By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
When it comes time to do the horizontal mambo, conventional wisdom dictates you go with the usual suspects on the stereo: James Brown, Al Green, Barry White, Marvin Gaye, D'Angelo, Donna Summer, Serge Gainsbourg, AC/DC, Sade, etc. (Note: Joe Tex's "I Gotcha" is too raunchy to have sex to.) But conventional wisdom is, by definition, dull, and dullness stunts the libido. Instead, why not be a little more adventurous and try the songs below to soundtrack your libidinal exploits? These tunes have been mattress-tested by experts in the field. If you find them not to be aphrodisiacs, you may want to see a specialist—or a new paramour.
1. Funkadelic, "Mommy, What's a Funkadelic?" Any song from the Funkadelic album will do the trick, but "Mommy" inches in because its lascivious groove and slicker-than-Astroglide vocals can get you off before the groping even begins. How can you resist a song that begins with the proclamation "If you will suck my soul, I will lick your funky emotions?" You cannot. And the funked-to-the-chakras, woozy blues vamp that follows seals the deal with copious amounts of do-it fluid.
2. Dennis Coffey, "Scorpio." This straight-up breakdancing classic from 1971 makes the transition to the boudoir with flying bongos. Staccato electric guitars strike like orgasmic lightning in the intro, announcing a track that's among the five funkiest ever cut. The extended breakdown with all that meaty hand percussion (including a mean cuica) and a spare but eloquent bass line is ideal for rising to the occasion and reliving your sexual peak. Put this one on repeat, and let the hips fall where they may.
3. The Stooges, "Loose." Slap "Loose" onto the turntable and experience one of the crudest anthems ever to inflame loins. These Motor City miscreants waste no time with niceties (or nice ties): This is sheer rhythm & bruise.
4. Rolling Stones, "Hot Stuff." This lives up to its promising title, generating a potent-as-hell groove that makes it impossible not to grind one's pelvis toward the nearest genitalia. Mick Jagger channels some studly Jamaican guy, while Keith Richards and guest six-stringer Harvey Mandel's guitars put a shimmy-shimmy-ya in your stroke. The rhythm section finishes you off to the last drop.
5. Sugar Billy Garner, "I Got Some." From DJ Shadow's Slurped Too! mix, Mr. Garner's got your penis-enlarging panacea right here. "I Got Some" may be the funkiest joint ever waxed. Play this and feel your virility/femininity exponentially expand. "I got some, and it sure feels good!" Garner observes—truer words were never grunted.
6. Otis Redding, "Hard to Handle." Let's be obvious for a minute. Otis is a goddamn force of nature here. The introductory horns foreshadow a momentous occasion: Mr. Redding is going to light your candle 'cause, mama, he's sure hard to handle. If you can't hit paydirt with a pretty young thing via Otis' help here, then resign yourself to monasticism—or onanism.
7. Rufus, "Tell Me Something Good." The louche guitars on the chorus work like come-hither fingers, while the keyboards squelch like gooey genitals conjugating during sloppy thirds; meanwhile, the male backing vocals sound like they're on the verge of climaxing ("oohh ahh oohh oohh ahh"), punctuating Chaka Khan's salacious boasts, including, "I'll make you wish there were 48 hours to each day." Truth.
8. Roxy Music, "Both Ends Burning." Suave singer Bryan Ferry imbues this song with a fatalistic charm that makes even this het dude want to bed him (now that's charm). The music has a sweeping grandeur (cue swirling Mellotron, crashing cymbals) and nonchalant swagger that will have you feeling as cosmopolitan as James Bond.
9. This Mortal Coil, "Song to the Siren." Employed to heart-piercing effect in an outdoor love scene in David Lynch's Lost Highway, this Tim Buckley composition is the most beautiful song in creation—and one that will likely lead to procreation. Thanks to a stunning vocal performance by Cocteau Twins' Liz Fraser, "Siren" positively shivers with poetic, romantic longing. The agony is the ecstasy.
10. Aphex Twin, "Windowlicker." Sometimes you need a wild card in your repertoire. "Windowlicker" will put the "what the" into your "fuck." The spasmodic electro with elongated male/female sighs and groans elicits a bizarre erotic aura. Think of "Windowlicker" as the third breast of this list—yeah, it's freaky, but it's also kind of a wicked turn-on.
11. Air, "Casanova 70." We need at least one piece for postcoital sighing and sugary pillow talk. That's where this soufflé-light bit of glamorous ambiance comes in—after you both come.
12. Darondo, "Legs (Part 1)." This ex-pimp's elastic, erotic ode to the lower extremities will also do wondrous things to crotches. Darondo sounds like a hornier Eddie Kendricks as his band saucily funks it up à la the Commodores' "Brick House." Is it hot in here?
13. Zapp, "More Bounce to the Ounce." So precise, yet so damned sexy, "More Bounce to the Ounce" is a self-fulfilling sonic prophecy (and the funkiest track of the '80s). Roger Troutman's talkbox-augmented voice adds an alien allure to this priapic paean to voluptuousness. Heavy rotation is advised (nudge, wink).
14. Betty Davis, "Game Is My Middle Name." Something for the alpha females, this jam—powered by Sly & the Family Stone's rhythm section—stalks with predatory stealth. Any man worth his coins will submit to Miles Davis' ex's demands. You will get yr freak on.
15. Bobby Byrd, "Hot Pants (I'm Coming, Coming, I'm Coming"). From the Snatch soundtrack, Byrd makes his boss James Brown sound like a shrinking violet here. This is all rock-hard urgency and potency, like a 19-year-old dude and a 35-year-old cougar bumping uglies 8 miles high in a 767 bathroom.
16. LCD Soundsystem, "Yeah (Crass Version)." The power of positive thinking leads to hours of restorative boinking. Epic disco punk with massive amounts of cowbell plonking and Roland 303 squelching. Yeah, indeed.
17. The Contortions, "Contort Yourself." Need something S&M-ish? The tightly torqued, no-wave funk of "Contort Yourself" should tie you into provocactive knots. "It's better than pleasure/It hurts more than pain/I've got what it takes/To drive you insane," James Chance barks. Ouch . . . mmmm.