“No Scrubs” by TLC (1999)


My friends and I recorded the music video on tape and would rewind the VCR again and again until we memorised the dance routine. Good times!

— Bessy Kim, Art Director


 “D.I.V.O.R.C.E” by Tammy Wynette, circa 1968

It’s so bad it’s brilliant

— Andrea Edwards, Director, Content Marketing & Training


I’ve Never Been to Me by Charlene (1977)

You might know this one from Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Charlene’s my alter ego and the older I get, the more she becomes everything I’m not!

— Andrea Edwards, Director, Content Marketing & Training


“Eternal Flame” by The Bangles” (1989)

“Close your eyes, give me your hand, darling. Do you feel my heart beating?”

This is the ultimate 80s love ballad. Susanna Hoffs was the coolest chick ever; she was in a girl band and her look was amazing — smudged eyeshadow, hoop earings and hair that was perfectly teased and always backlit. Meanwhile, I was 12-years-old and watching Girls Just Want to Have Fun in suburban Brisbane. Clearly, we were twins, except I did not play the guitar or have smudged eyeshadow and teased hair, but our souls were the same. Clearly. And I am not alone in my love for this song; a friend once admitted to me that when he was growing up, he used to listen to this song in his bedroom in the dark, waving a single flame from his cigarette lighter. Now that’s epic.

— Mary Weaver, Subeditor


“Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield (1981)

"Jessie is a friend. Yeah, I know he's been a good friend of mine.”

Rick Springfield, 80s music video heart throb and daytime soap opera star, puts you right in the heart of moment in the first verse of his 1981 smash hit. But the moral compass of this personal drama is soon to fly way off the charts. Yes, Jessie may be a friend, a good friend at that. But lately something’s changing, it’s hard to define. Actually it’s not hard to define at all — within the same verse of this preposterous yet ridiculously epic number one hit, the revelation is clear. Friendship or not, Rick wants his good friend’s girlfriend. And man, how he wants her. 

From the stage-yearning in the refrain, to the over-extended imaginary sequences ("and he's holding her in his arms late, late at night”), Jessie’s Girl is melodramatic, bombastic and packed full of 80s cliches (the mullet! the self-torture! the needless guitar solo!). And yet. Aaaannd yet. Try hearing this at a wedding and not become animated. Try imagining performing it at an air guitar championships as your encore performance, and not smile knowingly. Jessie’s Girl, in its innocent-yet-aggressively self tortured excess is in the end far more pleasure than guilty. And clearly, from Springfield’s appearances since (including appearing as himself on Californication) Rick never succumbed to that trapdoor effect that bigger eighties monsters (Phil Collins, Bryan Adams) wallowed in. He may have had a serious crush on his mate’s girlfriend — but mercifully, he never took himself too seriously.

— Luke Clark, Head of Consumer Content


“Witch Doctor” by Cartoons (1998)

It was one of my favourite songs at 12 years old. It’s Euro-pop at its best. It’s even featured in Dance Dance Revolution, and I was (am still) good at it.

— Will Chin, Writer


 “Final Countdown” by Europe (1986)

I use it to focus me before cross country races (God knows why!)

— Simon Cholmeley, CEO


“Mirotic” by DBSK (2008)

The group still exists currently but not as five anymore (boohoohoo!!). Anyway, this is my guilty pleasure because it’s the song that made me eat my words. Those specific words being: I WILL NOT LISTEN TO K-POP!

— Halima Ibrahim, Project Manager


 “She Bangs” by Ricky Martin (2000)

Gorgeous man with some magical hips. It’s about as ‘banging’ as it can get.

— Khai, Designer


 “Ding Dong Song”, Günther ft. The Sunshine Girls (2004) 

Really inappropriate lyrics with a really catchy tune.

— Sarah Liu, Writer


“Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush (1978)

Her shrill voice. I karaoke this song, much to everyone's discomfort. I still like singing along to this song. Heh.

— Iva Sa’adon, Designer


 “Vogue” by Madonna (2006)

‘Ladies with an attitude, Fellows that were in the mood. Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it.. STRIKE a POSE, there’s nothing to it'

OMG, so embarrassing

— Kevin Ong, Director —Design and Creative Services


“The Rain” by Oran “Juice” Jones (1986)

It’s ‘80s R’n’B one hit wonder for me.The keyboards just kills me.

— Haryati Mahmood, Photo Editor


“Barbie Girl” by Aqua (1997)

I grew up dancing to this horribly catchy song!!

— Yong Xian Tham, Writer


 “Daddy Cool” Boney M (1976)

The entire song has three to four lines of lyrics and it is stretched across 3 minutes. Odd. The funny dance moves by the guy —with his high rise bell bottom pants — and the heart-shaped haircut on one of the female singer make it hilarious.

— Nihal Jain, Project Manager


“Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats (1982)

This is unashamedly ‘80s. My god, the group name is Men Without Hats! What does that even mean? 

And why is there a merry dwarf jester dancing around in this video? Why is it set in the lamest-looking village fair I've ever seen? Is this lady mentally unstable? What’s more, the accompanying dance moves are atrocious. Case in point — as the song itself proudly boasts: "We can dance, we can dance; They're doing it from pole to pole; We can dance, we can dance; Everybody look at your hands."

… And then the lead singer looks at his hands! It's no moonwalk, that much is clear. But it is incredibly hard to avoid doing when you're bopping along.

— Daniel Seifert, Assistant Editor


“Baby” by Justin Bieber, featuring Ludacris (2010)

It got stuck in my head and I will always unknowingly sing the lyrics to the song. Plus it’s a great tune to dance to, anytime, anywhere. Don’t judge me now, I’m still 78% hipster!
— Cherlin Chan, Art Director


“Islands in the stream” by Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers (1977)

“We got something goin' on” 
Those words sang by an old dude with a beard to a weird looking woman look at first damn creepy. But just give up to those harmonies, especially on this live version. It’s actually written by some of the best songwriters to walk the planet (the Gibb Brothers) which only ads to its greatness. This isn’t a guilty pleasure really, I’m proud to admit I love this song, that wasn’t always the case, but I’m coming out in the open now. 

— Richard MacLean, Creative Director


Novus Curates: The Ultimate Guilty Pleasures Playlist

BY Team Novus Asia

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