The A.V. Club's Unapologetically Dirty Valentine's Day Mixlist
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1. Fox, "Sssingle Bed" (available on the UK-import compilation Guilty Pleasures Rides Again)
The slinky, seductive heat of this unjustly forgotten 1976 gem could melt ice cubes from 20 yards away. Anglo-Australian bubblegum-funk group Fox was led by Kenny Young, co-writer of the salacious Drifters hit "Under The Boardwalk," but he outdid himself on "Sssingle Bed." With a wakka-chikka funk rhythm backing her up, singer Noosha Fox vamps her way through an end-of-the-evening invitation to her bashful date to stay a little longer... have some more wine... "Ain't it a shame? You've missed the last train," she purrs. Good Samaritan that she is, she can no doubt make a little extra room tonight.
2. Scala Choir, "I Touch Myself" (available on the import-only CD Dream On)
Sixty Belgian teenage girls raise their sweetly innocent voices in song to the Divinyls' 1991 ode to self-satisfaction. It's the European youth-choir version of "So this one time, at band camp..." Led by brothers Steven and Stijn Kolacny, The Scala Choir has had continental crossover success with choral tributes to songs by Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and other unlikely sources—offbeat, but not exactly groundbreaking. On "I Touch Myself," though, they capture something genuinely rich and strange: angelic raunch. One thing's for certain: You'll never hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing this song.
3. Too $hort, "Freaky Tales" (available on The Hip-Hop Box)
"Freaky Tales" is the prototypical Too $hort song, little more than a minimalist funk groove and a monotone, marathon rap detailing the diminutive Oakland legend's amorous adventures with an endless series of oversexed hood-rats. An X-rated rap answer to The Nails' seminal "88 Lines About 44 Women," the song provided the template not only for much of Too $hort's later work, but also for the list-centered rap sex-song in general, especially...
4. Lil' Kim, "How Many Licks?" (available on Notorious K.I.M.)
In an answer to "Freaky Tales," diminutive sexpot Lil' Kim continues her life's work: proving that women can be every bit as sex-crazed as the fellas, primarily by recounting the rainbow coalition of horny man-meat she's known biblically over the years. Kim's salacious lyrics specifically and explicitly encourage the fevered attentions of Vaseline-toting prison masturbators, a group cavalierly ignored in so much of what passes for popular music.
5. David Allan Coe, "Fuckin' In The Butt" (available on Underground Album and 18 X-rated Hits)
Sexy songs usually have slow tempos, but Coe's "Fuckin' In The Butt" is an uptempo country barnburner replete with pedal steel and to-the-point lyrics: "I'd like to fuck the shit outta you," Coe repeats for a verse. Next: "Please put my gland in your hand." Then, finally, "Baby, won't you give me some head?" All that's missing is a line about his South rising again.
6. Max Romeo, "Wet Dream" (available on The Coming Of Jah: Anthology 1967-76)
Max Romeo is now best known as one of the leading lights of spiritually oriented, politically conscious roots reggae. But before his mind turned to Jah and Jamaican elections, Romeo started a dirty revolution with the 1968 hit "Wet Dream." No double entendres here, just undisguised desire. "Every night me go to sleep, me have wet dream," Romeo sings as an opening line. Before long, he hits on a solution: "Lie down, gal, let me push it up, push it up."
7. Luscious Jackson, "Deep Shag" (available on Natural Ingredients)
A rare ode to body hair, this lightly funky make-out cut is all about "the poems I become the minute I succumb to your embrace." But just where is the "deep shag" located? On a man's chest? On a woman's crotch? For Luscious Jackson, carnality knows no gender boundaries.
8. Musique, "In The Bush" (available on Disco Classics)
One of the sexiest songs of the whole sexed-up disco genre, Musique's "In The Bush" isn't just explicit in its famous chorus—"push push / in the bush"—but really throughout, as a quartet of female singers readily offer themselves up, moaning, "I like to do the things you like to do too / I like to do it, do it." By the time they gasp, "Are you ready? / Are you ready for this? / Do you like it? / Do you like it like this?", male listeners are mopping their brows and tugging at their collars.
9. Serge Gainsbourg (with Jane Birkin), "Je T'Aime... Moi Non Plus" (available on Comic Strip)
She loves him. He doesn't love her. A roller-rink organ plays, backed by syrupy strings. All fairly innocuous. So why, when this seductive duet was released in 1969, was the record banned throughout Europe? It had a lot to do with Birkin's orgasmic gasps. Not many sexy songs have the actual power to arouse, but anyone whose hormones don't race when Birkin lets out a series of trembling moans should probably consider switching medications.
10. Banjo & Sullivan, "I'm At Home Getting Hammered (While She's Out Getting Nailed)" (available on The Ultimate Collection 1972-1978)
The band isn't real—it's the traveling country act that gets slaughtered in Rob Zombie's drive-in homage The Devil's Rejects—but the music certainly is. Singer-songwriter Jesse Dayton and actor Lew Temple give raunchy rednecks Banjo & Sullivan a voice, via smutty songs like this one-joke lament. It's a funny joke too, all about infidelity among the trailer-park set. "She used to bring me beer and love all over me / Right before I went on disability."
11. Berlin, "Sex (I'm A...)" (available on Best Of Berlin 1979-1988)
Los Angeles synth-poppers Berlin showed some savvy marketing sense when they launched their career with this jaw-dropping single, which humanizes the robotic arm of new wave by connecting it to the hedonism of disco. On the extended version, singer Terri Nunn offers a string of come-ons, in which she promises to make herself into whatever her lover wants her to be, then transitions into an actual simulated orgasm. It's so hot, it's cool.
12. Blowfly, "Blue Monday" (available on 2001: A Sex Odyssey)
Pretty much any song from the catalog of the original dirty rapper would fit this mixlist: "Too Fat To Fuck," "Girl Let Me Cum In Your Mouth," and "Eatin' Pussy" are all almost torrentially filthy. But his version of New Order's club classic "Blue Monday" is almost otherworldly in its combination of utter nastiness and faithfulness to the original—except the part where Blowfly laughs maniacally. Oh, and the all-new lyrics, which include, "How does it feel / to have my dick in you to the hilt?" and "My balls want your tongue's romancin' / tell me how does it feel?"
13. Maurice, "I Gotta Big Dick" (available on Mad On Acid: A Comprehensive History Of Acid House Music)
It would seem that he most certainly does. Distilling an awful lot of songwriting down to its essence, dance producer Maurice makes an anthem from the words "I gotta big dick" repeated, several hundred times, in different chopped-up cadences. The percussive force of the words punches the air, while a deliriously clacking Chicago house beat makes sure no sentiment gets lost in the cracks.
14. Bessie Smith, "Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl" (available on The Essential Bessie Smith)
Bessie Smith was a singer of such powerful emotion that she could make even the most outrageous double entendre sound like a lament from the bottom of her soul. When she sings "I need a little hot dog between my rolls," the word "need" gets the emphasis. Because when it gets down to it, need is what it's all about.
1. Pastor John Rydgren, "Music To Watch Girls By" and "A Beautiful Girl" (available on WFMU's Beware Of The Blog)
At the height of the flower-power era in 1967, Lutheran pastor John Rydgren set out to minister to the hippies by combining Christian evangelism with Ken Nordine-style baritone beatnik monologues in a series of psychedelic radio spots. Rydgren's gift for finding God in everyday life found truly bizarre expression in his wolfish appreciation of the female form: "I think she likes to be watched," he croons while ogling a swinging chick in a "hipster miniskirt—brief, very brief." Just remember, he says, to thank the Big Guy for the design. Amen, baby.
2. Khia, "My Neck, My Back (Lick It)" (available on Thug Misses)
It isn't just the boys who can get down and dirty. One-hit wonder Khia scored by telling them thugs just what she wanted, with an infectious refrain ("My neck, my back, lick my pussy and my crack") that was miles from shy. The song—a pretty rote beat, actually—is quite instructive, too: "Then you roll your tongue, from the crack back to the front / Then you suck it off 'til I shake and cum." Okey dokey!
3. Bow Wow Wow, "Louis Quatorze" (available on Girl Bites Dog: Your Compact Disc Pet)
This frenzied post-punk anthem, sung by 16-year-old Annabella Lwin (who frequently appeared naked in Bow Wow Wow's promotional photos), is apparently about the joy of being raped at gunpoint. Only Lwin's breathless tone—coupled with the power chords and tribal drums—lets listeners know that this is meant to be a sexy game, not an assault. Lwin sighs and coos, yelping, "I love it when he says so seriously / With his gun in my back / 'Honey, close your eyes and think of England.'"
4. Alex Chilton, "Bangkok" (available on Top 30)
Chilton's first post-Big Star single is a gloriously sloppy, echo-y song about "a little town down in Indonesia." Chilton wrings all the tittery meaning out of the title city, even as he's dropping references to Jackie O. and Johnny Thunders. The machine-gun solo that comes about halfway through adds urgency. "Baby, Bangkok," Chilton wails. Baby, he means it.
5. Kool Keith, "Make Up Your Mind" (available on Sex Style)
While it isn't the naughtiest song on Kool Keith's all-naughty Sex Style, "Make Up Your Mind" earns points for one of Keith's finest couplets ever: "Shootin' jism / She ride like a Geo Prism." The rest of the manic track bumps along madly, stopping for the demanding chorus, "Make up your mind / Who you want to pump the butt?"
6. John Brim, "Ice Cream Man" (available on The Chess Blues-Rock Songbook: The Classic Originals)
Van Halen and David Lee Roth burlesqued their way through a rock version of this song, but for the real heat, return to the original. Brim jauntily offers his services to whatever "little girls" might need them. "If you let me cool you off this time, you'll be my regular stop," Brim sings, while making it clear he has plenty more stops to make.
7. Lightnin' Hopkins, "Let Me Play With Your Poodle" (available on The Complete Aladdin Recordings)
The blues legend insists that he "don't mean no harm" with this juked-up double-entendre-fest, but he almost cracks up when he sings, "That little poodle got a long, shaggy tail / I tried to buy him, but he wasn't for sale." It's the chuckle of a dirty old man who knows he isn't fooling anyone.
8. The Byrds, "Triad" (available on The Notorious Byrd Brothers)
When The Byrds refused to include David Crosby's starkly beautiful salute to ménage à trois on their fifth album, it pushed the already disgruntled Crosby out the door for good. He headed up to San Francisco and started hanging out with The Jefferson Airplane, which recorded a more muscular version of "Triad" for their album Crown Of Creation. But the original—now on the CD reissue of the album from which it was cut—is the slyest version, as Crosby lays out a reasonable argument for three-way action. Got an old lady who's hassling you because you're seeing someone on the side? Lay it out thus: "We love each other, it's plain to see / There's just one answer that comes to me."
9. Mack 10, "Get A Li'l Head" (available on Recipe)
On "Get A Li'l Head," Mack 10 and his Hoo-Bangin' affiliates all concur that receiving oral sex is awesome. And producer Dutch isn't afraid to hijack the chorus from K.C. And The Sunshine Band's "Get Down Tonight" in order to help Mack and pals get their oral-sex-positive message out to the people. Mack 10 and his protégés take turns discussing their love of receiving blowjobs before Mack 10 ends the song by angrily demanding that listeners orally pleasure every member of his crew in rapid succession. The age of chivalry truly is not dead.
10. Bruce Springsteen, "Red Headed Woman" (available on In Concert/MTV Plugged)
Springsteen wasn't the sexiest rock star during his fist two decades in the public eye, but something about marrying Patti Scialfa triggered his latent lust. He gave his wife a searing serenade at the opening of his 1993 MTV Unplugged special, letting the crowd know that "it takes a red-headed woman / to get a dirty job done" and that "you ain't lived 'til you've had your tires rotated / by a red-headed woman." Then he drops the winking and says "Listen up, stud / your life's been wasted / 'til you've got down on your knees and tasted / a red-headed woman." Nice to know that The Boss is giving his wife what she needs.
11. Andre Williams, "Let Me Put It In" (available on Silky)
Andre Williams was a Chicago R&B singer in the '50s, but he reinvented himself in the 1990s as a sort of urban-sleaze answer to R.L. Burnside—an earthy old-school soul man backed by a crew of young, white, fuzzbox-wielding punks. "Let Me Put It In" catches him at his most frantically lust-ridden, with an increasingly hysterical vocal performance (or possibly perv-formance) that throws honey-worded seduction out the window in favor of a single-minded, desperate plea for relief from the one thing on his mind. Williams turns out a half-hearted double entendre by claiming he only wants to "put in a bid for your love," but it could not be more obvious what "it" is and where it needs to go. Even cloistered nuns must know what he's talking about.
12. The Gun Club, "Sex Beat" (available on Fire Of Love)
These underrated blues-punk progenitors kicked off their classic debut album with a provocative tease full of tinny guitars, pounding drums, and a trenchant analysis of why rock 'n' roll is the purest pastime, followed closing by screwing. Bandleader Jeffrey Lee Pierce chooses sides at the end, telling his lover, "We can fuck forever / But you will never get my soul."
13. The Soul Sisters, "Wreck A Buddy" (available on Trojan X-Rated Box Set)
"Wet Dream" opened the door for reggae to get as dirty as it wanted, with some discomforting results. Maybe it's the girlish voice of The Soul Sisters' lead singer that makes "Wreck A Buddy" more disturbing than sexy. Maybe it's that "wreck a buddy" doesn't sound like the most pleasant term for sex. Or maybe it's because "Wreck A Buddy," like the Prince Buster song it answers ("Wreck A Pum Pum") uses the melody of "The Little Drummer Boy" to convey its filthy, filthy message.
14. Kathi Stout, "Hips & Abdomen" (available on the 365 Days Project website)
Recorded at the height of the early-'80s aerobics craze, Kathy Stout's evangelical exercise record Special Believercise was apparently popular enough to land her a profile on CBS Evening News, in which she complained that "there's too much sexual freedom" in today's world. Which makes "Hips & Abdomen" some kind of unintentional genius, because she must have had no idea how sexualized her aerobics routine sounds. Like a perky cruise-ship director, Stout calls out instructions that sound uncannily like a page from the advanced section of the Kama Sutra: "In a crabwalk position, push your abdomen into your spine, rounding your back... In, out, in, out, in, out! Work it! Tuck your chin!" Behind her, a Statler Brothers-style gospel-twang group warbles a cheery number about Jesus walking on water, building up to a joyous crescendo suggesting another kind of near-religious experience. "Good!" she chirps.