Hold It Against Me, Britney Spears: A Brief History of Terrible Pickup Lines in Song
Nick Lowe - "Switchboard Susan" (1979)
Why, God, why: In Lowe's defense, it was actually Mickey Jupp who wrote "Switchboard Susan." But in creating his carnally bonkers masterpiece, it was Lowe who had the bad taste to stick that phoner-boner between his own paeans to a "pair of tits that just won't quit." Luckily, the song is a perfect fit for Lowe's dirty sense of humor. But still.
Why, God, why: Because Grace Jones needed imposing lyrics to match the striking stretchy-buzzcut figure she cut. And in Reagan's ultra-white inauguration year, what could be more rebellious than a big, thinly-veiled club hit pining for big black dick? Bonus points for androgyny and presaging punk-dance fusion. And other songs about big black dick.
Billy Ocean - "Get Outta My Dreams (Get into My Car)" (1988)
Why, God, why: Arguably the most famous song based around a pick-up line, from the same decade that brought us the most famous song based on a phone number, I bet this sentiment actually worked on some ladies in for a few smoky weeks of Summer 1988. I mean, it shot to No. 1 on the Hot Black Singles chart, and I can't believe there was something called the Hot Black Singles chart still around in 1988. So the late eighties were less advanced than I thought. It was probably a pretty easy year to get laid.
Brad Paisley - "Ticks" (2007)
Why, God, why: Supremely talented Nashville wiseass Brad Paisley's a master at this sort of thing actually, as much as the Magnetic Fields or anyone. He plays up the ordinary and then subverts it with the latest in tongue-in-cheek technology. He did it on 2005's splendid "Alcohol" by singing as the titular fermentation in first-person ("I can make you put that lampshade on your head"). "Ticks" is his most ribald, outrageous concept to date. Says let's get out of this bar, drive out into the country, walk you through a field of wildflowers and then..."I'd sure like to check you for ticks." Works like a charm!
Britney Spears - (take your pick of 2011)
Why, God, why: Britney's stock in trade was never subtlety, but "If U Seek Amy" made "Oops! I Did It Again" look like Radiohead. Femme Fatale is like twelve of those in a row. Luckily, the album's so musically healthy that this humorously horny new direction could signal an R. Kelly-style respectability makeover for a somewhat dismissed and underrated career ("Bombastic Love"! ). Her prospects in the bar scene are dismal though. I mean, you just don't walk up to someone comparing them to a disease.
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