Monday, 30 June 2014

Let's Talk (Sing) About Sex - 12 Sex songs

It's what all pop music is about isn't it? Boys meet girl... girl loses boy... boy moons after girl... they do the bump 'n grind and boom shallack la boom! So plenty to sink our teeth into here, although Right Said Fred's "I'm Too sexy" is disqualified because it's about looking sexy rather than doing the do!

1) Gun Club - "Sexbeat"/ "Fire of Love"
"Sexbeat" in its driving rhythm absolutely expresses the urgency of teenage fumbling, while "Fire Of Love" is the most primal swamp blues of hot lust you are liable to hear.  Late lead singer Jeffrey Lee Pierce led a dissolute life but I always associate him with the excesses of drink and drugs rather than sex, despite his rough good looks. (In this concert footage he gives a typically chaotic performance). Meanwhile Patricia Morrison on bass remained the perennially cool Goth ice maiden. I encorage you to track down studio versions of both these songs for the full effect.

2) Au Pairs - "Come Again"
Au Pairs deliciously send up the etiquette of politically correct sex, with the supposed emphasis on simultaneous orgasm and forever asking your partner if 'you're doing it right'. Lacks the edge of some of their other songs like "Sex Without Stress" in which singer Lesley Wood's voice almost perennially seems like on the point of cracking with the emotion of it all.

3) Gang Of Four - "Love Like Anthrax"
Always ones to burst pop's fantasy bubble, Go4 tell it like it as with regards to love in what remains one of the most musically experimental songs to come out Britain. I want to write literary equivalents of what this song achieves in its structure.

4) The Stranglers - "School Mam"
This was probably one of the first overt songs about sex I was exposed to and um it probably scarred me for life! Don't think i had a teacher like this at my school.

5) The Tubes - "Don't Touch Me There"
Kings of camp deliver an priceless antidote to the Meatloaf world of "Bat Out Of Hell".

6) Sensational Alex Harvey Band - "Gang Bang"
I'm not a fan of twelve bar blues shuffle, it seems a bit flippant in this case to accompany the story of a gang bang, but I offer it as an example of its kind.

7) Tone Loc - "Wild Thing"
You can't do a chart about sex songs without including some hip hop or rap. I had to reject most of the contenders for fear of causing offence to 50% of the population, but at least Tone Loc takes the rise out of himself as much as anybody else in this song.

8) CSS - "Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above"
Great title, great song, great one-album band obssesed with all things sex.

9) The Vapors - "Turning Japanese"
Oh come on you didn't fall for the travelogue style video did you? Never trust a british band that spell American style without the 'u' after the 'o'. Turning Japanese referred to one's narrowing eyes at the point of climaxing at a self-administered hand-job. Sorry if I've now opened your eyes and spoilt the innocence of this song for you!

10) Dead Kennedys - "To Drunk to F-ck"
Okay so technically this isn't about love making at all, but hey we need a little reality and balance to pop's sickly sweet world right?

11) Marvin Gaye - "Sexual Healing"
In contrast to all those nasty cynical punks (Johnny Rotten described sex as 2 minutes of squelching noises remember), Marvin puts the 'S' back into 'sex'. Luscious...

12) Frankie Goes To Hollywood - "Relax"
The song that really stirred the pot for us all by getting banned for its explicitness (and gay sex at that) and still we all fell under its sway. A song that tore through the early days of the AIDS epidemic and our fears.

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