Mike Portnoy: my top 5 not-so-guilty pleasures of all time

15th Oct 2012 | 09:49

Mike Portnoy: my top 5 not-so-guilty pleasures of all time
Mike Portnoy: my top 5 not-so-guilty pleasures of all time
The master sticksman on the albums he loves without fear

"I'm not ashamed of any music I listen to. For better or worse, it all adds up to make me who I am today. I've always had very broad tastes in music. I have had fanatical phases with so many different styles of bands ranging from pop to punk to prog to metal to fusion. (OK, so maybe country music has eluded me.)

"I believe it was Frank Zappa who once said, 'There's only two types of music: good music and bad music' – and I believe that to be true, as well.

"I don't care about labels and genres – I’ve heard plenty of amazing pop, prog and metal, as well as plenty of horrible pop, prog and metal. So I look at this list, these records and bands, along the lines of 'What you didn't know Mike Portnoy likes – and he's not afraid to admit!'"

Mike Portnoy: my top 5 not-so-guilty pleasures of all time
Bee Gees - Best Of Bee Gees (1969)

"When I was a kid in the late ‘60s, my dad raised me on The Beatles, The Who and the Stones, but the Bee Gees were also in heavy rotation. In particular, it was the 'greatest hits' collection, Best Of Bee Gees, the album with the yellow cover.

"This was almost a decade before the 'disco Bee Gees' swept America, which would eventually make them a bit of a punchline. But the ‘60s Bee Gees were a great band that churned out incredibly well-written pop/psychedelic songs, very much in the vein of The Beatles and the Stones.

"Tracks like Holiday, To Love Somebody and New York Mining Disaster 1941 are real classics. I even covered a Bee Gees song, the obscure Lemons Never Forget on my Cover 2 Cover CD with Neal Morse and Randy George."

Mike Portnoy: my top 5 not-so-guilty pleasures of all time
Sweet - Sweet Fanny Adams (1974)

"I don't think Sweet get enough credit for the impact they had in the early ‘70s. Their 'teen pop star meets Saturday morning cartoon' image ended up overshadowing their music in the rock ‘n’ roll history books, but behind the glitter and glamour were some great (and heavy) songs.

"Sweet's sound and influence can be heard in bands ranging from Queen to Cheap Trick to Mötley Crüe to Jellyfish to The Darkness to the Foo Fighters, among others.

"Of course, they had some huge hits such as Fox On The Run and Ballroom Blitz, but if you really want a few surprises that will blow you away, take a listen to Sweet F.A., Set Me Free and Burn On The Flame from the Sweet Fanny Adams album."

Mike Portnoy: my top 5 not-so-guilty pleasures of all time
Hair - Original Soundtrack Recording (1979)

"To this day, I can recite every lyric to every song from the soundtrack to Hair ("I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy, snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty...").

"I didn't really discover Hair until the Milos Foreman film version came out in 1979. I’d say I saw it a good dozen times in the theater, and I listened to the soundtrack constantly.

"Recently, I took my kids to see the new version on Broadway, and I think they were mortified at the sight of the actors and actresses getting naked on stage. I guess I just grew up in a different time in the ‘60s and ‘70s!"

Mike Portnoy: my top 5 not-so-guilty pleasures of all time
The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Original Soundtrack Recording (1975)

"Not long after I discovered Hair, The Rocky Horror Picture Show entered my world, and I would become obsessed with it for many years.

"It wasn't only about seeing the movie in theaters every weekend (usually the Mini Cinema on Long Island or the 8th St. Playhouse in NYC); it was about the collecting that came along with being a fan of the film. I snatched up everything I could that was associated with the film, the stage show, the fan clubs and newsletters – you name it.

"Of course, there were no VCRs yet back then, so I took a tape recorder into the theater one night and made my own bootleg so I could study the music and dialogue, not to mention the all-important audience participation.

"Richard O'Brien's music became the soundtrack of my early teen years, as did the ‘sequel,’ Shock Treatment. How I turned out to be a normal adult after those teenage years is beyond me."

Mike Portnoy: my top 5 not-so-guilty pleasures of all time
The Rutles - Original Soundtrack Recording (1978)

"Anybody who knows me knows I am a hardcore Beatles fanatic - one of those guys who knows every single bit of info there is to know about the Fab Four. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that I am also a hardcore Rutles fan.

"I bring up The Rutles simply because I think it’s a bit of a crime how many people are unaware of both this brilliant band and film. In the late ‘70s, Monty Python's Eric Idle and Neil Innes made what surely must be the world's very first 'mockumentary': The Rutles – All You Need Is Cash.

"It is absolutely brilliant – a Spinal Tap version of The Beatles’ entire career, from the Cavern Club to the Apple Rooftop concert, with hilarious cameos from Mick Jagger, Paul Simon and even George Harrison himself!

"But the astonishing thing is how great music is. Innes wrote great Beatles-type songs that sounded like the Fab Four but were totally original. The tunes spanned every phase of The Beatles’ output, from Number One (Twist And Shout) to Piggy In The Middle (I Am The Walrus) to Get Up And Go (Get Back).

"If you are a Beatles or Spinal Tap fan and don't know The Rutles, you must drop what you're doing right now and get the All You Need Is Cash DVD, along with the soundtrack. You’ll thank me later!"

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