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Touch Me, I'm Sick: The 52 Creepiest Love Songs You've Ever Heard Paperback – May 1, 2008


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Touch Me, I'm Sick: The 52 Creepiest Love Songs You've Ever Heard + I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You've Ever Heard + Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton's Little John?: Music's Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556527535
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556527531
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a follow-up to I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You've Ever Heard, L.A. writer and TV producer Reynolds (thanks owed for Elimidate) assesses the queasy subgenre of pop songs in which love turns to obsession, ranging from The Police's "Every Breath You Take," to Fergie's "Fergilicious" to Michael Jackson's "Ben." In 52 admittedly subjective profiles, he talks breezily about the history of the song and performer before a guided tour through the song and an analysis of why, exactly, it's such a creepout. His sarcastic one-liners are hit or miss (MySpace jokes?), but his analysis is often thoughtful and vivid; "Every Breath" is "a ballad of utter loneliness. The lyrics ingeniously mimic the elliptical thoughts that fly around an obsessive's brain in mad loops." He's in no way above trashing a song he doesn't like or dishing dirt on those he does, but his brief, loud profiles can be unfulfilling. Other tracks include George Michael's "Father Figure," Air Supply's "Making Love Out of Nothing at All," Alanis Morssette's "You Oughta Know," Divynly's "I Touch Myself," and more contemporary chart-toppers like Clay Aiken's "Invisible." Like his last book, this should start many debates among pop music die-hards.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Thoughtful and vivid. . . . This should start many debates among pop music die-hards."  —Publishers Weekly Online Annex



"Here is incontrovertible proof that pop stars are all healthy, well-adjusted individuals. I laughed and self-harmed in equal measure."  —Seb Hunter, author, Hell Bent for Leather and Rock Me Amadeus



"Reynold's casual, comedic prose suits the subject well, conjuring up more than a few laugh-out-loud moments."  —Under the Radar



"A cunning, devastating autopsy . . . I found myself strangely attracted."  —Danny Hutton, Three Dog Night



"Author Tom Reynolds gives his spin on repugnant songs that you probably have hummed without even thinking about it."  —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel



"Exuberant and light-hearted—a great way to discover new music"  —PopMatters



"Just plain fun."  —Flagpole Magazine

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
With the huge success of Reynold's first dissection of modern music's bad lyrics I HATE MYSELF AND WANT TO DIE: THE 52 MOST DEPRESSING SONGS YOU'VE EVER HEARD there was bound to be an encore and this fascinating read doesn't disappoint. In Touch Me, I'm Sick Reynolds tackles those songs about love, but not the mutually consenting romantic love, no these songs are about obsessive stalking, sleeping with kids, sleeping with parents, pleasuring yourself, jilted lovers, bad break ups as well as basically anything else that you'd be serving serious jail time or even get the chair if the lyrics were real.

The amazing thing is many of these songs are highly popular and requested to be played and set the mood at inappropriate places like wedding receptions and graduations. Which means those who request these songs for these occasions are either sick in the head or have never actually listened to the lyrics and do not know what they are actually about.

Most of these songs spent time in the top ten of the UK or US charts (Reynolds tells you at the start of the dissection of each song) and there's also a few you may not have heard of. Even with the ones you've never heard of Reynolds gives a detailed account of what the song is about then tells the reader why it is creepy. For those of us who were not around in the 70's or earlier when some of these songs were hits you'll also learn interesting facts such as I never knew Michael Jackson's Ben was being sung to an injured human flesh eating rat.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once again, Tom Reynolds sharpens up his sarcastic scalpels and treats 52 of the weirdest, creepiest, most disturbing, and just plain twisted "love songs" to a well-deserved, gleefully snarky dissection that, if you have *any* sense of humor at all, will leave you in stitches at least once while reading this. These are the songs that make you lunge for the tuning knob to change the station in the car, that make you cringe when you hear them over the in-store Muzak system, and make you weep for the future of humanity knowing that these twisted, icky, annoying, and (occasionally) *evil* songs are, at this very moment, accompanying some oblivious "happy" couple's engagement or wedding reception.

Personally, I didn't think it was *quite* as good as Mr. Reynolds first effort, "I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You've Ever Heard", but I suspect that's at least partly due to his choice of songs; as a previous reviewer indicates, the list of songs skewered here includes a number of more recent (as of the book's publication date) hits that older audiences -- i.e. the kind of people who actually still read books :D -- aren't likely to be as familiar with. While you don't necessarily *need* to be familiar with the song in question to enjoy the caustic commentary, any more than you *have* to have heard the original to enjoy a Weird Al parody, it just doesn't quite have the same satisfactory bite as when Reynolds eviscerates a well-loathed classic like "You're Having My Baby"...

Still, well worth the read. Just be careful about loaning these books to your friends -- you might never get them back!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David A. Bede on August 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
A few years ago, I wrote a series of blog posts about my favorite love songs. I planned to follow it up with a companion piece about my least favorite ones, but quickly abandoned the project because there was no way I could ever narrow down the list sufficiently. There were just too many horrible love songs out there - or so I thought. Tom Reynolds apparently had the opposite problem. In the introduction to this book, he says he asked his friends for suggestions for the creepiest love songs of all time, but everybody he asked named the same song. I won't spoil the surprise, but it's probably one of the first songs you thought of upon reading the title. And he's right, it is creepy. So are most of his other nominees, many of which I'd never heard of until now. Which was a good thing!

One reason why this book works as well as it does is that, while the title had me expecting really bad love songs - and there are some - Reynolds also chooses some he freely admits to liking, but which are nevertheless creepy. As with his last volume, on depressing songs, his commentary never fails to be hilarious no matter how awful the subject at hand is. And sometimes it is pretty awful.

One minor shortcoming is that Reynolds' selection of songs to bash is a bit less convincing than it was with the depressing songs book. In my opinion, he chose a few too many teen pop hits from the past five years or so which nobody over the age of 18 is very likely to be familiar with. His analysis of them is just as funny as it is with the better-known ones, but there's something especially entertaining about seeing so-bad-they're-good classics like "Afternoon Delight" and "I've Never Been to Me" ripped to shreds. It just isn't the same with a song I don't know.
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