I was going to call this story 'The Top 5 Acts That Nobody Will Admit They Like, So That Means That One Person Bought Million and Millions of Records by Each of Them.'  I found the title a bit long so I shortened it.

Every single one of these acts sold millions of records. Their concerts always sold out and all 5 continue to sell records by the millions all over the world, but nobody anywhere ever liked them.

Okay, obviously millions of people loved and still love these acts, but they can only listen to them in the privacy of their own homes.

All these acts have one more thing in common and I'll tell you what that is at the end of the list.

Here are the Top 5 'Guilty Pleasure' artists in no particular order.

1. The Carpenters -

A&M Records


Let's see now. Didn't they have two or three hits back in the 70's?

Actually, this is the group that inspired this post. A Carpenters tribute band appeared at The Isle of Capri on Valentine's Day and the response for tickets was so great that it made me wonder why we don't hear their music anymore.

They had 20 Top 40 hits and their first 6 records all sold over a million. That's 6 million sellers in a row! They took a two song break and had another 4 million sellers in a row. Nobody liked the Carpenters. Here they are doing their very first hit live.

2. Barry Manilow -

Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Everybody also hates Barry Manilow. Poor guy was only able to get 25 Top 40 Hits and 5 millions sellers. Of course, he still sells out every concert, but that's just because millions of people want to go see someone they hate.

Here's Barry in a Top of the Pops' performance back in 1973

3. Olivia Newton-John

MCA Records


Olivia Newton-John is not as 'hated' as the other acts on this list, but she is very forgotten. Here's another act that racked up a ton of hits. Between 1971 and 1996, she had 29 Top 40 hits. She had 10 million sellers and 2 Platinum sellers in that time period. When is the last time you heard a song (other than 'You're The One That I Want') anywhere? Between 1973 and 1975, she had 5 million sellers in a row. Today, she's barely a footnote in the record books.

Here she is doing her 1975 hit, 'Have You never Been Mellow' on The Midnight Special. By the way, on YouTube, this video has about a million and a half views.


4. ABBA -

Getty Images/Hulton Archive


Abba has managed to stay hot in some circles, but hard core rockers still hate them, so I included them on the list. Thanks to shows like 'Mama Mia' their music has had a second life and younger fans aren't ashamed in the least to like them. Still they get panned a lot. In their life on the charts, they only had 14 Top 40 hits and two million sellers, but since they split, their music has been rediscovered by millions of fans all over the world. Still, the group has a ton of 'haters.'

Here they are doing their biggest hit, 'Dancing Queen.' It's lip synced, of course, since their songs are impossible to do by only 4 people.

5. John Denver-

RCA Victor Records


Poor John Denver went from being loved to being hated almost overnight. Sometime around the mid 70's, he became uncool and his image has only partially returned since then. Denver had an impressive string of hits in the early to mid 70's with 5 million selling singles and tons of million selling albums. Shortly before his death in 1997, his concerts were always sold out. Some people have returned to admitting they liked him, still there are the die hard haters who claim he only had a hit or two.


Now, what else to all these acts have in common? Well, other than the duly noted 'You're The One That I Want' and "Dancing Queen" by Abba, almost none of these artists can be heard on the radio anymore. Very strange that these almost era defining acts have no presence on radio these days.

Why is that? Hey, I've been in radio for ages and I can't answer that question.

Now, put on a record by one of these artist and turn it up!