We Built This City

May 12, 2014


By Gabrielle.

Last month we talked about our first concerts, and this month I’m curious about music again. I was talking with Ben Blair and my kids about the music on our phones/iPods, and we were discussing whether or not there was any music we would be embarrassed of — music we secretly liked but that might not be considered cool by our peers.

And we talked about the reverse idea as well. Ben remembered feeling like a rock-and-roll purist in high school, and looking down on bands like New Order. But last year, Ralph got the whole family listening to Ceremony and Ben realized he really loves it.

My biggest shame song is one that makes every “Worst Song Ever” list: We Built This City by Starship. (Blushing just typing that.) I received the album, Knee Deep In The Hoopla, for my birthday in sixth grade and played it on repeat constantly. I LOVED that song. And the second song on the album as well, called Sara. I would fall asleep to Sara and thought it was so romantic! I still have nostalgic, happy feelings whenever I hear We Built This City — and I’ll sing along to the whole song and get totally pumped up.

Ben Blair says his shame song is Party In The USA by Miley Cyrus.

Ralph say his shame song is Who Says by Selena Gomez. He also says he spent the last week of school telling his friends, “I’m not a Belieber, but you really need to give the new Justin Bieber album a chance.”

So now I’m curious: What’s the band/song/album you’re embarrassed to admit you love? Come on now, confess. It couldn’t be worse than We Built This City. : )

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashley May 12, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Is the fact that I have an active “Heart” Pandora station (Wilson sisters, I mean) worse?

I was also hardcore Tori Amos fan as a teenager and thought myself especially contemplative and poetic because of it. Now, although I am creeped out by my teenaged naiveté for enjoying her dark music, I will listen to some of my favorites (like “Playboy Mommy”) when no one is around for nostalgia’s sake.

On another embarrassing note, I crave J Lo’s album “On the 6″ when I am preparing to go somewhere fun.


2 Tanya May 13, 2014 at 6:28 am

Tori Amos is a shame music? You must have a blessedly easy life! I can say that her music has more meaning to me now than it did 20 years ago, but I did have a lot of hard knocks, so I guess I relate better ^_^


3 Design Mom May 13, 2014 at 7:47 am

I suppose that’s just the way it goes with music — a song or album that we treasure, is sure to be an embarrassment to someone else. Loving these comments!


4 Design Mom May 13, 2014 at 7:46 am

Your Wilson Sisters comment made me laugh!


5 Lauren May 12, 2014 at 11:39 pm

Party in the USA… LOL. Good song, though, right?

I love Hanson. I loved them at 15 when MMMBop debuted and I still love them–three wives and ten kids and six albums later.


6 Lee May 13, 2014 at 12:50 am

“We built This City”! My sister and I LOVED this song too. It brings back memories of us dancing along in her room. We had such a great childhood so I will always have nostalgic feelings about this too.


7 Mary May 13, 2014 at 12:55 am

omg. I have vivid memories of belting out “we built this city” in the back of my parents 15 passenger Ford van. Ha! I still love it.


8 Erica May 13, 2014 at 2:55 am

Meat Loaf, Two out of Tree ain’t Bad. Love this song, but totally embarassed!


9 Amy3 May 13, 2014 at 5:07 am

As a teenager it was definitely Bon Jovi. I’m sure I secretly liked all their songs. Some friends (who clearly shared my guilty pleasure) and I even went to see them in our senior year of high school. We used a French foreign exchange student as our excuse to go!

Now it would be Nicki Minaj ” Starships.”


10 Design Mom May 13, 2014 at 7:50 am

Starships is one of our Kitchen Cleanup songs.


11 Amy3 May 13, 2014 at 10:52 am

It’s such a great song! Perfect for kitchen cleanup.


12 Lori H May 13, 2014 at 5:09 am

This is an easy one – my husband teases me about it! “Dude Looks Like a Lady” is a fun one to jam to. (Insert blush here).


13 Ginger May 13, 2014 at 5:17 am

I love “We built this city”. We used to dance to it in my friend’s basement and flick the lights on and off as quickly as we could to get a strope light effect. I’m not ashamed at all! I love it! I think that it would be a great workout song….off to buy it on iTunes!


14 Design Mom May 13, 2014 at 7:49 am

Homemade strobe lights. I totally remember that! I need to show my kids.


15 Tanya May 13, 2014 at 6:33 am

Aw, now I have We Built This City stuck in my head! ^_^

I feel like a lot of these “Worst songs” lists come from the way Western (US?) radio stations operate – a song gets played to death, and everyone ends up hating it. Or not everyone, but enough to land that song on a “worst” list.
I always liked Stairway to Heaven, and then I mentioned it to an older friend who grew up in US, and she was all, “GAH!”, because it got played to annoyance when she was young.

My shame song is the Poker Face by Lady Gaga. SUCH a silly song, and yet somehow I never change the radio station when it comes on.

Also, Thrift Shop song by Macklemore miiiight be considered as something to be embarrassed by, but it will always be my anthem ^_^


16 Jessie Rivers May 13, 2014 at 7:29 am

Ummmm… Anything Bette Midler, especially her version of Delta Dawn:)


17 jenb May 13, 2014 at 7:35 am

I recently rediscovered my love for “Oh Sherry” by Joe Perry (from Journey). The shame! I am also a sucker for certain Kelly Clarkson songs, like “Since You Been Gone.” And I also like it when my son chooses to listen to Katy Perry. These are things I’ve never admitted to anyone!


18 Mary Ann May 13, 2014 at 7:45 am

I also love We Built This City and remember desperately trying to tape record it from the radio on my boom box (because otherwise you could only hear it once every 30 minutes). Otherwise, I felt convicted by the fun-poking at Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On” in the movie Bridesmaids since I also know all the words to that and have sung it into my hand-microphone on many occasions.


19 Design Mom May 13, 2014 at 7:48 am

Wilson Phillips! I’m sure I know all the words to that song as well.


20 julia g blair May 13, 2014 at 7:49 am

I’ve got to hear “We Built a City!” Must be great music!


21 siobhan May 13, 2014 at 8:22 am

I love music from my childhood and I’m proud to tell it! I didn’t listen to a lot of American music growing up. All of my favorite songs were by English and Irish pop artists- tops were Adam Ant (“Ant Music”), Paul Young (“Love of the Common People”) and Duran Duran (*anything and everything- my room was covered with their posters and don’t tell anyone but my son is named Simon…after Simon LeBon perhaps?…but I will never tell!)


22 Nicole Lynn May 13, 2014 at 8:27 am

My sister tortured us with “We Built this City!” Ha! I have 2 shame songs… “Hold On to the Nights” by Richard Marx and “Kokimo” by the Beach Boys. I would call and request these songs to the radio station and sit by my boom box and wait to push record on the tape deck, hoping I would hear my request live!


23 Summer May 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

I requested Locomotion from a radio station when i was little with the same intentions! Hahahaha!


24 Summer May 13, 2014 at 8:34 am

This topic makes me laugh – I totally understand! Similar to Ben Blair, I was a TOTAL music snob in high school, only listening to “indie” type bands. At some point in college, I realized that my music was a real downer! Also, it’s hard always staying a step ahead of other music snobs. ;) So, now I enjoy all the music (except Kesha. can’t stand Kesha).

During my music snobbery phase though, I did fall for a guilty pleasure. I’ll never forget going out of my way to an Eckard’s Pharmacy (!) just to buy the Christina Aguilera “Genie in a Bottle” single tape. I didn’t want the CD, bc it could be more easily found in my CD case. I kept the tape hidden in a hat in my glove compartment. But oh man, I rocked out to that song!


25 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay May 13, 2014 at 8:40 am

Spice Girls.


26 Emily May 13, 2014 at 8:43 am

I just have to say ‘Ceremony’ is my all-time favorite song and always will be! I played that song on repeat for literally years and years!


27 Anne M. May 13, 2014 at 8:52 am

I’m not embarrassed about anything I listened to and loved then or now.


28 Stephanie (afunhouse) May 13, 2014 at 8:56 am

What a fun topic! I’m a confirmed member of the New Order genre of music lovers and play many of my favorites for my children but having teens and pre-teens has led to a few new musical pleasures! They come to me guilt -free via ‘making everyone happy’ during our many car rides. I especially love driving with just my 11 year old because we can turn up the volume on One Direction’s What Makes you Beautiful (honestly, could there be a better feel good girls song? and that beat, danceable, really!) and belt out the lyrics together with no complaints from the older girls! Sharing music with our children is one of the great delights in life! Now, I’m off to pull up some Bette Midler (thanks for the reminder Jessie Rivers!) and reminisce singing her tunes with my mother!


29 Rebecca T. May 14, 2014 at 9:03 am

One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful is my embarrassing song, too. It’s either that or belting out Let It Go when my daughter’s not even in the car. I roll up the windows in an effort to minimize the public humiliation. ;)


30 Megan M. May 13, 2014 at 9:08 am

Gabby, I used to LOVE “Sara” when I was little! My mom says I used to get mad when “We Built This City” came on the radio because I would think that it was the album and my mom had turned it off before “Sara” came on! LOL

I’m with Ralph on the Biebs… I really cannot stand him, but some of his songs are just so catchy! I feel guilty every time I listen to one of them.


31 Shannon Schnurr May 13, 2014 at 9:12 am

My husband is a composer of contemporary music (for chamber ensembles, orchestra, etc). So compared to his taste in music all my music is shame music :) But I think I’ll have to go with “Blurred Lines” which is my opinion is the ultimate shame song. I hate the lyrics to the song but it is so catchy!!!


32 Annonymus May 14, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Ah! Me too. The lyrics are horrible, but it’s so spunky and fun. You should watch Jimmy Fallon and the Roots sing it with him. What’s not to love? :)
His smile is super endearing.



33 Clara May 13, 2014 at 9:13 am

“Gold Digger,” the cleaner Glee version, is really a guilty pleasure for me. I LOVED “Built This City” as a teenager, but as I am pretty young, it was kind of retro-cool by then.


34 Di May 13, 2014 at 9:20 am

There was a band called Fumbling Planets they were great we would watch them play at the old cotton mill when I was in 7-9th grade. I think some of the band were related to you. Michael Jackson smooth criminal and milli vanilli blame it on the rain. Yeah baby!!


35 Issa May 13, 2014 at 9:23 am

Pitbull. Ha. He’s my guilty pleasure. It started as a run playlist, but now it’s my workout/clean/bad day jam.

In HS it was Spice Girls. Considered so lame by every one I knew, but I loved them.

I will also add Ben’s as mine too. Party in the USA reminds me of my oldest dancing to it at nine years old on a stage. I hear that song and I remember her so thrilled to be in a real dance performance. No matter what I think of Miley, I ALWAYS turn that song up.


36 Summer May 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm

YES about Pitbull. My boyfriend knows Mr. Worldwide is my jam! ;)


37 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay May 13, 2014 at 9:25 am

Spice Girls!


38 becky May 13, 2014 at 9:38 am

so many songs, so much shame.

tiffany – i think we’re alone now
all wilson phillips
gaga – poker face
blondie – i touch myself (performed hysterically with my sister)
christina aguilera – dirty pop
lots of elvis – especially return to sender
milli vanilli – blame it on the rain
a few random miley songs (the worst shame of them all)

the list goes on and on. i like to double the shame by performing all these songs dramatically for my kids – who scream for me to stop.


39 bec May 13, 2014 at 9:39 am

I love We Built This City!


40 Jenny May 13, 2014 at 9:43 am

Gabrielle, you should check out the new cover of “We Built this City” by Aron Wright and Jill Andrews on iTunes. It’s amazing!


41 Grace May 13, 2014 at 9:53 am

Such an interesting topic. I wasn’t really embarrassed by anything I listened to in the past, but these days I’ve got into k-pop music, especially Girl’s Generation. I love their dancing and catchy tunes, but it is a little strange because I’m in my 50s and don’t speak Korean. Go figure!


42 MFPeterson May 13, 2014 at 10:31 am

I count “We Built This City” among the songs I’m proudest to have on my iPod! No need to be a music snob – if you like it, it’s good.


43 elle May 13, 2014 at 10:56 am

“I Go Blind” by Hootie and the Blowfish–still love it!


44 AJ May 13, 2014 at 10:56 am

You just reminded me that I saw Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Starship or whatever name they were going by at that time, at an outdoor concert and probably heard both of those songs live. I also remember the venue sold 1/2 gallon buckets of beer which people were carrying around.

Guilty pleasure – anything by Bananarama!


45 Amy May 13, 2014 at 11:03 am

I cannot imagine ever looking down upon bands like New Order. That whole album along with every Echo and the Bunnymen song ever is the soundtrack of my high school years. As for shame music, I loved Neil Diamond and Dan Fogelberg in junior high, when they were definitely not cool.


46 Barchbo May 13, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Basically, everyone’s shame songs seem to be songs I love! I’m not embarrassed by my music – it’s just part of who I am! Most people would probably find my love of DeBarge’s “The Rhythm of the Night” the most embarrassing. I’m an 80s teen! I loved it all.

These days, my music is all showtunes, classical or the Frozen soundtrack.


47 Emily Price May 13, 2014 at 8:09 pm

I loved and still love “We Built This City”. I heard it on Pandora last week while mopping my kitchen floor. It made my day!


48 Sabrina May 13, 2014 at 9:26 pm

I didn’t realize “We Built This City” is a shame song. It was in the Muppets movie that came out a couple of years ago and ever since then my kids have been big fans of it. I had forgotten about it, but it brings back good memories. My shame song would have to be N Sync’s “Bye, Bye, Bye”. I was definitely a rock / alt purist in high school, and I couldn’t (still can’t most of the time) stand boy bands and really poppy music, but there was something about that N Sync song that I couldn’t resist and I bought the album.


49 Alice May 14, 2014 at 11:28 am

Oh Gabrielle you’re gonna love this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXy6JElmgHU
(hope no one has posted it before me!)
My shame song would have to be… Total eclipse of the heart by Bonnie Tyler? Although I’m not ashamed of it! It’s my favourite karaoke song!


50 Emily Musso May 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm

This is HILARIOUS! Just watched it with my kids 3 times–totally worthy of a Friday link round-up :)


51 Annonymus May 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm

I’m so embarrassed that I won’t even give my name! So much shame :) I actually really like the stuff Prince did in the 80′s. So much of his stuff is raunchy and nasty . . . .but I like it!


52 Gia May 14, 2014 at 2:48 pm

As a feminist my greatest shame song is “Girls” by the Beastie Boys. Such terrible lyrics and messages but I rock out (and sing along) regardless. There are others I will only belt out and drive-dance to with the windows up: “Tennessee” by Arrested Development and “The Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan are probably at the top of that list.
When we take long road trips we’ve instituted a bad song rule where we all belt out and seat dance to things we’d otherwise never listen to. This is when my kids get to educate me on their classmate’s current favorite pop music and whatever comes over the radio stations in any given place. It’s a fun way to make it through those “are we there yet” moments. My littlest now likes to say, “time to dance it out Mama” when she’s been in her car seat too long.


53 Emily F May 14, 2014 at 4:29 pm

I’ve never been super into music. I like it, but I’m not the kind of person that listens to it all the time (I mostly drive with the radio off, or else the kids watch a show). When I was in middle school I remember riding the bus one day and kids were talking about their favorite music. Someone asked me what I listened to and I didn’t know what to say (pretty sure “The Aladdin Soundtrack” wouldn’t have gone off well) so I said “Rock and roll.” Um, this was in 1994 or something. SO HUMILIATING. I still blush when I think about it. So I’m not super into music but I have to say I did LOVE *N Sync in college. Bye Bye was my favorite song and I would blast it over and over. It’s not that bad because Justin Timberlake is awesome, right? Right? ….


54 Jess. May 21, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Um, so…. “I’m Your Lady.” Celine Dion. It just came on the radio, and I was so excited and then so ashamed.


55 katie June 10, 2014 at 11:36 pm

we built this city is one of my all time favorites with no shame what so ever. it’s our rock out, road trip, just dance, song.


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