It has been a long time, er, coming, this. I’d say excuse the pun, but you know I don’t mean that. Anyway, I first started working on this a few months ago, and here it is at last.
/Tuesday Ten/141/Bad Sex
So, what makes a song sexy, or to have sex appeal, for want of a better phrase? I was wondering this after reading this amusing NME article on “unsexy” videos recently – and I’ve been thinking about both sides, i.e. sexy and unsexy, since. But I’m not too interested in the videos, it is more about the songs themselves. But back to my first question: is it the song, is it the lyrics, is it perhaps the memories that it invokes? It is almost the reasoning behind these thoughts that perhaps makes this most fascinating. So: for this week and next week, I’m going to be looking at “bad sex” songs and “good sex” songs. This week is the bad side – my interpretation of which are songs that are about sex, or purport to be sexy, but are not at all to me. I have absolutely no doubt that some of these will bring up opposite reactions in some readers, or you will have better suggestions. I’d love to hear them.
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).
/No Pussy Blues
This is perhaps deliberately unsexy. Nick Cave at his sleazy, snarling best, this track signalled the end of his more reflective period with the Bad Seeds, instead being a return to at least one aspect of his younger self. But this isn’t just a song where Cave returns to his roots. Instead, it is an ageing man who can’t get laid, and gets more desperate as the song goes on. And think about it – things don’t get much more unsexy than that. Unless you really fancy Nick Cave, I guess. Anyway, moving on…
/My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend
The themes of Type O’s entire musical output could probably be summed up in two words: “sex” and “death”. And some of the “sex” songs were rather less doomy than others, like this, the late Pete Steele’s (almost) joyous celebration of an, um, open relationship. But for me – I’m sure others will see it differently – this song is not sexy in the slightest, just really rather sleazy and cheesy. There were other songs of theirs, though, that were sexy in the right way (Love You To Death, for reasons I’ve never quite worked out, in particular). Just not this one.
Prince has written an awful lot of songs about sex across his career – during his eighties peak probably eight in ten songs were dealing with the subject – and while this is likely one of his finest and most striking songs, it isn’t one that could under any way be termed as “sexy”. After all, for a start, it is dealing with a crumbling relationship, where he is resorting to doing anything to make things better. Even pretending to be a girl instead: but it’s not a sexy thing, it comes across as desperation.
/Fuck Her Gently
Less in the way of desperation, more in the way of…umm, no thanks. Oh, you guys. So classy when around the ladies. It’s quite worrying that this was seen of as the height of musical amusement when it came out – surely Jack Black could (and can) do better than channelling his inner fourteen-year-old?
/The Bad Touch
/Hooray For Boobies
I think if anyone I was with played this – or anything else by these fuckwits – in the bedroom I’d probably leave. Yet more fratboy-esque “humour”, this time with oh-so-cool cultural references and a backing track seemingly ripped straight from New Order. Who at least had class. These guys didn’t get to speak to women much, right?
There aren’t many bands who were as outrageously explicit (and funny) as Praga Khan’s long-running band Lords of Acid – who, indeed, are returning with new material this year after a long absence. Anyway, this track is hardly one to get down and dirty to, without hooting with laughter at the marvellously silly cat metaphors. If you really must have music on, it needs to be something, er, less intrusive than this?
One song that I always thought was the kind of song that makes you need a good wash after it is finished. It was wrong enough as a Rod Stewart song (just by virtue of being performed by him in the first place, really), but this version is filthy, sleazy and just downright nasty. Chris Connelly delivers it in a leering voice, that simply revels in the fumbling attempts at pick-ups and one-night-stands that they turn this song into. It is also explicit, in the way that friends deliver too much detail. And lets not even get started on the video, eh?
/Get It Up
One of the tiny handful of even remotely good tracks on the last (for now) MSI album, an album that leapt up to catch the ball of mainstream acceptance and didn’t even come close to catching it. Shame, really, as when they hit the heights like this, it was like old days. Anyway, here Jimmy really wants to get laid…but has a problem. A big problem, as it were. But obviously it isn’t his fault…as he amusingly finds ways to blame someone – anyone – else. Can’t say that it would be the right soundtrack, though, eh?
/I Heard Love Is Blind
Something that always seemed to be overlooked when it came to her songs, was just how funny and incisive the lyrics often were. Even when dealing with bleak, apparently hopeless scenarios like this. Most people wouldn’t want to hear about their lover’s indiscretions, least of all in ways like this – where attempts to make her lover feel better really don’t work all that well. Still, one of the best lines about adultery in song is here: He’s just not as tall / But I couldn’t tell / It was dark and I was lying down“. As a result, an initially sultry, sexy song rather comes undone when you take a listen to the words…
Talking of adultery, this horror of a track would probably put me off sex for life if I heard it at the wrong moment. Cheesy, fast-paced techno with godawful house-diva vocals and less-than-subtle synth chords stabbing through the speakers. And those awful, cliched lyrics. I don’t need to think about anyone getting down to this. Ever. I’d like to think this was taking the piss, but I have this horrible feeling it isn’t.
A few other suggestions make it onto the Spotify playlist. Next week: Good Sex.