Friday, 29 April 2016

My Top Ten Pants Songs

Potty training is go* and nappies are yesterday's news. Now, we're all about the pants.

(*Actually, the potty may already be a thing of the past as we're onto trainer toilet seats now. Oh, the legacy this blog leaves behind for my boy to celebrate the pivotal moments of his life through VERY old music once he's a man.)

Anyway, to celebrate... ten songs that are anything but. (Pants, that is.)

10. Soulwax - Proverbial Pants

Soulwax were a great band from Belgium who made pretty bix waves with their album Much Against Everyone's Advice in 1998, after which the brothers Dewaele decided they'd much rather muck around as club djs and remixers than making proper records. Which is a shame, because I loved the disc this came from... although Proverbial Pants is a long way from being its strongest cut.

9. Peaches - Tent In Your Pants

I don't get this song at all. Why would anyone put a tent in their pants?
The tent's so big in your pants, baby
Gonna bring my friends for a dance, baby
Gonna sell those tickets advance, baby
An immense gig up in your pants, baby

8. Sparks - Angst In My Pants

This one sounds like Sparks-does-Abba to me. Which is, obviously, brilliant.
You can dress nautical
Learn to tie knots
Take lots of Dramamine
Out on your yacht
But when you're all alone
And nothing bites
You'll wish you stayed at home
With someone nice
But when you think you made it disappear
It comes again, "Hello, I'm here", and
I've got angst in my pants
7. Dr. Hook - You Make My Pants Want To Get Up And Dance

A fun song: remember those, singles chart?

If you don't like this, try Englebert Humperdink's version. You'll come back to Dr. Hook.

6. Eagles of Death Metal - (I Used to Couldn't Dance) Tight Pants

We should all celebrate Josh Homme's Eagles of Death Metal for bringing the fun back to heavy rock. It'd be a great shame if Paris was all they were ever remembered for.

5. Juliana Hatfield - Leather Pants

(Not available to listen to online so you'll just have to track it down yourself.)

If you're dating Juliana Hatfield, don't ever try wearing leather pants.
Look into my eyes
Where the truth is
Do you realize you look stupid?
Get rid of those leather pants
I can't go out like that
You really don't look phat
I can't get down with a Yankee in a cowboy hat
Actually, I wonder if she was going out with Randy Newman...

4. Randy Newman - Pants

Will somebody please stop Randy from taking off his pants?

3. Brad Paisley - The Pants

What I like about Brad Paisley is that he knows a large chunk of his prime audience are macho rednecks... and yet he still writes songs like this, telling 'em how things really are. We all know who wears the pants in Brad's house... and it ain't the millionnaire country star. 
It's not who wears the pants,
It's who wears the skirt
Plus, this is the only contemporary country song I can think of that promotes cross-dressing...
In the top drawer, of her dresser, there's some panties
Go try on that purple pair, with lace and frills
With your big old legs, I bet you can't get in 'em
With that attitude of yours, hell, I bet you never will
2. John Grant - Snug Slacks

Breaking the rules slightly, but I'm unlikely to ever put together a Top Ten Slacks Songs.

John Grant paints from a pretty vast pallet, but this one is all done in pink. It's the campest thing he's ever recorded, basically what Prince would have sounded like if he'd been gay. (I was amazed, in the wake of Prince's death, to discover some people actually thought he was. Had they never listened to any of his songs?)
Snug slacks, baby, snug slacks
Now you're giving me a different kind of panic attack
Sick joke, baby, crack smoke, now take me out in your pick up for a midnight poke
I said Stonehenge, baby, drug binge
Now you got me all damp down in my underpants
Snug slacks, baby, snug slacks
Now let's get you out of those and see what kind of punch your manhood packs...
And yet... this is still not the campest song in this countdown...

1. Jim Steinman & Karla DeVito - Dance In My Pants

The supreme psychotic genius of Jim Steinman, with possibly his most batshit crazy moment.

If you don't know the story behind Steinman's solo album, here's the short version. Following the earth-conquering success of Bat Out Of Hell, in which Steinman finally found an artist who could deliver his Wagnerian pomp-rock with the blood, sweat and conviction it deserved, a sequel was inevitable. Steinman had written most of the songs for the record that would have been called Renegade Angel when a number of terrible things happened: most notably, Meat Loaf pretty much lost his voice. Being bonkers already, and now with an ego the size of Jupiter thanks to the success of BOOH, Steinman decided to record the material vegetarian (i.e. without any Meat). It was a brave attempt, but considering Steinman had neither the voice nor the performing chops of Marvin Lee Aday, the result never really went anywhere. (It was a Top 10 hit in the UK album chart though.) I still consider it a classic album, and prime example of Steinman's  Nothing Succeeds Like Excess writing and recording technique (and his knowing knack for self-parody). Many of the songs on Bad For Good would later be recorded by a rejuvenated Meat: in fact, Dance In My Pants is probably the only one left untouched. Posssibly because it's too mental even for Meat Loaf, as the hilariously daft video proves (I love the bit where "Jim" starts dancing).

In another reality, Jim Steinman is treated with the respect he deserves and his place in the Rock Pantheon is as critically-blessed as Elvis, Jim Morrison and Bruce. But he's a lover, not a dancer... 

Which want gives you dance (or angst) in your pants?

(P.S. If you're wondering where all the songs about hot pants were... come back soon.)


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