E's Academic Records #7: Guilty Pleasures

Most people, whether they admit it or not, have something in their music collection that they only listen to when no one else is around. For what ever reason, it's a secret indulgence that’s kept under wraps. I've got plenty of guilty gems on my iPod (Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz, U2’s Pop) and a few in my record collection. Here are four of them:


Clockwise, from left:

Lionel Ritchie – Dancing On The Ceiling, 1986 Ah, Lionel. Everybody loves Lionel. How can you not? The mustache. The blazer over a turtleneck. The hits! I own a couple of Lionel Ritchie CDs and poached this album from my brother. I guess this is a double guilty pleasure since it's stolen. It is packed with cheese, but nothing tops "Dancing on the Ceiling." "Say You, Say Me" is a close second.

Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever, 1982 I'm not even sure how this ended up in my record collection. Actually, I'm not sure how this and two copies of their 1983 release, Colour By Numbers, ended up in my possession, but they did, and I've played them more times than I care to admit. "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" and "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" get the most rotations. When we were taking the pictures of this, Evangeline kept saying, "I like she's hat. I want a hat like she."

Kenny Rogers – Greatest Hits, 1980 This is the first record I ever asked for. It was a birthday present. I have a vivid memory of sitting in my parents' dining room and opening this gift. I was over the moon. I'm very happy I still have it and it's in pretty good condition. There are too many great songs on it to list, but obviously, "The Gambler" is tops.

Elton John – Greatest Hits, 1974 Technically, this isn't my record. It's on loan from my parents. I wanted to include it in my photo series because it holds a lot of memories for me. The record player was in our dining room when I was a kid. We listened to this album quite a bit. I remember dancing around the dining room table singing, "BA-BA-BA BENNY AND THE JETS!" with my brother Chris. The record is chock full of classics like “Rocketman” and “Daniel.” I suppose it only falls into the guilty pleasures category when someone hears you say, "So the other day I was listening to Elton John…" I'm not a fan of his music outside of this album. Not to deny his talent and philanthropy, but he carries a wacky pop stigma that some people just can't shake.

What are your guilty pleasures?

You can read about the inspiration for E’s Academic Records here and view my entire photo series on Instagram.

Images and text by Eamon Kelly