25 artists that still embarrass us
We hide their tunes in secret playlists on iTunes. Their CDs are tucked into drawers where no friends will see them. And when their hit songs come on the radio, we switch channels in mock disgust while secretly singing along to the outlawed tune in our heads.
They are the bands and artists from the '80s that we never dare to admit we once liked -- and maybe still do. And thanks to an outpouring of reader suggestions, I'm finally ready to unveil the final ranking. Trust me -- it was hard to narrow it down.
25 ARTISTS WE'RE STILL EMBARRASSED TO ENJOY:
25. Julio Iglesias: To all the clowns you loved before...
23. Neil Diamond: Just pour me a drink and I'll tell you some lies. Like, "I never owned 'Jazz Singer' on DVD ... really!"
22. Kenny Rogers: He never did learn when to fold them. Just ask his plastic surgeon.
21. Peter Cetera: Admit it -- you bought the Karate Kid 2 soundtrack for "Glory of Love."
20. Sheena Easton: Loved "For Your Eyes Only." But "Morning Train"? I'd have taken the bus.
19. George Michael: He'll never live down "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" -- "Choose Life" shirt optional.
18. Steve Perry/Journey: Who's crying now? Anyone who paid to see the band once Steve left.
17. Al Jarreau: He had 18 singles that charted in the '80s, but I guess we're not in this love together anymore.
16. Asia: The smile has left our eyes.
15. Whitney Houston: The greatest love of all? Selling our Whitney Houston CDs at a garage sale.
14. Rick Springfield: You better love somebody. Preferably not a soap star.
13. The Manhattan Transfer: Even the boy from NYC doesn't like them anymore.
12. Debbie Gibson: Out of the blue, she changed her name to Deborah. Oh, that'll help.
11. Tiffany: Still like her? I think you're alone now.
10. Paula Abdul: From singing "Straight Up" to drinking straight up.
9. Toni Basil: Oh "Mickey," what a pity.
8. Olivia Newton-John: Psst! You know you own the Xanadu and Grease soundtracks.
7. Kenny G: A punchline for generations to come. But somebody's buying his records.
6. Barry Manilow: He writes the songs ... but why we you still listening to them in the '80s?
5. Christopher Cross: When one of your signature songs is forever associated with Luke, Laura and General Hospital, you're lucky you're only No. 5 on this list.
4. Culture Club: Give him time ... to realize his crime. After all, it's a long list.
3. Lionel Richie: Hello? Was it him you were looking for? Taking away "Dancing on the Ceiling" and maybe he'd fall from the Top 10.
2. Michael Bolton: Only a pair of Cosby sweater-wearing, ballad-crooning hairballs kept Mr. Mullet from the top spot.
1. Air Supply: Nobody owns up to liking Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, but there's not a person reading this list that can't burst out singing to "All Out of Love" or "Making Love Out of Nothing At All." They are the McDonalds of the '80s music biz: Billions served, just go easy on the secret sauce.
OK, what bands did we miss? Which were ranked too high or too low?