Because playing these albums in flagrante delicto is the only romantic gesture lamer than offering a woman a fish sandwich.
10. Cornball Stevie Wonder Songs (I.E. “You are the Sunshine of My Life.” “I Just Called to Say I Love You”)
I'm not going to tell you that these songs don't serve a purpose–they do: father-daughter dances at Bat-Mitzvah's, weddings between accountants and interpreted with the polyester flair by Marty and Elayne at the Dresden. Unless your goal is inducing flashbacks to that luau-themed day where your special lady celebrated the blossoming of her womanhood by reading a halftorah portion on Jonah and the Whale, steer clear of maudlin Stevie. Shit's schmaltzier than a Henny Youngman joke.
Recommended alternative: Wonder's “Boogie On Reggae Woman.” Particularly, if your significant other had a “Phish phase;” though if she asks to hear the Moe cover, fleeing is encouraged.
9. Chris Isaak-“Wicked Game”
I've always suspected that this is the song that Benjamin (Rob Lowe) from Wayne's World would've seduced Cassandra with. “Wicked Game's” fine enough, but there's something unctuous about Chris Isaak frolicking on a beach in black and white with Helena Christenson. Of course, the video's rightfully canonized, but spin it during sex and you logically run the risk of a girl wondering if you're syphilitic.
Recommended Alternative: Sophie B. Hawkin's “Damn I Wish I was Your Lover”
Comic relief. Scores bonus points from any sane-thinking person for its role in sound-tracking the campfire concupiscence of Dylan and Kelly, during the epic second season of Beverly Hills 90210.
8. Meatloaf-Bat Out of Hell I and II
Make up your mind, asshole. What exactly won't you do for love? Come out and say it already. The Cleveland steamer? The strawberry shortcake? The Estonian gestalschanhauser?
You're probably thinking who in their right mind fucks to Meatloaf? A valid point–but considering, Bat Out of Hell I and II have moved over 50 million copies worldwide, it's safe to say that the term, “Meatloaf” has a revoltingly different context for many people, many of whom consider it a verb.
Recommended Alternative: There is no recommended alternative. If you would even considering having un-ironic sex to Meatloaf, sterilization is your best option.
7. Bob Marley-Legend
Unless you want to exude the vibe of a frat rat rocking a backwards, upside down Abercrombie visor, khaki cargo shorts, flip flops and a co-ed naked lacrosse tee, it's highly inadvisable to play Legend. Marley solo jawns are acceptable but, in general, should be avoided, with most containing several songs long bludgeoned into banality. If you haven't discovered that reggae is more than Bob Marley, now's the time to stir it up. Excruciatingly bad pun intended.
Recommended Alternative: The Congos–Heart of the Congos.
Because it's awesome.
6. Al Green's Greatest Hits
Al Green's unquestionably one of the greatest soul singers ever, but there's nothing more generic than Al Green's Greatest Hits. When people own one R&B record, this is it. Hell, this was the only R&B album I owned until I knew any better. It's certainly an excellent compilation. but show some originality. This is more played out than a Von Dutch trucker hat.
Recommended Alternative: Any one of the pre-1975, Green solo joints. Or his most recent, Lay it Down–a less iconic collection of songs, but one that easily bests all recent competition this side of Erykah Badu.
5. Anything Coldplay
Sex tunes for people who drink decaffeinated soy lattes, shop for flavored olive oils at the Pottery Barn and consider Dan Brown an edgy, important novelist. Chuck Klosterman once wrote that “Coldplay songs deliver an amorphous, irrefutable interpretation of how being in love is supposed to feel, and people find themselves wanted that feeling for real.” I won't dispute that, but will merely add that if Coldplay is somehow synonymous with the feeling of true love, I recommend cultivating an Ibogaine addiction and listening to “White Light/White Heat” on repeat for 36 and half hours.
Recommended Alternative: Beach House
Similarly soporific, but in that sexy, shooting scag on the Baltimore wharf sort of way.
MP3: Beach House-“Gila”
4. Nine Inch Nails-Downward Spiral
Inevitably, there was a time when this soundtracked many a connubial union between tramp-stamped females with coke and cutting problems and the black lipsticked, trench-coat adoring men who loved them. But that was 1995 and this is now and goth tendencies aside, it's difficult reconciling the ol' “fucking you like an animal” Trent Reznor, with the 'roid-happy, ebullient front-man he is today (sort of). Downward Spiral is the Boomerang of albums, in that it's hard to ignore that only a few years later, Eddie would be picking up trannies at 3:00 a.m. to be a “Good Samaritan.” To say nothing of Pluto Nash.
Recommended Alternative: The Kills-Midnight Boom
2008's best ode to self-destructive romances between people with probable chemical imbalances. VV seems about as stable as a Detroit automotive manufacturer, while guitarist, Hotel, dates Kate Moss. No punch line necessary.
3. Marvin Gaye-“Sexual Healing,” or “Let's Get it On”
Putting on either these songs would seem hackneyed in a bad romantic comedy, let alone an actual sexual encounter. At this point, playing “Der Komissar,” might give you a better chance of actually getting laid.
Possible Alternative: O.V. Wright's A Nickle and a Nail
2. Jeff Buckley-“Hallelujah” and really, the entire Grace album
Yes, at one point, there was no better lover's rock than Grace, but then Josh Schwartz and Seth Cohen dubbed over the tape and replaced it with a synapse-scarring soap of a whiny Newport Beach rich kid fleeing his parent's multi-million dollar Newport Beach mansion because his man-crush knocked up a girl who lived in Chino. Hot.
Recommended Alternative: Beirut's-The Flying Club Cup
Subscribes to the same same sad-indie kid demographic as Buckley, though “Nantes” has yet to be marred by cringe-worthy commercial usage. I suppose this is what Rockville's for.
1. Anything Luther Vandross
Like Green, Vandross is another soul legend whose erotic efficacy has been rendered flaccid by over-use. No one's questioning Luther's bona fides, but shit, if you're under 40 years old and putting on Luther Vandross, you are either wildly behind the times, or you're Jazz from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. You may as well start reciting her poems about roses being red, violets being blue and how to best get some bar-b-q and get busy.
Recommended Alternative: D'Angelo's Voodoo.
This decade's best bet to top any list of the 10 Songs/Albums That No One Should Ever Have Sex to Again, when another asshole compiles a similar list in the year 2034.