Just in time for Valentine’s Day (yes, Valentine’s Day — forgot, didn’t ya?), Billboard has released its list of “The 50 Sexiest Songs Of All Time.” And, truly, I don’t know about you, but after perusing their list, I’ve got a problem — as I’m sure any music lover will as well. The list is not only incomplete but it lacks many songs that should have been included. Of course, Billboard can be forgiven for not being omniscient or for allowing a few sexy songs to circumvent their judging filter for “The 50 Sexiest Songs Of All Time.” But Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” as the top sexiest song of all time? Who are they kidding?
Before getting started on this list, to be fair to Billboard magazine and those who compiled the list, the songs were not subjectively rated by judges for their sexual content and/or their appeal to the libido. “The 50 Sexiest Songs of All Time” list was compiled by ranking the chart performance of songs about sex.
Oh… Well, now, that changes things a bit. Still, as Billboard let’s you know in the introduction, sexy is relative and subjective, with the latter having nothing to do with the compilation of the list. It’s all about the numbers.
But those reading the list of the 50 sexiest songs of all time will be subjective, as was I when I perused the list. It may be clinically, empirically, statistically, and numerically correct, but it certainly lacks in the “sexy” department.
Songs like “Afternoon Delight” (#20), with its cheesy rocket-whooshing sound effect and its jump-rope chorus cadence, certainly are relative, especially in the 70s (probably the most diverse musical decade ever), but just being about having sex in the afternoon has not been good enough to make this one-hit wonder a hit for the ages. And “sexy” it is not, and wasn’t even in the 70’s. It’s just a fun song about having sex. “The Macarena” is more sexy. Actually, so is “Cat Scratch Fever.”
But there are some gems in the bunch, like Marvin Gaye’s entries, “Let’s Get It On” (#5) and “Sexual Healing” (#34), both top notch songs about sex and excellent examples of blending sexy lyrics with sexy melodies and harmonies.
The inclusion of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” wasn’t terrible (it came in at #42) at least got the His Purple Royalness into the Top 50, but it was nowhere near his sexiest song.
And then there are the missing. Not one song by Sade? Are you kidding me? And what about “Smooth,” Rob Thomas and Santana’s Grammy-winning tune? And no Barry White? Oh, but this list was about the top chart performing sex songs of all time, which would automatically disqualify many songs. Longevity didn’t count in the compilation of this list, either. Songs prior to the 1960s were not included. Still, it is difficult to believe that the aforementioned artists were not part of the list.
But we all have our favorite songs, the songs we like to dance to, to get romantic with, to listen to while we “get it on.” Perhaps Billboard will compile a future list of sexy songs with a subjective slant. Regardless, it is a safe bet that Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” will not make #1, or Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s The Night” reach #2. (And can you believe Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” was banned by many radio stations because of its lyrics?)
In fact, “Afternoon Delight” probably wouldn’t even make the Top 1000.
The Top 10 Songs in the “The 50 Sexiest Songs Of All Time”
10. “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” Rod Stewart
9. “Kiss You All Over,” Exile
8. “Like A Virgin,” Madonna
7. “Do That To Me One More Time,” Captain & Tenille
6. “Hot Stuff,” Donna Summer
5. “Let’s Get It On,” Marvin Gaye
4. “Too Close,” Next
3. “I’ll Make Love To You,” Boz II Men
2. “Tonight’s The Night,” Rod Stewart
1. “Physical,” Olivia Newton-John