Streaming service analysed playlists named
Peter Kandunias

10:25 30th July 2014

Spotify analysed over 120,000 playlists named "Guilty Pleasures" and has now revealed the top 10 most streamed tracks that we'd like to keep hush hush. Check them out in a playlist below. 

The most streamed guilty pleasure in the UK was Lou Bega's 'Mambo No. 5' with Wham!'s 'Wake Me Up Before You Go' coming in at a close second. The full list is below:

1. Mambo No. 5 - Lou Bega
2. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go - Wham!
3. My Sharona - The Knack
4. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
5. Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex
6. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) - Dead Or Alive
7. Who Let The Dogs Out - Baha Men
8. Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley
9. U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
10. Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen

The large streaming service went further, and analysed the difference between men's and women's 'Guilty Pleasure' playlists to chart the difference. For women One Direction's 'What Makes You Beautiful' took the top spot, with Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys also featuring in the top five.


Below: Listen to the nation's guiltiest pleasure

Men put Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' at the top of their guilty pleasures, with Spice Girls and Backstreet similarly featuring in their top five. See the full list of men's and women's guiltiest pleasures below.

Women's Guiltiest Pleasures:

1. What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction
2. Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
3. I Want It That Way - Backstreet Boys
4. Wannabe - Spice Girls
5. Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus

Men's Guiltiest Pleasures

1. Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
2. I Want it That Way - Backstreet Boys
3. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
4. Toxic - Britney Spears
5. Wannabe - Spice Girls

Professor in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Groningen, Jacob Jolij, has provided some insight as to what makes one feel guilty about their "Guilty Pleasure tracks".

Jolij explained that the nation's guilt is unsurprisingly led by what is culturally defined as "cool". He did however find that the tracks that require little brain effort to listen to made for the perfect guilty pleasure while more complex music such as jazz and progressive rock, require stronger demands on the cognitive system, making it less likely to be defined as a guilty pleasure.

The VP of Global Communications at Spotify, Angela Watts, commented on the study by saying: "We're often guilty of reeling off the coolest tracks when quizzed on our musical tastes, so it's brilliant to see that as a nation, we've still got time for a little cheese in our lives."

She also reminds users of the award-winning digital music service that give you on-demand access to over 20 million tracks that "for those who aren't quite so forthcoming with their musical tastes, there's always Spotify's private session function, so you can to listen to power ballads to your heart's content, without the fear of being judged."

Below - Guilty pleasures of 2013: the songs we're (not) ashamed to like

  • Miley Cyrus - 'SMS (Bangerz)': There's been a lot of criticism aimed at Miley this year, and to be honest, most of it has been unfair. Bangerz isn't as amazing as it could have been, but this semi-title track definitely is. Produced by the irritatingly named Mike WiLL Made It, it's an insanely catchy pop track, with empowering, ballsy lyrics such as "I can't be sitting round here waiting for a man to tell me where the fuck my CV at". The Britney appearance (she's doing her English accent again) also makes it a bit of a "female anthem". Girl power for the 21st century. (Gaby Whitehill)

  • Ciara ft Nicki Minaj - 'I'm Out': This epic and underrated single, taken from R&B singer Ciara's comeback album, is one of the best ex-boyfriend disses I've ever heard. The swooping, dramatic production and excellent, aggressive turn from Nicki Minaj, showcasing her impressive technical abilities, makes this a must listen. It's not really THAT guilty, it's just a pleasure. (Gaby Whitehill)

  • Calvin Harris feat Hurts + Alesso - 'Under Control': It's the archetypal Eurotrash Ibiza Club Banger, it's kinda like the 90s ate too many sweets, drank too much Hooch and then had a rather lively seizure on the dancefloor in a Wetherspoons (in a good way). Multiply that by Hurts' Theo Hutchcraft's shamelessly sensational sense of melodrama and you've got the ultimate fist-pumping guilty pleasure dance anthem (Andrew Trendell)

  • Justin Timberlake - 'Mirrors': Stadium-sized pop written about his wife Jessica Biel and as a tribute to his grandparents, it makes for an utterly flawless and soaring ballad that forces even the most stoney-faced listener to clench a fist, close their eyes, fall to their knees, clench a fist and bellow: "I DON'T WANNA LOSE YOU NOOOOWW." Anyone who says otherwise is a filthy liar, and you should not trust them (Andrew Trendell)

  • Little Mix - 'Move': Oh god. It's an X Factor winner. Little Mix had clearly been listening to a lot of Justin Timberlake in 2013, as their comeback single shared the same retro soul sounds as JT's new music - but boy did it work. Girls just out of their teens (especially those under the shadowy guidance of Simon Cowell) shouldn't be making pop music as slick and mature as this. This is a very good song. (Michael Baggs)

  • Lady Gaga and R.Kelly - 'Do What U Want': We have no idea what was going on in Camp Gaga when this was chosen to be given away as a teaser track for her ARTPOP album instead of a full single - it's the best thing on there! Ignore the cringeworthy live performances (and, indeed, much of the album), this was a no-nonsense slice of pop perfection. It's not bloody art though, no matter how often she tells us otherwise. (Michael Baggs)

  • Jason Derulo - 'The Other Side': Instead of sticking to his usual habit of stealing samples from other people songs to make hits, Derulo finally brought something a little more original to the table, and it's bloody catchy. From the start, 'The Other Side' has a quick beat and guitar riffs giving that instant butterflies-in-the-stomach excitement along with slightly cheesy yet original lyrics like "soon you were eating off my spoon". It had me dancing around like his most lunatic fan. (Samantha Coombes)

  • Katy Perry - 'Walking On Air': An incredible homage to the 90s house scene, 'Walking On Air' has a vibrant loved-up synth-pop thing going on that encompassed the hedonistic scene. It may be simple and incredibly cliche (not that Perry has ever written any differently) but you can't help the soaring feeling that comes with the track. (Samantha Coombes)

  • Britney Spears - 'Work Bitch': OK, so this isn't the greatest song of 2013 and she didn't have to work too hard to come up with the lyric "work" which is repeated a million times. But, the catchy electro beat has the ability to take control and have you strutting about like a PVC enveloped Britney clone. She's been surrounded by heaps of lipsyncing controversy this year, but shows us she can still keep up with the times. It's Britney, bitch.(Esin Huseyin)

  • Dizzee Rascal ft Robbie Williams - 'Goin' Crazy': It's hard not to love absolutely everything about this: the OTT song and the ridiculous video. OK, so Robbie Williams has acted like a bit of a douchebag lately, but he adds a little cheekiness to this song. You'll catch many club goers jumping and fist pumping to the chorus, screaming "I believe, I believe, I believe" after about six double vodkas and for all of the wrong reasons, but it feels so right. (Esin Huseyin)

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