Dear fellow LWSTD
I should probably start this letter with an apology, mostly to our glorious leader, Mr. Hallam; this playlist has been a long time in the making. I’ve started and shelved more ideas and themes than I care to remember, to the extent that in one WhatsApp group this guest letter has been dubbed ‘The Crossrail Mixtape‘ (context for the non-British readers can be found here). So, from the bottom of my heart, sorry for taking so long, and I hope this was worth the wait.
And now to business…
A month or so ago, in another, much larger, WhatsApp group, the topic of guilty pleasures was raised. Some of you reading this will have been involved in that conversation. Song suggestions started flying around, but throughout the conversation something didn’t sit right with me. A few people had suggested songs that I’d never heard of. The voice in my head started screaming “how can it be a guilty pleasure if someone hasn’t heard of it?”. For days this thought wouldn’t leave my mind, as I got lost in the fog of all the songs I would classify as guilty pleasures of my own.
At this point, I must admit that I realised that there’s technically no such thing as a guilty pleasure for me – I like what I like and I’m not afraid to say it. A great tune is a great tune. In fact, those that work with me will confirm that I shout “BANGER!” any time a song I like comes on in the office, usually multiple times a day, and often at the cheesiest of chart hits.
Anyway, this train of thought led me down a path I’m very well accustomed to – a Spotify black hole, culminating in me throwing tunes in a playlist at some ridiculous time in the morning on a school night. As with all its predecessors, I came extremely close to binning the playlist and going back to the drawing board but something stopped me. Sure, I could draw inspiration from the ‘cooler’ music I spend much of my time listening to, but would it have as much of an impact when so many of these fortnightly compilations are packed full of the very best soul, disco, house, techno and so on?
I’m obviously not suggesting that there’s anything wrong with any of the other editions that have come before this one – each has been exceptional and I’ve enjoyed them all as much as you have – but fuck it, this is who I am. After all, each of these mixtapes is hand-crafted by someone different, meaning they’re all subjective anyway, so why should mine not reflect me? I also genuinely considered whether I should become only the second guest writer to submit anonymously, but as I’ve already said, I’m not afraid to lay myself bare and nail my colours to the mast.
I’ve spent the last few weeks deliberating and literally losing sleep over the content of this playlist. For starters, I had too many tracks in the first pass, and needed to whittle it down. No doubt many of you will be grateful that I removed ‘Lady In Red’ (“BANGER!”), but alas there had to be some casualties. Once I’d finalised the selection and running order, I had a quick look at the total play count of these songs on Spotify to see if I had at least confirmed my suspicion that my guilty pleasures would be widely-known. The total plays (at time of writing) for the 30 songs is a staggering 3,423,813,294 – surely a Love Will Save The Day record.
And so, dear reader, the time has come for you to judge me. I may have committed social suicide, but I 100% stand by my selection, and by my belief that the guilty pleasure shouldn’t just be confined to the wedding dance floor. I hope this playlist gives you reason to dance, sing out loud, or throw your arms in the air out of sheer joy (I dare anyone not to do all three to the ABBA tune). I won’t be offended if you skip any songs, after all these are my guilty pleasures, not yours, and to spare Jed the barrage of emails, feel free to message me on Instagram (@gmknock) to tell me why I was wrong or right to do this.