I have a much stronger emotional to response to music than I believe is normal. There are musical pieces that will drive me to despair in the happiest of moods, and others that elevate me when I'm miserable. Music elicits every concievable reaction from me - from sorrow to outright laughter. It makes me contemplative, it makes me disdainful - in some ways it is almost like a remote control to my emotional state, putting me in charge of something that is otherwise beyond my control.
The other day, someone asked me which musical pieces I found sensual. I could come up with only a few on the spur of the moment, because it takes time to come up with well thought out list. So anyway, here are the first five. The next five coming up in a few days. The list does not include any Indian music, for now. I'll come up with another list for Indian music.
1. "Tear Drop", Massive Attack:
A song with a hypnotic and extremely sensual beat, that starts off with the somewhat puzzling and at the same time erotic lyrics
"Love, Love is a verb,
Love is a doing word,
Feathers on my breath.
Shakes me makes me higher,
Feathers on my breath"
Massive Attack is a british modern rock group that fuse together elements of modern rock and commercial pop - powerpop if you may. 'Tear Drop' came out with their widely acclaimed album Mezzanine (1998).If you've watched the video ever, you'll remember this song - it featured a fetus singing. Also my favorite Massive Attack song.
2. "Sara", Fleetwood Mac.
Fleetwood Mac have been around since forever (1967-current), and they have, rather successfully, covered the ground from pop to rock to blues. It is difficult to classify "Sara". I actually have some unpleasant memories of this song - the first time i heard this song was at a party where I was one of the few single people around, and when this song started, i loved it. But pretty soon, I realised that the song had caused all the couples around to snuggle up, leaving me clutching my drink and staring uncomfortably at the ceiling.
In the Sea of Love
would love to drown"
As sensual numbers go, this is way up there. There are several versions of this song floating around. The best is the original 7 minute version from the album 'Tusk' (1979). The same version features in the Greatest Hits collections of Fleetwood Mac. The live versions are good, but not quite there.
3. "Miracles", Jefferson Airplane/Starship.
I have always considered Jefferson Airplane to be amongst the more mellow of the early druggie rock groups. "Miracles" from the 1975 album 'Red Octopus' probably symbolises this mellowness. The song is a rather explicit and somewhat longish piece, that essentially starts off with foreplay and ends with a climax. The kind of song that *will* turn anybody on.
" I feel like swirling and dancin'
Whenever you're walking with me
You ripple like a river when I touch you
When I pluck your body like a string "
4. "Bewitched", Ella Fitzgerald
Written by hit musical duo Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, this song was in the 1940 musical 'Pal Joey'. Ella's rendition of the song is an incredibly erotic piece of vocal jazz. Her warm voice and the alliterative rhyming that characterizes the Rodgers and Hart style make for a great combination.
"I'm wild again. Beguiled again.
A simpering, whimpering child again.
Bothered and Bewildered.
5. "Kashmir", Led Zeppelin.
I'm not going to go into introducing you to Kashmir, since almost everybody has heard it.
And I am sure you are surprised to see it in this list.
But think about it. Think of the hypnotic and suggestive beat. The way it gets progressively frenzied, the way it builds up. The almost orgasmic "Ooh-yeah, Ooh yeah" towards the end. Kashmir is (and trust me on this one) one of the greatest songs that you can play while you are at 'it'.
Five more coming up tomorrow, and that will be followed by another list consisting entirely of Indian music.