While music lists are, like movie lists, often subjective, there are certain categories of song that are easily defined. One is the quintessential sexy song. It’s the song you play when you want to get someone in the mood. It’s the song you play when you want to get yourself in the mood. It is the song you think you’d choose if you had to, just had to (like someone was pointing a gun at your head) perform a burlesque number. Here are our top 10 sexiest songs.
10. Paula Cole – “Feelin’ Love“
The ninth track off Cole’s second studio album This Fire, “Feelin’ Love” is a bump-and-grind kind of song with sexual innuendo running all over the place. Cole’s falsetto vocals are reminiscent of Prince, and the lyrics…well, let’s just say we won’t post them here. We will, however, let you have the song. Play it at your own risk:
Cole’s most famous song, “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?” is probably what made the album a commercial success, but this track is a favorite among fans and non-fans for its sultry beat and playful and sexy lyrics.
9. Pulp – “This is Hardcore“
Track 5 from Pulp’s 1998 album of the same name, “This is Hardcore” is a song that not only has some naughty lyrics, but a dirty beat to go along with them. A British Indie band might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but plenty of people think this song is really, really sexy.
Released in 1998, this song reached #12 on the UK Singles Chart. Pulp has a following in the U.S. as well.
8. Nina Simone – “I Put A Spell On You“
Originally written by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, “I Put A Spell on You” has been covered time and time again, but perhaps never as sultry and raw as Simone’s cover.
Nina Simone, pianist, singer, and civil rights activist, had a number of songs that were popular in the US and beyond, but this particular tune is one that, despite the fact that she didn’t actually write it, is almost always associated with her.
7. Portishead – “Glory Box”
The final track on Portishead’s debut album Dummy, “Glory Box” is a slow, slightly trippy, sultry song where singer Beth Gibbons (dressed in drag in the video) pleads “Give me a reason to love you, give me a reason to be a woman.” Different variations on the song were featured in several movies of the 1990′s.
The video you see above is a live performance – check out our YouTube Playlist for the official video.
6. Peggy Lee – “Fever”
Written by Otis Blackwell and Eddie Cooley, “Fever” was originally recorded in 1956 by Little Willie John. Two years later, Peggy Lee covered it, and it hit #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became Peggy Lee’s signature song. She wrote certain sections of the song that have been accepted as part of the song as a whole and appear in subsequent covers.
Notable cover artists for “Fever” include Elvis, Madonna, Beyonce, The Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker, Celine Dion, and about a million other people. It’s a pretty popular song, probably mainly because it’s so sultry and innocently suggestive.
5. Christina Aguilera – “Nasty Naughty Boy”
Track 17 off of Christina Aguilera’s 2006 album Back to Basics, it was this style of music that would lead to her comeback and eventual performance in the 2010 movie Burlesque, which actually wasn’t so bad. I mean Cher, right? The lyrics to this song are downright, well, naughty. So watch the video at your own risk, maybe with a cool drink on hand.
Written by Aguilera herself with the help of Linda Perry (!), the song wasn’t a hit single, but you can be sure it’s been played regularly in (*ahem*) certain venues.
4. Prince – “Darling Nikki”
There are a lot (A LOT) of Prince songs that could go on this list. We picked this one for two reasons – one, it has a great, dirty beat. Two, it was part of Tipper Gore’s argument for music censorship, which is why we now have those helpful “Parental Advisory” stickers. All because of Nikki, who Prince tells us is a “sex fiend.”
Unfortunately, the real video is not available for embedding in this post, so be sure to go to the YouTube playlist to see it. It brings you back to that dizzying time in the eighties when a song was associated with a movie (in this case Purple Rain) and the music video was like a little mini version of that movie. Don’t you miss that? The song has been covered a lot, but as far as we’re concerned, the only cover that matters is the one by the Foo Fighters.
3. Marvin Gaye – “Let’s Get it On”
Track #1 on the album of the same name, “Let’s Get it On” was Marvin Gaye’s most successful Motown single and earned him sex symbol status. Originally co-written with Eddie Townsend, the song was at first about a man trying to get on with his life as a recovering alcoholic. The lyrics changed along the way, perhaps because Gaye was inspired toward lusty lyrics after meeting Janis Hunter, who would become his second wife.
You may be asking yourself, “Self? Why didn’t they put “Sexual Healing” on this list instead?” Well, it’s just not as sexy, Folks.
2. Chris Isaak – “Wicked Game”
Sexy song, sexy video. Some might accuse us of picking this song because the video is so sexy, but come on. The video couldn’t have been that sexy if the song hadn’t been so ultra sultry and swoon-inducing. The song was the fifth track on Isaak’s 1989 album Heart Shaped World.
The song was featured in the David Lynch film Wild at Heart, starring Nicholas Cage and Laura Dern. It would later be featured in two other movies starring Nicholas Cage. Just a little factoid.
1. Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin – “Je t’aime..moi non plus”
The number one song on the list has to go to good old Serge Gainsbourg – the man François Mitterrand called France’s “Baudelaire” and “Apollinaire” of music, indicating that Gainsbourg’s musical vision, often erotic or hallucinatory or both, was something for France to be proud of. In fact, he said that Gainsbourg “elevated the song to the level of art.”
This particular song, written during Gainsbourg brief but intense love affair with Brigitte Bardot, was actually performed by Gainsbourg and the starlet in 1967, though Bardot’s publicity people banned Gainsbourg from releasing the recording. Soon, Gainsbourg and Bardot parted ways, and Gainsbourg took up with a young English girl named Jane Birkin. They recorded the song together in 1969, and though it hit the top of the charts in the UK, it was eventually banned there, as it was banned in Italy (and denounced by the Vatican), Spain, Brazil, Sweden, Portugal and Poland, and radio stations in France were only permitted to play it after 11PM. Mainly because of all the orgasm sounds.