[I was asked by the Dayton City Paper to recommend two songs for their 2017 Sizzlin' Sexy Summer Mixtape. These are my two selections.]
My Two Song Selections For The Sizzlin' Sexy Summer Mixtape
“Song to the Siren” by This Mortal Coil (1983)
As if from a dream, 1983’s “Song to the Siren” by This Mortal Coil reaches out to seduce and haunt you. A slice of seductive nightmare straight out of a David Lynch film, steeped in lust and drawn from the dark world of myth, the lyrics unfold to describe an almost uncontrollable need. "Swim to me, swim to me, let me enfold you. Here I am, here I am, waiting to hold you." The passion described in this song is no mere infatuation. This is mad desire, uncontrollable need, an insatiable urge to possess taken to the nth power.
Originally written by the late Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett and first released on Buckley’s 1970 album STARSAILOR, it wasn’t until This Mortal Coil recorded their 1983 cover version that the song saw its full potential. Not really a “band” in the strict sense of the word, This Mortal Coil was a collective name for a number of artists on the British independent record label 4AD, and vocalists Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins performed this particular song. Heard in the films LOST HIGHWAY and THE LOVELY BONES, this version of “Song to the Siren” also inspired TWIN PEAKS soundtrack vocalist Julee Cruise on her first two solo albums.
“Moondance” by Van Morrison (1970)
“Well it’s a marvelous night for a moondance, with the stars up above in your eyes.” There are sexy songs, and then there are songs which threaten to bring out the beast that dwells within all of us.
At first, like Rodney Dangerfield, the now-classic song “Moondance” got no respect at all. The track, which was recorded for Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison’s 1970 album MOONDANCE, wasn’t even released as a single until seven years later, in November of 1977, and even then it barely charted, reaching no higher than #92 on Billboard’s HOT 100.
But make no mistake -- there is real power here. One of the songs for which Morrison will be remembered, “Moondance” is the ultimate in jazzy, sexy, romantic, “let’s dance together under the stars” tunes. A paean to the night and the power of the moon, to romance and the primitive call of true lunacy, “Moondance” was chosen by Rolling Stone magazine as #226 in their list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of all Time”, and it continues to stir lovers of the night.
Fans of horror films may recall the song’s appearance in the original AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (during a sex scene, naturally), and surely there can be no better music for a late night summer interlude with your lover, on a blanket with a bottle of wine, beneath the light of a blazingly full moon.