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10. Them (Van Morrison), "Gloria" (1964)
The thing that makes this garage-rock mainstay so perennially hot is its stupid, stupid simplicity. Morrison's snarl just barely contains his youthful lust — all he can do to express anticipation is spell out his girl's name. The savoring of even the tiniest details of this girl, the monosyllabic barking about exactly what is happening while it is happening; these are the things that happen to your brain when all you can think about is gettin' down to it. — A.M.
9. Nina Simone, "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl" (1967)
This song existed in a slightly more ribald version by Bessie Smith for years, but the High Priestess of Soul took it and made it a little more subtle and a little more elegant without losing any of its slow-burn sensuality. — A.H.
8. Roy Orbison, "Oh, Pretty Woman" (1964)
"Oh, Pretty Woman"'s pounding, insistent beat and instantly recognizable riff mask a simple sentiment: "You're good-looking. Would you like to have sex with me?" Good thing Roy Orbison had the voice of an angel to sell it with. — A.H.
7. Michael Jackson, "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" (1982)
Most of Michael Jackon's songs had a boyish innocence to them, but on full-on club jams like "P.Y.T.," his vocals have a desperation and an intensity to them that are just... heavy. The panting in the background doesn't hurt, either. — D.B.
6. D'Angelo, "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" (2000)
This song's iconic video (which actually hurt D'Angelo more than it helped) went a long way to establishing it as one of the sexiest songs of all time, but even the audio fairly sizzles with sensuality. D'Angelo multitracks his voice until it sounds like there's a whole chorus of pleading sex-gods asking you that question, and the answer you're likely to give is, "Good. Very good."— A.H.
5. The Beatles, "Please Please Me" (1963)
A lot of times, when you read about Kennedy-era parents panicking about early teen culture, the things they were worried about seem totally ludicrous. With "Please Please Me," I'm not so sure; I can't really find any way to read the lyrics so they're not about John Lennon requesting oral sex. I also kind of think that if you know how to write hooks like this, you should get whatever you want. — P.S.
4. The Ronettes, "Be My Baby" (1963)
Ronnie Spector (neè Veronica Bennett) knew how to plead. This song's searing intensity is the sound of need laid bare. It's been called one of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time, and if rock is about that primal urge, then it's earned that title. — D.B.
3. Led Zeppelin, "Whole Lotta Love" (1969)
Leering, swaggering, and absolutely incapable of giving a damn, Led Zeppelin were as invested in sex as they were in hobbits. It's between this or "Black Dog" in terms of their sexiest song, but frankly, "Black Dog" can't hold a candle to this song's absurdly overwrought sexuality, or its sheer physicality and power. — A.H.
2. Prince, "Kiss" (1986)
Conviction is the key to seduction. Here's a lesson in conviction: even though everything about his personal life before and since has contradicted it, when Prince sings "Women, not girls, rule my world," you believe him. Be like Prince! — P.S.
1. Marvin Gaye, "Let's Get It On" (1973)
It's a real shame that "Let's Get It On" has been used in so many movies and television shows at this point. Those opening notes are almost a sonic punchline at this point, cueing the audience that some wacky sex, possibly between a fat guy and a skinny girl, or a fat girl and a skinny guy, is about to take place. "Let's Get it On" deserves better — it rescued Gaye from a dark time in his life, and it's as much an expression of spiritual yearning as physical, from a man who didn't see much distinction between the two. — A.H.
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