Wild World’ (August 1970)
28. THE KINKS ‘Apeman’ (November 1970)
29. THREE DOG NIGHT ‘Joy To The World’ (April 1971)
30. MUNGO JERRY ‘Lady Rose’ (May 1971)
31. LINDISFARNE ‘Lady Eleanor’ (May 1972)
32. THE DOOBIE BROTHERS ‘Listen To The Music’ (September 1972)
33. WINGS ‘C Moon’ (December 1972)
34. HOT CHOCOLATE ‘Brother Louie’ (April 1973)
35. CLIFFORD T. WARD ‘Scullery’ (November 1973)
36. LEO SAYER ‘The Show Must Go On’ (December 1973)
37. CHARLES AZNAVOUR ‘She’ (May 1974)
38. MAIN INGREDIENT ‘Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely’ (June 1974)
39. KEN BOOTHE ‘Crying Over You’ (December 1974)
40. OSIBISA ‘Sunshine Day’ (November 1975)
41. SUTHERLAND BROTHERS & QUIVER ‘Arms Of Mary’ (February 1976)
42. JOHN MILES ‘Music’ (March 1976)
43. JOAN ARMATRADING ‘Love And Affection’ (August 1976)
44. FLEETWOOD MAC ‘Dreams’ (July 1977)
45. ANDREW GOLD ‘Never Let Her Slip Away’ (May 1978)
46. ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA ‘Wild West Hero’ (May 1978)
47. SNIFF ’N’ THE TEARS ‘Drivers Seat’ (October 1978)
48. STEELY DAN ‘Rikki Don’t Lose That Number’ (February 1979)
49. THE COMMODORES ‘Sail On’ (May 1979)
50. SUPERTRAMP ‘Breakfast In America’ (June 1979)

 

51. ROBERT PALMER ‘Looking For Clues’ (October 1980)
52. BILLY IDOL ‘Dancing With Myself’ (October 1981)
53. THE MOBILES ‘Drowning In Berlin’ (November 1981)
54. ORCHESTRAL MANOUVRES IN THE DARK ‘Maid Of Orleans’ (January 1982)
55. MODERN ENGLISH ‘I Melt With You’ (May 1982)
56. THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS ‘Love My Way’ (July 1982)
57. JOE JACKSON ‘Steppin’ Out’ (October 1982)
58. BLANCMANGE ‘Waves’ (February 1983)
59. FREUR ‘Doot Doot’ (March 1983)
60. H2O ‘I Dream To Sleep’ (May 1983)
61. CARMEL ‘More More More’ (January 1984)
62. ALISON MOYET ‘Love Resurrection’ (June 1984)
63. THOMPSON TWINS ‘Sister Of Mercy’ (June 1984)
64. ALPHAVILLE ‘Forever Young’ (September 1984)
65. HUMAN LEAGUE ‘Louise’ (October 1984)
66. ARCADIA ‘Election Day’ (October 1985)
67. SPANDAU BALLET ‘Through The Barricades’ (October 1986)
68. A-HA ‘Manhattan Skyline’ (February 1987)
69. DEACON BLUE ‘When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?’ (August 1987)
70. AZTEC CAMERA ‘Somewhere In My Heart’ (April 1988)
71. PREFAB SPROUT ‘Cars And Girls’ (February 1988)
72. SADE ‘Paradise’ (May 1988)
73. SCRITTI POLITTI ‘Oh Patti (Don’t Feel Sorry For Loverboy)’ (May 1988)
74. WATERFRONT ‘Cry’ (October 1988)
75. CANDY FLIP ‘Space’ (November 1989)

 

76. THE FARM ‘Groovy Train’ (August 1990)
77. ADAMSKI ‘The Space Jungle’ (August 1990)
78. SNAP ‘Cult Of Snap!’ (September 1990)
79. CLAUDIA BRUCKEN ‘Kiss Like Ether’ (January 1991)
80. FRAZIER CHORUS ‘Walking On Air’ (February 1991)
81. EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL ‘Love Is Strange’ (February 1992)
82. ELECTRONIC ‘Disappointed’ (June 1992)
83. STEREO MC’S ‘Connected’ (September 1992)
84. BETTY BOO ‘I’m On My Way’ (September 1992)
85. THE SHAMEN ‘Boss Drum’ (October 1992)
86. ACE OF BASE ‘All That She Wants’ (March 1983)
87. PM DAWN ‘Looking Through Patient Eyes’ (March 1993)
88. DAWN PENN ‘You Don’t Love Me (No No No)’ (May 1994)
89. EDWYN COLLINS ‘A Girl Like You’ (June 1995)
90. ECHOBELLY ‘King Of The Kerb’ (October 1995)
91. REPUIBLICA ‘Ready To Go’ (April 1996)
92. SPACE ‘Female Of The Species’ (June 1996)
93. GENE ‘We Could Be Kings’ (January 1997)
94. TEXAS ‘Say What You Want’ (January 1997)
95. NO DOUBT ‘Don’t Speak’ (February 1997)
96. FINLEY QUAYE ‘Even After All’ (September 1997)
97. NATALIE IMBRUGLIA ‘Big Mistake’ (March 1998)
98. KYLIE MINOGUE ‘Breathe’ (March 1998)
99. FATBOY SLIM ‘Gangster Trippin’ (October 1998)
100. THE WISEGUYS ‘Ooh La La’ (June 1999)

 

101. MOLOKO ‘Time Is Now’ |(March 2000)
102. MOBY ‘Porcelain’ (June 2000)
103. DAVID GRAY ‘Please Forgive Me’ (October 2000)
104. TRAVIS ‘Sing’ (April 2001)
105. JAMES ‘Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)’ (July 2001)
106. SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR ‘Take Me Home’ (August 2001)
107. GEORGE MICHAEL ‘Shoot The Dog’ (July 2002)
108. CRAIG DAVID FEAT. STING ‘Rise And Fall’ (April 2003)
109. DIDO ‘White Flag’ (September 2003)
110. KEANE ‘Everybody’s Changing’ (May 2004)
111. SCISSOR SISTERS ‘Laura’ (June 2004)
112. THE KILLERS ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ (August 2004)
113. ATHLETE ‘Wires’ (January 2005)
114. COLDPLAY ‘Speed Of Sound’ (April 2005)
115. SNOW PATROL ‘Chasing Cars’ (June 2006)
116. PARIS HILTON ‘Stars Are Blind’ (June 2006)
117. JAMIE T ‘If You Got The Money’ (September 2006)
118. RAZORLIGHT ‘America’ (October 2006)
119. ALL SAINTS ‘Rock Steady’ (November 2006)
120. GWEN STEFANI ‘Wind It Up’ (November 2006)
121. CHRISTINA AGUILERA ‘Candyman’ (February 2007)
122. MIKA ‘Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)’ (July 2007)
123. CAGE THE ELEPHANT ‘Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked’ (June 2008)
124. LILY ALLEN ‘22’ (August 2009)
125. JUST JACK ‘The Day I Died’ (August 2009)

 

126. ELIZA DOOLITTLE ‘Skinny Genes’ (April 2010)
127. MARINA & THE DIAMONDS ‘I Am Not A Robot’ (April 2010)
128. ROBYN ‘Dancing On My Own’ (June 2010)
129. M83 ‘Midnight City’ (August 2011)
130. FLORENCE & THE MACHINE ‘Shake It Out’ (September 2011)
131. NEON TREES ‘Everybody Talks’ (January 2012)
132. OF MONSTERS AND MEN ‘Dirty Paws’ (April 2012)
133. PASSENGER ‘Let Her Go’ (July 2012)
134. BASTILLE ‘Of The Night’ (October 2013)
135. SAM SMITH FEAT. A$AP ROCKY ‘I’m Not The Only One’ (September 2014)
136. IGGY AZALEA FEAT. JENNIFER HUDSON ‘Trouble’ (February 2015)
137. CHRISTINE & THE QUEENS ‘Tilted’ (March 2015)
138. CHVRCHES ‘Clearest Blue’ (September 2015)
139. SNAKEHIPS FEAT. TINASHE & CHANCE THE RAPPER ‘All My Friends’ (October 2015)
140. JESS GLYNNE ‘Take Me Home’ (November 2015)
141. SAINT MOTEL ‘Move’ (October 2016)
142. LANA DEL RAY ‘Coachella – Woodstock In My Mind’ (May 2017)
143. LORDE ‘Homemade Dynamite’ (June 2017)
144. RAG’N’BONE MAN ‘As You Are’ (July 2017)
145. GEORGE EZRA ‘Paradise’ (January 2018)
146. YEARS & YEARS ‘If You’re Over Me’ (May 2018)
147. THE 1975 ‘Give Yourself A Try’ (June 2018)
148. CHARLI XCX & TROYE SIVAN ‘1999’ (October 2018)
149. HARRY STYLES ‘Lights Up’ (October 2019)
150. BILLIE EILISH ‘Everything I Wanted’ (November 2019)