Friday Top: 25 Greatest Guilty Pleasure Songs

As voted by UG community.

Ultimate Guitar
Friday Top: 25 Greatest Guilty Pleasure Songs

This week's traditional Wednesday Question saw the people of UG community discussing the matter of greatest guilty pleasure songs ever. Based on your votes and more than 350 comments, we summed this one up to traditional Top 25 rundown.

Before kicking things off, the honorable mentions are:

  • Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby
  • Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
  • Goo Goo Dolls - Name
  • Roxette - The Look
  • Dr. Alban - It's My Life
  • Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive
  • Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way
  • Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
  • Busta Rhymes & Mariah Carey - I Know What You Want (feat. Flipmode Squad)
  • No Doubt - Hey Baby
  • Crush Test Dummies - Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
  • Usher - Yeah! (feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris)

And yes, you can't actually be ashamed of your musical taste - because as Nietzsche said, "Without music, life would be a mistake."

The rundown awaits below.

25. Nelly Furtado - Say It Right

To be honest with its minimalistic beat and melody this song still sounds more fresh and innovative than most pop songs nowadays. Plus unforgettable lyrics from Timbaland: "HEY!"

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24. Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Out of My Head

You heard this melody once - and you can't get it out of your head now. Boy, it's all you think about.

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23. Dexys Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen

If your name is Eileen, everyone will always sing this song to you.

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22. Aqua - Barbie Girl

Actually, if you'll took the song's lyrics seriously for a minute, you'd be surprised how prophetic it is.

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21. Ricky Martin - Livin' La Vida Loca

Livin' the crazy life - with this song!..

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20. MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This

The ultimate winning song!

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19. Seal - Kiss From a Rose

It's not a shame to listen to such soulful songs again and again...

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18. Crazy Town - Butterfly

No matter the riff is borrowed from John Frusciante - "Yoma butterfly, sugah, bebeh!"

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17. Savage Garden - I Want You

"I don't know if I need you - But, ooh, I'd die to find out"

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16. Maroon 5 - This Love

Now THIS is Maroon 5 - funky, simple and catchy.

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15. Bomfunk MC's - Freestyler


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14. Creed - Higher

Creed are generally a guilty pleasure for many - including Mr. B. Hinds - but you can't deny the cathiness of their songs. First verse lyrics transcription: "When dreameneh gad-adto-ello-lahwer time-antime ageeee-ayeeeeah-ye-e-ah-nn."

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13. OutKast - Ms. Jackson

"I'm sorry Ms. Jackson - Woooooooo!.."

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12. Smash Mouth - All Star

"Sooooomebody once told me..."

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11. Britney Spears - Toxic

Yeah, it's a guilty pleasure - but it's catchy as hell!

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10. Limp Bizkit - Nookie

Even if you aren't ready to do everything for it, you still will like this most epic song about the nookie.

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9. Natalie Imbruglia - Torn

Catchy melody, great lyrics that are sad enough - do you need more?

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8. Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise

The almighty Coolio at No. 8.

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7. Bloodhound Gang - The Bad Touch

Catchy and simple music + dumb yet clever lyrics = all-time hit song.

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6. Haddaway - What Is Love

You can't listen to this and not bop your head... Forever hit.

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5. No Doubt - Don't Speak

'90s at its best. "Tragic Kingdom" is a really dope album.

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4. Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive

Just... epic.

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3. Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up

No further comment needed.

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2. Scatman John - Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)

Skibadbadkgjsflgnsdljfnsejlkfdjnsdlrfdsdfsgfdhtfnyugoptrkajliwhejnzxfbfxgd IMMAAA SCAATMAAAAAAAN!

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1. A-ha - Take on Me

Maybe one of the most essential songs from the '80s - it's still catchy today!

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That's all folks! Feel free to post personal guilty pleasure songs in the comment section below. And we hope you enjoyed the top, stay tuned until next week for another WQ!

97 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I feel like all of these are legitimately good songs right? Creed/Nickleback kinda songs is more of what I was expecting - how can you ever feel guilty singing along to the skat man, cmon!
    Mostly. I Outkast song should be a guilty anything. They're probably the greatest rap group ever, definitely top 3.
    I think its because most metalheads would be too embarrassed to admit that The Bee Gees are objectively the greatest band ever.
    How can someone be ashamed of listening to seal? HE RULES
    I'm the one that suggested that one, and my rationale is that as someone with a reputation for listening to a lot of heavy music and progressive rock/metal, it can be a little embarrassing when someone walks into my office and hears me listening to something that would be the soundtrack to someone's romantic life.
    Personally, I do not find Coolio or A-Ha to be "guilty pleasures", those are both genuinely great songs.  
    I agree, however, Take On Me was kind of ruined for me by a little video that says 'Hitler did nothing wrong' to the tune of the chorus, and it can never be unheard. 
    I would die for the bee gees why you comin at me with this stupid ass list callin them a guilty pleasure, UG community? 
    Nero Galon
    Many of these aren't guilty at all. Try explaining your enjoyment for K-Pop. Now that is a guilty pleasure.
    Right? Literally everyone will sing along to Take On Me and not judge you for it, but your coworkers hear you one time screaming SONO CHI NO SADAME JOOOOOJO and you never hear the end of it. (Worth it tho)
    Guilty Pleasure is so subjective. I think most of these are great songs. Kinda "basic stuff" outside rock and metal.
    Nothing Goo Goo Dolls is a guilty pleasure. Their great songs are just fucking great lol.
    To be fair, a lot of those songs are actually really good songs. I mean, "Torn" is one of those songs I ALWAYS turn the radio up to. And now I have the song stuck in my head...
    Wow, I'd never even considered Toxic a guilty pleasure before. Straight up, top drawer dance pop - as good as pop music gets. Fun video, too.
    I have no guilty pleasures.  And to note on A-ha - I have the whole album Take On Me is from - Hunting High and Low.  A DAMN fine album, and a shame nobody ever paid attention past the one video (there were three more for that album: TRain of Thought, Hunting High and Low, and The Sun Always Shines on TV). A-ha also became a guitar-oriented mostly-rock band by the late 80's/early 90's.  Memorial Beach is more guitar than synths (1993). And Scatman always makes me laugh.  There was this guy on Youtube who used to do youtube videos of Mario Bloopers or whatever using  Scatman songs as part of the gag and the Game Boy Advance versions of Mario 3.  And yes I do get part of the joke is that Scatman John Larkin looks like Mario somewhat.
    Aha sucks. Poor mans Duran Duran. Take on me sounds like song from nickelodeon
    I don't feel any guilt listening to This Love. Just a great song. Anyhow, forgot to suggest Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity
    Jamiroquai makes sucha great music... And so does Seal! I thought September by Earth Wind & Fire is gonna be in this list...
    Well, i don't find any of these "guilty pleasure" - it's absolutely normal when you can be brutal as fuck but listen to something out of your main genres. The real guilty pleasure is something like that
    Lot of people are saying that they don't feel guilty for liking any of the songs on the list, but...Smash Mouth? Seriously?
    How the fuck is Kiss from a Rose a guilty pleasure?! Its a frigging epic piece of songwriting.
    I like how people are down voting peoples suggestions. Its their guilty pleasure....doesn't mean it has to be yours.
    One song I always hated myself for loving. Divinyls I touch Myself. I love her voice in that song.
    The songs from Smash Mouth, MC Hammer, Maroon 5 are perfectly good on their own. I don't understand why they are here.
    not guilty. sorry wouldn't listen to any of those songs. a couple of the videos are entertaining but i wouldn't intentionally listen to just the songs. 
    Take On Me: the only song I've heard requested AND played 4 times in one night. Huge cheers and much drunk dancing followed.
    i know Take on Me lyrics and what is "Guilty Pressure" means but why is Take on Me about Guilty Presure?
    I don't necessarily believe in guilty pleasures (I really listen to just about everything) but I was surprised to see The Look by Roxette on the mentions, didn't think it was a song that comes to mind much. Candlelight Red does a great cover of it.
    Come on, nothing related to JOOOOOJOOOOO can be considered guilty pleassure
    some of these are legitimately great and shouldn't be considered guilty pleasures. if you're embarrassed to like certain music you shouldn't be
    Yeah! by Usher is actually pretty good, and this is coming from a guy who hates pop music.