Ever since The Buggles’ Video Killed The Radio Star became MTV’s first broadcast on August 1, 1981, the humble pop music video has gone through a number of stages and evolutions.
From a simple performance-based promo, to attempts at high art to simply salacious imagery designed to shift units, the music video is a fantastic audio-visual signifier that is responsible for some of the most memorable moments in popular culture. They are, of course, also a fantastic way to get tongues (and other body parts!) wagging with gleeful abandon.
A highly-sexed music video gets everybody talking. Those who like it will watch it, share it and discuss it at length. Those who don’t like it give it even more free publicity when they discuss their outrage in public. In short, if you make a sex-fuelled music video then chances are it’s going to go supernova very quickly.
At BaDoink we really do love a good old-fashioned titillating music video. We’ve selected our top 15 that we think will get you interested, moving and a lot more besides!
DISCLOSURE FEAT. ELIZA DOOLITTLE – YOU & ME
This euphoric number from British electronic duo Disclosure is helped along by its surprisingly intimate and sexy video. Featuring a young and flawless male and female couple, the video leaves most of the sexual activity up to your imagination, instead choosing to focus on the slow, deep kissing of the video’s stars. The music and the actions remain close together, with the frequency and passion of the kissing rising and falling with the song’s tempo. It’s a fine lesson in how to provide fantastic sexual imagery while staying tasteful.
ERIC PRYDZ – CALL ON ME
Well, if for some reason you haven’t yet seen this intense aerobic masterclass, then now’s your chance! Based around a sample from Steve Winwood’s Valerie, Eric Prydz’ hyper-sexual remix and video quickly became the benchmark for pushing boundaries in music videos. Censors became a little hot under the collar when presented with it, taking issue with scenes of the women rubbing their breasts and smacking their own asses repeatedly. It probably didn’t help that there were some very finely crafted bikini waxes on show either. Even Michelangelo would have had a problem sculpting something so fantastic! The only problem you might face as a viewer is forgetting there’s still a song playing somewhere…
BENNY BENASSI – SATISFACTION
It’s difficult to watch this video without feeling a rising tide of something or other, the twitching of certain body parts, the urge to stand up and shout the feelings deep inside you… that isn’t how you perform safe construction work! No gloves while using a power drill? No overalls or other protective gear except goggles? What kind of half-assed operation are people running here anyway?!
All jokes aside, this hot and sweaty number from Italian DJ Benny Benassi achieved some degree of international notoriety with this rather racy video. Contrary to popular belief, the robotic male voice you hear doesn’t belong to Stephen Hawking. Although judging by the action going down you think he must have been desperate to help out!
BRITNEY SPEARS – WORK BITCH
You know you must be getting on in years when you realise that Britney Spears’ light doesn’t shine as bright as it once used to. The former untouchable Queen of Pop has had her crown stolen and bent out of shape by numerous contemporaries and competitors in the past decade, all determined to usurp and bury the woman whose provocative school uniform once took by the world by storm.
Last year’s single Work Bitch was a concerted effort by Team Britney to reclaim her throne, and it showed that while Britney still has what it takes in the sexy dancing market, her songs are still as godawful as they ever were. Britney preens, poses and thrusts from a wide range of exotic-looking locations while dipping into that weird faux-English accent she used on Will.I.Am collaboration Scream & Shout. Britney is still a major star in her own right, but when her main rivals appear to have no limits, it’s difficult to regain your place. Besides, after Britney’s much-publicized, upsetting and uncomfortable mental breakdown, perhaps she should take the rest of her life off and count some of that money.
MILEY CYRUS – WRECKING BALL
It may have become the source of much amusement and the launch pad of a million new memes, but Miley’s video did exactly what it was supposed to do: get the world talking. Quite honestly, this one has a bit of everything. There’s nakedness, destruction, more nakedness, a woman licking a sledgehammer and sexily posing with some rusting chains, more destruction and a little more nakedness. If they didn’t make music videos for this purpose then just what the hell are they there for?!
After much discussion and derision, the daughter of country music turkey Billy-Ray Cyrus claimed it was a series of strong metaphors for the end of a relationship. Looks like this girl has an achy breaky heart of her own…
RIHANNA FEAT. MIKKY EKKO – STAY
Rihanna has never been an artist that likes to leave much to the imagination, but the video for this ballad brings a little bit of welcome tenderness and quiet to proceedings. Instead of vamping it up in her usual collection of outfits (or indeed a lack of them!), Stay finds our dear Rhi-Rhi looking all sad and vulnerable in a bathtub. Overall it’s a much needed change of pace, and shows that beauty and suggestion can be summoned in any number of guises.
IGGY AZALEA FEAT. T.I. – CHANGE YOUR LIFE
You know you’re backing a winner when every video of this stunning Aussie diva is marked by the words “(EXPLICIT)” after the title. Change Your Life is no different and finds the irresistible Iggy writhing on a diving board, a bed and in a dressing room in very little while threatening to “lay your husband.” No stranger to a controversial line or simply showing off, Iggy hits her usual heights again. Beats having to look at Iggy Pop for once at least!
KANYE WEST – BOUND 2
“I wanna fuck you hard on the sink,” intones Kanye at one point during this song, which regularly blurs the lines between hilarious parody and straight-faced normality. Featuring his wife, the little-known and shy Kim Kardashian, Bound 2 includes the happy couple getting down and dirty on a motorbike as it chugs down a desert highway (“Look, no hands!”) as well as a series of tender embraces and seductive looks. It’s erotic, strange and curious all at once.
SEREBRO – MAMA LOVER
It’s a well-worn cliché that men like to think about what women get up to when they’re in a group together. But life isn’t like Porky’s, so it’s not about pillow fights and lipstick lesbianism, despite all of our deeply held wishes. No, just like men, women like to act as silly and freely as they can when nobody’s around to watch and interfere. The video for Mama Lover finds a trio of close-knit friends cruising through the city streets without a care in the world. It also just so happens that they are all unbelievably beautiful too. Mama Lover might just be as rehearsed as any other video out there, but its unique and well-crafted devil-may-care attitude will put a smile on your face.
ALEX GAUDINO FEAT. CHRISTAL WATERS – DESTINATION UNKNOWN
Big bands are not really known for their sexy routines and skimpy outfits. Any half-time event at a college football game is taken up by a slow procession of people honking into brass instruments and pounding drums bigger than the users themselves. So let’s all say thanks to Alex Gaudino and Christal Waters for blowing away the cobwebs with this exciting video. The would-be band, all short skirts and leg-stretching high heels, strut and vogue with the best of them and give the impression that they’re an invading army looking to take over the world. Hey, they can annex us any time they like, right guys?
KYLIE MINOGUE – SEXERCISE
What is it about Australia and exporting goddess-like singers? The original pixie of pop is still going strong after all these years, and based on this evidence will be around for a long time yet. Make sure you’re not wearing glasses when watching this for the first time as they WILL steam up! Kylie’s suggestion for a bout or two of sexercise as she hangs loosely from frames and performs acrobatics in a white leotard and red heels is enough to get you renewing that gym membership again.
SHAKIRA FEAT. RIHANNA – CAN’T REMEMBER TO FORGET YOU
Shakira very famously talked about her “small and humble” breasts in Whenever, Wherever, the song that made her name in the English-speaking world, but there remains nothing small and humble about a career that has seen her remain as one of pop’s biggest forces. The diminutive Colombian is one of the world’s most desirable people and her records still pack out the charts. Can’t Remember To Forget You is another in a long line of hits, helpfully aided by the natural beauty and poise of Shakira and her newfound friend, Rihanna.
THE WHITE STRIPES – I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF
The Detroit duo not only made a great effort at this number made famous by Dusty Springfield in 1964, but managed to enlist British supermodel Kate Moss to perform an ultra-sexy black and white striptease for the accompanying video. In interviews at the time, Moss claimed she had never pole danced or stripped so provocatively until she began rehearsing for this video directed by Sofia Coppola. Although Ms Moss’ performance does seem to be a bit jumpy and nervous at times, it adds a more realistic and human angle to it. Nobody’s perfect after all, right… even the beautiful Moss and the excellent White Stripes. Let’s raise a glass to imperfection!
DURAN DURAN – GIRLS ON FILM
Here’s something a little more retro for you! British New Romantics Duran Duran turned everything up to 10 for this lurid, sexual and altogether strange pop promo. Duran Duran were never really well regarded for subtlety and the combination of bikini-clad models, girls pillow fighting – see… it does happen – and sumo wrestlers leaves little to the imagination. Proving that censors were a little easier to shock back in the day, Duran Duran were forced to cut two versions of this video – one for daytime viewing and the other for when the kids had gone to bed.
N.E.R.D. – LAPDANCE
This staple of late night MTV2 viewing is dark, grimy and sexy. How much more could you want? Featuring what looks like the greatest-but-most-dimly-lit party in the world, Pharrell Williams and his old crew spit their usual rhymes while a bevvy of slender and excitable dancers go wild in the background. Like the chorus says, you can have this lap-dance for free.