One of the most difficult decisions a man has to make in the early stages of wooing a woman is neither whether he should order red or white at the table, nor if he should invite himself up or not after a nice night out. It’s what music he should cue up once that precious door closes behind them.
Sure, there is a myriad of apps that might be able to help you out, but that “love songs of the ’80s setlist” could start playing tunes like Take on Me outta nowhere and then you’re a dead man. Man up and get your deejay on—and don’t be afraid of some classic rock. This list should help get your head in the right place…
1. AC/DC’s “Back in Black”
Aside from the fact that You Shook Me All Night Long is one of the top stripper songs of all time (behind only Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar on Me—and they share a producer in Mutt Lange), this entire Brian Johnson debut is a total sex soundtrack. The title track is a neck-biting, hair-tugging tour de force and Let Me Put My Love into You will usher in that all-important eye contact.
2. Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls”
Admittedly, this isn’t the Crue outing that’ll give her Home Sweet Home, or hardly any of the Crue classics, but it does give the one classic that matters: the title track. By the time she hears the motorcycles revving, Mick Mars’ roaring guitar intro and Tommy Lee’s thundering drums, she’ll be ready to go.
3. Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti”
It’s all about “Kashmir.” Damone explains this far better than I ever could in Cameron Crowe’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and he is exactly right. Hell, she could even think it’s the Jimmy Page/Puff Daddy perversion of the classic from Matthew Broderick’s throwaway Godzilla movie, and it’d still work for her. Can Queen/Vanilla Ice make the same claim? I think not.
4. Prince’s “Purple Rain”
So it probably comes as no surprise—or, at the very least, the least surprising on this list—that Prince makes the cut. But the late singer/songwriter devoted entire records to elevating listeners’ lovemaking experiences, and “Purple Rain?” Really? Yes, really. While lead-off track Let’s Go Crazy could very well cause your guest to begin bouncing around the room and—depending on level of intoxication—knocking things over, it’s all about Darling Nikki and The Beautiful Ones. This whole shebang lends itself to one intense sexual encounter.
5. Marilyn Manson’s “Lest We Forget: The Best Of”
I really didn’t want to include a “best of” in this list, but thanks to Manson’s cover of the Eurythmics classic Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), which would otherwise only be available on an EP, it has to be done. Fact is, Manson brings something out of the ladies, even if they don’t know it. Shit gets vampire chic. Plus, here they get the band’s take on Soft Cell’s Tainted Love, Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus and somehow the original The Dope Show brings it all home.
6. Whitesnake’s “Slide it In”
The title may appear crass, but it pales in comparison to deeper cut “Spit it Out,” wouldn’t you agree? Fact is, this is a fuck-record through and through, with just enough of a pause via Love Ain’t No Stranger to convey you’re not a complete douchebag. And if Slow and Easy doesn’t propel you both into the zone, well, it just wasn’t meant to be in the first place. She’ll be tossing her hair to and fro.
7. Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”
As perplexing as this selection may seem, especially due to the political underpinnings, In the Flesh kicks things off perfectly. Depth is conveyed, plus “flesh” has been injected into the atmosphere. Hey You and Comfortably Numb are both tunes a woman can let herself go to and, by the time Young Lust rolls around, you’ll be having a grand old time.
8. The Rolling Stones’ “Let It Bleed”
Chicks dig the Stones. As Billboard once put it, “[They] managed to mix sex and drugs with its rock ‘n roll… and Mick Jagger’s loose lips paid respect to loose women everywhere” on Honky Tonk Woman, a single released the same year as Bleed, the album closer and You Can’t Always Get What You Want, the b-side. Yes, I said b-side! Talk about climax blues.
9. Rod Stewart’s “Blondes Have More Fun”
Are you in trouble if she isn’t a blonde? I mean, maybe. But she doesn’t need to see the cover of this 1978 release. She need only hear Rod’s raspy vocals, especially on Do Ya Think I’m Sexy. Here Billboard declared that the “disco-era anthem squeezes an entire one-night-stand narrative into a few short stanzas.” Perfect.
10. Nine Inch Nails’ “The Downward Spiral”
This one may not be immediately recognizable to the lady getting comfy on your IKEA couch, but with both Closer (perhaps better known as “that fuck you like an animal song”) and Hurt, the latter of which Johnny Cash would later have a hit with himself, Trent Reznor’s techno prowess should jockey you right into position.