A regular feature in which our writers and photographers share their favourite tracks on a certain theme. This week, they pick songs of a carnal nature…
Grace Jones – ‘Pull Up to the Bumper’ (chosen by Conor McCaffrey)
I had Wu Tang Clan’s ‘Dog Shit’ pencilled in for this one – Ol Dirty Bastard’s leg-humping solo effort on Wu-Tang Forever. But even with crack-fuelled perv poetry like “Here comes Rover sniffin’ at ya ass”, the Dirt Dog is a neutered Jack Russell when he’s up against ODG. ‘Pull Up to the Bumper’ was a big hit for Miss Jones in 1981, but the censorship wardens could’ve given her a ticket for this litany of auto-erotic fixations. Spurred on by Sly & Robbie’s burnt rubber rhythms, Grace demands: “Pull up to my bumper baby, in your long black limousine”, before offering to “pump your tyre” and “blow your horn” while throwing in some spray and lubrication metaphors for good measure. But in case you think Grace is only about the smut, the video has her superimposed over scenes from Koyaanisqatsi – so you can lie back and think of pioneering time-lapse cinematic techniques.
Consolidated (feat The Yeastie Girlz) – ‘You Suck’ (chosen by Phil Udell)
Industrial music in the early ’90s was a fairly macho place, dominated by the likes of Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. On the surface, Consolidated were very much of that school too, dealing in aggressive and highly political keyboard driven rock. Lyrically, though, the trio were as fired up by feminism as they were racism, homophobia and animal rights. Taken from their excellent Play More Music album and featuring mysterious rappers the Yeastie Girlz, ‘You Suck’ was a fruity tribute to the delights (and otherwise) of female oral sex and was a rallying call at alternative clubs across the land at the time. Here come the girls.
Diamond Head – ‘Sucking My Love’ (chosen by Dara Higgins)
You’ve probably heard of Metallica, but there never would have been a Metallica if there wasn’t first Diamond Head. For it was those diamonds that Metallica first mined in order to get their ideas, and when they ran out of ideas to nick, they just covered the songs. ‘Sucking My Love’, from the band’s debut Lightening to The Nations released in 1980, is a paean to, well, sucking, and, maybe, love. It starts off ok, a riff, some energetic drumming, a twiddling guitar solo. You can hear the spandex. And then Sean Harris starts moaning and bleating “oh, faster…faster” with an onanistic fervour. One wonders, briefly, how they facilitated the exact conditions required to produce such verisimilitude in the vocal booth that day. It’s particularly unsettling if you’re wearing headphones, even more so if you are not alone in the room. To this day I don’t think I’ve ever been able to listen to the song in it’s entirety. Man, I just wanted to rock….
Queens of the Stone Age – ‘Skin On Skin’ (chosen by Hilary A White)
A “desperate, greedy slave” with a “one-track mind” – Josh Homme finally, ahem, came clean in this rare highlight from the largely impotent fourth Queens LP Lullabies To Paralyze. With a riff like a horny bull elephant lurching through treacle, ‘Skin On Skin’ is almost self-loathing in its desire for rumpy-pumpy, a groaning soundtrack to hangover horns and devil-may-care bare-backing. Even that warped, pathless guitar solo echoes mindless lust and primeval urges. Avoid if you’re an old-fashioned romantic.
The The – ‘Dogs of Lust’ (chosen by Simon Roche)
Not subtle in any way, Matt Johnson’s sweaty opus from the completely carnal 1993 album Dusk is enough to send a renewed vigour to the blood coursing around any body. Add in the memory of three lost evenings in a row, very late on in the supposedly carnal college years where with a small Sony stereo, this album and a girl on the rebound I tried to make amends and work out how all the important things in life worked, but yet didn’t quite. Meeting Matt Johnson 10 years later, I told him how Dusk was a sort of conduit for my late breakthrough to which he replied, “mine too”. The rebound girl ended up marrying the first guy to throw up on her, and no, it wasn’t me though I still get somewhat embarrassed hearing that song and knowing that far beyond anything I knew at the time, Johnson could put a harmonica in a 3 minute pop song and make it sound like the dirtiest weekend ever.
R Kelly – ‘Sex Planet’ (chosen by Niall Byrne)
The dodgy sexual conquests of his private life aside, there’s no singer more suited to OTT perversity than Robert Sylvester Kelly. His albums frequently feature R&B slow jams crammed with enough innuendo and metaphor to make you blush, cry and laugh all at the same time. Kelly is a genius at it. On ‘Sex Planet’, from his 2007 album Double Up, he goes feral on the idea of space exploration as a metaphor for his carnal desires and acts. What follows is a brief list of the song’s best NSFW lines but really the whole thing is so incredulous you have to listen to this boner-fide classic.
“Gonna get you so excited / Once I’ve tasted your milky way”
“So don’t trip i got a giant rocket / Glidin through just hitting your pocket”
“I’m about to twinkle and touch your soul / Once I enter into your black hole (nggguhh!)”
“Girl I promise this will be painless / We’ll take a trip to planet Uranus”
“We’ll be gone for hours / I won’t stop until i give you meteor showers”
George Michael – ‘I Want Your Sex’ (chosen by Michelle Bond Dolan)
The title kind of says it all, and back in 1987 when I was still a child, and totally in love with George Michael and Wham! this song jolted me into a grown up world. A world where George Michael was cavorting in silk sheets with his ‘girlfriend’ at the time Kathy Yeung, writing messages in lipstick on her back, doing ‘adult’ things. I was horrified and shocked. I wanted the George Michael that splashed around in the swimming pool with Pepsi and Shirley having playful fun. I was mortified any time the song came on the radio, (albeit a clean version called ‘ I Want Your Love’ but I knew what he was really saying). My dreams of being George Michaels girlfriend when I grew up were dashed, he was doing grown up things, no longer innocent and definitely no longer appealing to my younger naive self. When I hear the song now I still cringe a little inside.
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – ‘A King At Night’ (chosen by Alan Reilly)
There’s nothing explicit in this song. It’s not about conquests, boasting or virility. It’s a confessional alt-folk song about infidelity, anger, guilt, regret and loss. What’s blush-worthy about ‘A King At Night’ is the sharing of an intimacy. A single detail so simple, honest and private you ought not to look. Just to hear it is intrusive. What’s even more blush-worthy is singing it in a queue for the bank.
Guns N’ Roses – ‘Rocket Queen’ (chosen by Anna Forbes)
Guns N’ Roses were all about the sex, the drugs and the rock ‘n’ roll. But mainly the drugs. And the sex. ‘Rocket Queen’, the closing track on Appetite For Destruction, was all about the beast with two backs but saucy lyrics weren’t enough for Axl Rose. In the interests of authenticity, the singer got friendly with a young lady in the recording booth – the results of which can be heard during the track’s instrumental break. The fact that his temporary partner happened to be the girlfriend of drummer Stephen Adler only complicated matters. Crazy guys.