Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Music To Make Love By

NOT the album  I'm referencing in today's column.

When you were a kid, did ever make that awful discovery that your parents, um, actually…um… had a romantic life? That they weren't just Mom and Dad, but that they were also living, breathing, sexual creatures, who participated in the act of making babies? For me, there was one fleeting moment when I was about 7, when I caught my dad in the act of trying to pull my mom's red polyester pants down (in MY bedroom on MY brand new bunk bed). It was a moment that has lasted with me for more than 40 years. My 5 year old sister and I were downstairs minding our own business, when we heard mom start to squeal. We ran our personal best up a flight of stairs to rescue her from what we thought was most likely an attack of fire ants or vampires. At the time, I didn't really understand what was really going on, only that dad had mom's pants pulled halfway down, so we did the only thing we could think of: we joined the awkward dog pile, throwing ourselves on top of mom and dad in my bed, squealing and laughing. Poor guy. Whatever mojo he had going on, we totally ruined it.

Years later, as I became interested in music, I came across another awkward example of my parents sexuality, when I discovered a record album that I think was titled "Music To Make Love By" with an ultra-sexy, 1960's vamp on the cover. I put it on the record player, and the room was filled with slightly shlocky (I have no better term to describe it) music. It was kind of jazzy, in a slo-mo Austin Powers kind of way. It was definitely mood music for my parent's generation. Very similar to Jackie Gleason's "Music For Lover's Only." But with a twist. In fact, I think this album may have been a spoof on the Gleason album (which remained at the top of the charts for 152 weeks, starting in 1952). Besides the smoky sax and the beautiful strings, this album also had the moaning and groaning of a man and woman throughout the entire thing. Every few seconds a female "Oooooh" was matched by a similar male "Ahhhhhhh," accented with sexy giggles and occasional crescendos that made it obvious this couple had moved on past 1st base. Way past 1st base. I used to play the LP to get a laugh out of my friends as a teenager, and to this day one of the most embarrassing moments of my young life was when my parents came home unexpectedly while this album was blaring out of the speakers at full volume with a living room full of teenagers laughing hysterically.

I really, really, really wanted to share some of this crazy, ridiculous music with you, but alas, the album has somehow disappeared from my parents very large record collection. I actually made a pilgrimage back to the homestead and went through every single LP trying to track down this crazy record, and ended up empty handed. My parents say they have no recollection of this record. They're in their 80's, but hey, if I was them, I'd deny it too. I found plenty of other similarly embarassing 33rpms. Stuff like this:

 So obviously, as you can see, it wasn't beneath my parents to own music that was sexually charged, albums with naked ladies and suggestive sexual scenes on the album cover, music and liner notes that proclaim "This is the meaning of paradise....what would you have? A simpler way of making love?" and "Music as smooth and polished as old mahogany, as fresh as a meadow in spring." They can protest all they want, claim to not have a clue about what what I remember as a kid. But I know, I remember. And my sister? When I called her, totally out of the blue, and said, "So you remember that record mom and dad had?" She interrupted me before I could say anything else and said, "Oh, are you talking about that one with the couple moaning & groaning?" So it's not just some crazy figment of my imagination. This album exists. Somewhere. And someday, I'm gonna track it down.

I'm gonna give my parents the benefit of the doubt. I think the most plausible explanation for this album's existence in their collection is that it was a silly novelty, a gag gift, and not actual music to 'make love by.' Although they come from a completely different generation, I can't believe, not for a second, that this is the kind of stuff that would get the blood flowing in the loins of anyone. For sure I can speak for myself, that this isn't what gets me going.

Last Valentines Day, I wrote about the music that does get me going. The music that makes me swoon. The tunes that turn my personal thermostat up to too hot to handle. Now, it's your turn. A few days ago I looked at Swoon, the column I posted a year ago, when (after I showed mine), I asked readers to show me theirs. I wanted to know what makes others feel the love. Get a little warm under the collar. What tunes turn up the heat a tad. To be honest, the response was a little underwhelming. So I decided to throw it out there on Facebook, to my 902 friends. And the response was, honestly, a little overwhelming!

Suddenly, I've got a playlist of well over 100 of the sexiest, lovey-dovey makeout songs ever put together! And you guys did it yourselves! There's a few oddball songs in there. Some of the tunes were a little crazy and obnoxious. Because some of of my 902 friends are in their 80's and some are in their teens, the songs range from Frank Sinatra to The Cure.
I moved songs that were mentioned more than once up to the top of the list, which is why Etta James with "At Last" is in the #1 spot. The top 5 includes Otis Redding, Mazzy Star, Chris Isaak and the surprising Nine Inch Nails (warning: this song is the raunchiest one of the bunch. NSFW or in front of little kids, but totally worthy of being on this list).

As a newlywed, if there's any advice I can give you for Valentine's Day, I encourage you to follow the advice of sex advice columnist Dan Savage: this Valentine's Day, get your lovemaking out of the way before you go out for supper. Instead of waiting until after you've imbibed a bottle or two of wine and a 22 ounce steak to get busy with your lover, get busy before your dinner reservations. Trust me. Lovemaking on a full belly is not a whole lotta fun.

And consider starting your Valentine's Day lovemaking out with this playlist of 125 streaming sexy songs, courtesy of my fantastic friends! So many, that I'm only going to list the top 10….the rest, you'll just have to hit the play arrow below to hear, or go directly to the Grooveshark playlist on their website.
And you're always welcome to leave your own songs (and embarrassing stories) in the comments section below, for next year.
  1. At Last - Etta James
  2. These Arms of Mine - Otis Redding
  3. Fade Into You - Mazzy Star
  4. Wicked Game - Chris Isaak
  5. Closer - Nine Inch Nails
  6. Fever - Peggy Lee
  7. You Can Leave Your Hat On - Joe Cocker
  8. You Sexy Thing - Hot Chocolate
  9. Brick House - Commodores
  10. Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye
2014 Valentines by Valerie Ing-Miller on Grooveshark

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