The Starland Vocal Band espoused the joys of after-lunch lovin’! That Pussyfoot girl raved about the way her fella did it! The dude in Dr. Hook could do it again even when he was flat out on the floor! ILYOS looks at some of the sexy soft rock songs of the 70s! And we also want you to tell us about the ones we’re forgetting. No disco, soul or funk please – that’s another story we’ll get to sometime!
The Starland Vocal Band “Afternoon Delight”
Does anything scream “sexy” like the tall guy with the hair cut that kind of looks like a comb-over, even though he seems to have a full head of hair? Especially when he looks old enough to have parented the other three, or at least been their leader at some youth camp. Soft does not get any softer than this, but when the old dude isn’t on camera it is kinda sexy, especially when the girls do that profile thing which someone clearly learned from Abba’s “Mama Mia” video.
Pussyfoot “The Way That You Do It”
From the stupefaction of the opening line “It’s not the way that you do it, but how you do it to me” (Um, “The way you do it” and “how you do it” are different how exactly?), to its “Ooh Na Na Hi Ya” hook, “The Way That You Do It” sounds like it was written and sung by someone for whom English was a second language. The producers assumedly thought that would give the song some Continental/European sexiness, because the song was in fact an English creation. Regardless of where it came from, Pussyfoot’s sole hit was dumb fun.
Exile “Kiss You All Over”
Ugh, this one works better without the vision. That way you don’t get to see the creepy looking long haired guy work himself up into a high-waisted lather. He’s not even the band’s real lead singer – the other guy takes over and sings most of it, suggesting that mister tight pants was installed as some sort of front man sex god or something. The mind boggles, but I guess you do get a better idea of which bits they want to be kissing from this dude.
Promises “Baby It’s You”
Clearly this one does work better with vision, and I’m not just talking about the bare-chested guy wearing a tie and braces. Or the silhouetted bass player on the stand in the background bopping away. In fact, I don’t think I even noticed him back when I first saw this in my early teens. Not sure any young guys noticed the words the to this one back in the day either but if they did, the line “Laying beside me with legs all around me I care no more” would certainly have stayed with them.
The Bellamy Brothers “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me”
Can a pun be sexy? These soft-strumming, luxuriously hirsute Florida boys obviously thought so. But then, the older of the two brothers was named Homer, so he possibly had a weird idea of what sexy meant. I’m sure it works for someone.
Raspberries “Go All The Way”
Before he set about stealing Barry Manilow’s crown as the King of 70s Schmaltz, Eric Carmen fronted the Raspberries, who combined elements of the Who, the Beatles and the Beach Boys into a rousing sound that became know as “power pop”. But Eric’s later softness qualifies his old band here, and this, their second hit and probably best remembered song, certainly qualifies them on the sexy front. A teenage boy’s wet dream set to power chords and Keith Moon-like drumming, “Go All The Way” is titled after the words that the song’s horny young protagonist hears when he starts putting the moves on his equally horny and young companion. A recent cover, by Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs, with Susanna intoning the title in the chorus and thus taking things to the next level, is a must hear for protagonists of all ages.
Bad Company “Feel Like Makin’ Love”
Speaking of Susanna Hoffs, she once described regularly hearing this Bad Company hit as her mum drive her to school back the mid 70s, and glowing red with embarrassment every time. It didn’t stop her from performing it live later in life (thankfully!), and it’s not surprising either, given how absolutely blunt the song is in its sentiment, and the natural and easy way Paul Rogers sings it. I feel bad lumping this with something like “Afternoon Delight”: Bad Company were a fine hard rock band, but they do play it kinda soft here, and there’s no doubt about the sexy.
Rod Stewart “Tonight’s The Night”
Compared to Paul Roger’s lustful yet matter of fact approach in “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, poor old Rod comes across as a bit desperate in “Tonight’s The Night”, as he lines up his lady in the film clip. Geez, as if it’s not embarrassing just talking about this, check out the lyrics.
Bread “Make It With You”
Make what? Bread? Oh, that’s the band’s name. Love? Well that’s what you’d think, back in the sexy 70s when “making it” didn’t really have much to do with the workshop or kitchen. Unless you were a bit kinky. But this song, so soft & sexy on the outside (well, that’s what they wanted you to think) seems to actually be about something completely different. Like “making it” in life or something. Which may have sat well with your parents or the conservative sorts who listened to Bread I guess, but it’s not actually very sexy at all.
And, to take us out with a bang...
Dr Hook “A Little Bit More”
Eye patches can be sexy I guess. And I guess back in the days of Kenny Rogers, well-groomed beards were sexy too. So Dr Hook had double barrelled sex appeal, and as their boasting in this one states, a quicker-than-average recovery time. “When your body's had enough of me/And I'm layin' flat out on the floor/When you think I've loved you all I can/I'm gonna love you a little bit more”.