This week was going to be a run-through of songs involving one or more of the seven deadly sins, which many of you may remember me asking about a few weeks back. But finding a selection I was happy with has been very hard indeed, so this week I’m concentrating on just one of the sins, and will come back to cover all seven later.
A lot of music deals with the subject of sex. It’s a little more difficult to identify songs that are more about lust than sex, but I think I’ve just about managed it here. Ironically, Charlie Brooker was yesterday on about passion killing songs (and Spotify playlists, too), so you can perhaps see this as the flipside. As always, feel free to add more suggestions in the comments.
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. 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).
Greg Dulli has never been backward in coming forwards when it comes to sex (and his legendary “ladies man” status has got him into more than his fair share of trouble, too, as I recall), and he’s spent many a song (and album) both apologising and celebrating his (and other men’s) actions. The more celebratory feel wins out on this extraordinary track, an explosion of euphoric lust that really does sound like it was recorded (as it was) in the sultry heat of a New Orleans summer. Also, these guys remain the only band to have truly nailed a merger of hard rock with soul/r’n’b in recent times.
/Make It Wit Chu
The California sun permeated /070/Sounds of Summer, and here it is again – from another singer who has probably had his fair share of experience in lust. The languid, bluesy-rock of this track could only come from a sunny place, and the lyrics make it plainly obvious that Josh Homme would be happier during this song doing but nothing spending some, er, quality time with her.
/No Pussy Blues
It’s the opposite problem for Nick Cave in this song. He’s getting old, he bought her “a dozen snow-white doves”, he even “sucked in his gut”, and still she doesn’t want to. You know exactly what she won’t do. Like all Cave lyrics, it’s awesomely witty and acerbic, and it’s quite clear he’s growing old disgracefully. Which frankly, is the only way we’d like it. Particularly if more of his stuff is the discordant, searing racket that this is.
/This Is Hardcore
/This Is Hardcore
Pulp had always touched on the oh-so-slightly sleazy side of life, but with this track, it was all blown out into the open. Six-and-a-half long minutes of cinematic, sweeping strings and a backing band in thrall to his demands, where Jarvis finally gets hold of the subject of his lust, and he appears oddly keen on filming the moment for posterity – just in case that, maybe, he doesn’t get the chance again. It’s almost as if, later, in the song, that he can’t quite believe his luck and begins to fumble his lines. For once with Pulp, it’s not Sheffield that this song brings to mind as a location, either – particularly given the cinematic connotations of the song – instead, it’s the seedy, neon-lit streets of Soho in London to me.
/I Touch Myself
A song that caused a little bit of a controversy when released, mainly because of it’s somewhat bloody obvious subject…anyway, it’s all about lust, of course, for an absent partner, and how she whiles away the time without said partner. It’s sweet, it’s fun, and it’s a fucking fantastic pop song, too…
/The Flight [Lux]
Frank Spinath is another lyricist who frequently touches on the subject of sex in his songs, quite often in quite dark terms. Here, in his “side-project” from his main band Seabound, he is a little more direct. It’s the classic image, perhaps, of the unattainable girl, not asking her to provide anything, as it were, instead she can take all she likes. He even helpfully details all the images in his head of what would happen, which is perhaps a little more information than we really needed. The song itself, like anything that Spinath gets involved in, is near-impeccable synthpop with a cold, detached edge and frankly, almosts feels wasted as a side-project track…
/The Whore, the Cook and the Mother
Another band where I’m hardly short of songs absolutely dripping with lust, but this track – from probably MDB’s most divisive album – is one of my favourites of all so this one it is. The lengthy opening track to this album, the first half of which roars and twists like the consummation of the lust, then the second half is the calm in the half-light afterwards, before roaring back into life again as the (twelve minutes) track comes to a close. Lyrically, it’s filthy, pretty much, leaving the listener in no doubt whatsoever as to the intentions of the protagonist…
Mer De Noms
Maynard James Keenan is not a vocalist/lyricist who I would ever have expected to write a song like this, but the unbelievably tense music, and his yearning vocals – and the controlled explosion of the chorus – certainly sounds like a seething mass of lust to me, invoking religious imagery and sheer lust at the same time. Like so many songs written by this hand, there are many, many interpretations of the track, and I’m not sure I’ll ever believe which the is correct one. Either way, it’s APC’s best moment by a mile.
Like the rest of the album that this comes from, it’s mired in the shadows, and you get the feeling that they preferred it that way. The track simply looms out of the pitch darkness, the tribal-esque drums providing the perfect backdrop to Robert Del Naja’s semi-whispered, semi-growled vocals – detailing what sounds like an endless night with a lover, and you can almost see the sweat-drenched air by the end of the track as it reaches its metaphorical climax.
the fantasy of the girl that you really, really want…but are likely never to have. Not that it mattered to Fergal Sharkey back in 1978. All these big plans he had, things he wanted to do, but you always get the feeling that it’s all in his head and he never actually gets the girl. Still, even with that disappointment, as it were, this track’s awesome two-minutes and twenty-eight seconds are already assured immortality, and too right too.