Last year, my friend Shreena offered two subject suggestions for future /Tuesday Tens, and while I asked for songs for both around then, I only ever posted one of them.
/Playlists /Spotify / /YouTube
/Related /252/Inappropriate Wedding Songs /265/You Could Have Both /Tuesday Ten/Index
/Assistance /Suggestions/115 /Used Prior/17 /Unique Songs/109 /People Suggesting/49
/Details /Tracks this week/10 /Tracks on Spotify Playlist/10 /Duration/49:13
The one posted was /490 /Different Drum, and I rather held off on the other as I didn’t have the inspiration. Then, last week, I realised Tuesday was Valentine’s Day this week, and so her other suggestion became this week’s post.
Seduction is a funny one, too, as many songs that might be considered initially to be about it are really about lust or sex. So a fair bit of thinking was needed to ensure I was happy that these were ten songs that really fit the bill.
As always, there were a lot of great suggestions, and included this week are a couple of artists I’ve rarely featured. Thanks to everyone, as ever, who provided suggestions last year.
A quick explanation for new readers (hi there!): my Tuesday Ten series has been running since March 2007, and each month features at least ten new songs you should hear – and in between those monthly posts, I feature songs on a variety of subjects, with some of the songs featured coming from suggestion threads on Facebook.
Feel free to get involved with these – the more the merrier, and the breadth of suggestions that I get continues to astound me. Otherwise, as usual, if you’ve got something you want me to hear, something I should be writing about, or even a gig I should be attending, e-mail me or drop me a line on Facebook (details below).
The songs on KANGA’s still-remarkable debut album are often laced with double meaning, things never being quite clear. The album opens with the mechanised, slow crawl of Something Dangerous (whose build and structure has echoes of Somewhat Damaged by Nine Inch Nails, that’s for sure), a song that drips with lust and implied danger. Things begin with KANGA seemingly trying to seduce someone, apparently trying to seal the deal before the night ends and the chance slips through their fingers, but all apparently doesn’t end well. Whatever happens inbetween is skipped past, before we’re told of being left alone on the bathroom floor, the aftermath being a dark place.
Goldfrapp’s second album Black Cherry was a gloriously unsubtle exploration of electro grooves and sexual desire, full of monstrous hooks and a visual feast whose videos and live shows still define Goldfrapp in the mind of listeners twenty (!) years on. The ecstatic (or is that orgasmic? It’s a fine line) highs of Twist begin with Alison Goldfrapp seducing someone “one more time” before they leave town, but it isn’t long before the song descends into aural highs that suggest a very successful seduction indeed.
/She Wants Revenge
/Tear You Apart
/She Wants Revenge
A song that has become commonly used in TV and Film (and perhaps best known for use in a key early scene in American Horror Story: Hotel, reputedly requested personally by Lady Gaga), it is also probably the best four minutes SWR ever put to tape. A minimalistic post-punk track, that owes an awful lot to the bands that clearly influenced them, and it initially appears to be yet another tale of youthful, fumbling seduction. Then the track kicks up a gear, and the chorus reveals a darker, more violent side to the seduction…
/Come To Me
The late, great, Mark Lanegan was perhaps in more recent times better known for his rich body of solo work and collaboration, rather than his earlier days with Screaming Trees (indeed, Van Conner also died recently), and albums like the glorious Bubblegum help explain why. PJ Harvey was one of his collaborators on this album, and her distinctive voice dramatically enhances this smouldering duet, a song that has the feel of two prospective lovers longing to make a move, but never quite doing so, leaving a tension that drips through the entire song.
/Romeo & Juliet
Easily one of the most iconic Dire Straits songs, it begins with an attempted seduction and then unravels in every conceivable way. Inspired by Mark Knopler’s brief relationship with Holly Vincent (Knopfler made a point of inventing characters in song rather than ever referring to actual people directly), here he starts off acting like Shakespeare’s Romeo, singing a song of seduction to his Juliet on her balcony, before their lives spin off in other directions (by way of West Side Story and classic soul song references). His Juliet then leaves him behind, leaving a somewhat bitter Romeo licking his wounds, muttering that it was simply a matter of bad timing…
/The Afghan Whigs
/John the Baptist
Long once of the most fascinating of the alt-rock bands to break through during the nineties, The Afghan Whigs stood apart thanks to their deep love and appreciation of soul music, and the way that Greg Dulli and his bandmates meshed that and alternative rock together. Dulli’s lyrics were often fascinating, too, as he examined the good and bad of masculinity and how such behaviour can be so destructive in relationships. 1965, though, recorded in the sweaty heat of New Orleans, absolutely blazes with lust, and John the Baptist broods with nerves, as Dulli sets the scene for an evening seduction (and both referencing and paying musical tribute to Marvin Gaye), with every base apparently covered. But I can’t help but feeling – particularly with past lyrical themes by him – that this might be Dulli trying to make up for past transgressions, laying it on thick to try and make things alright.
/This is Hardcore
The recent announcement of Pulp’s reunion (again) has been trailed with the phrase “What do you do for an encore?”, from the title track of this album, but Jarvis was at his seductive, lothario best on the sprawling darkness of Seductive Barry. As with the rest of This is Hardcore, it was the sound of Jarvis trying his best to shed the glare of fame that he’d spent so long trying to attain, but then realised what came with it. Common People this isn’t.
Instead, Jarvis is talking someone into bed, someone he has perhaps been idolising from afar in various ways, and can’t believe his luck. But as the song unfolds, it’s increasingly unclear if the scene is actually unfolding as described, or if this is some imagined fantasy that has got way out of control…
/Justify My Love
/The Immaculate Collection
Talking of fantasies, Madonna caused something of a sensation with the drowsy, after-dark Justify My Love. Just about still a song of seduction, it is five minutes of Madonna being absolutely clear of what she wants – at the time a rare case of a song that was an overt examination of female desire without fear. The song, too, is perhaps a key influence on what was to come with trip-hop in the nineties, as well as also being a touchstone for generations of sexually confident female artists in the decades that followed.
/Nine Objects of Desire
During the 90s, Suzanne Vega began to explore electronic textures and samples in her songs (most notably on the album ), but by the time of Nine Objects of Desire, she’d found less striking ways to flesh out her sound, but the core of her elegant observational songs remained. Stockings is one of those songs, where she deals with subtle and not-so-subtle attempts at seduction by other women on her (Vega explains more about the song in this AV Club interview from 2011), concentrating in particular in a flash of stocking-tops during one encounter…
/Does Your Mother Know
Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, of course, were front-and-centre of almost all ABBA songs, as the dual vocalists of the group. But there were songs where they took a step back, and perhaps the best example of that is Does Your Mother Know, a song where clumsy seduction is gently pushed away. Björn Ulvaeus takes the lead vocals for this rock-based track, where someone rather too young makes a pass at him, and he swiftly understands the danger of the situation and lets them down as politely and firmly as possible. Quite how this didn’t make /Tuesday Ten /259 /Age of Consent is something I’m still scratching my head over now. In addition, Ash also did a marvellous cover of this way back in 1996.