LOVE ON THE STEREO: FOLIO WEEKLY’S VALENTINE’S DAY SEXXXYTIME PLAYLIST

When The Beatles sang “The love you make is equal to the love you take” in the closing moments of Abbey Road, it didn’t take a genius to figure they were talking about copulation. Like Tristan and Isolde, Romeo and Juliet, and David Gest and Liza Minnelli, music and romance have enjoyed a timeless partnership. This coupling of melody and ardor harks back to the earliest humans as they crouched around the fire, drunk on the gore of rancid gazelle meat, howling gibberish while thumping jawbones on monkey skulls and conveying sweet nothings like “I believe that I have strong feelings for you. Let’s take this thing to the next level. However, keep in mind that if we run out of this meat, I might eventually crack your brains open, bleed you out and nosh on your flesh.”

From classical works to R&B crooning, musicians have spent centuries, well, trying to get laid. And to help you do the same, we’ve hand-selected a “sex pack” (see what we did there?) of recorded pieces that are sure to add a little heat to that California King-sized air mattress you lug around in the windowless, shag-carpeted conversion van.

Anything — Anything! — by Al Green

From “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?” to “Let’s Stay Together,” Al Green’s classic soul hits have been used to initiate many acts of sexual congress. Of course, in 1974 Green’s girlfriend poured a pan of scalding-hot grits on him while he was soaking in the bathtub and then immediately went into the next room and blew her brains out. But try not to think about that. It might affect performance.

“Love Making Music” — Barry White

The Titan of Titillation, the Mammoth of Mating, the Behemoth of Boning, Barry White boasts a catalog of freaky-deaky, bed-breaking ballads. “Love Making Music” features a laidback production of smooth jazz trumpets, rubbery bass and sweeping strings, while White cracks wise on the classic antiquity-era poetic device of instrument-as-genital: “You blowin’ on me like a saxophone/I’m blowin’ on you like a trombone.” (Fun fact for lovers: Barry recorded this vocal track while lying nude on the studio floor, covered in rose petals and sipping on a monstrous banana milkshake.)

“Heroes” — David Bowie

Admittedly written during the mid-’70s when The Thin White Duke was snorting so many Thin White Lines that he could have gnawed through steel bars, Bowie’s 1977 single is the ultimate Us Against Them number that appeals to most lovers, or at least those who feel irrationally hostile toward the outside world while celebrating their Codependent Womb Built for Two. To wit: “And you, you can be mean/And I, I’ll drink all the time/’cause we’re lovers, and that is a fact.” In your face, healthy and stable relationships!

“Conversation with a Mule” — Walter Brennan

The star of classic Westerns on big and small screens from 1925-’74, protean Americana artist Brennan was known for releasing a series of spoken-word recordings that described a simpler time in this great country of ours, one that usually involved farm work. A deep cut from 1962, “Conversation with a Mule” uses the leitmotif of farmer-and-mule as a deliciously coy analogy about the inevitable carnal “give-and-take” that takes place in countless S&M/bondage sessions: “Old mule, you’re the son of a jack-ass/and I’m the image of God/yet here we work hitched together/a-toilin’ and a-tillin’ the sod.” This pioneering cornpone-fueled predecessor of Fifty Shades of Grey poses the question: “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, mule?”

“Little Wing” — Jimi Hendrix Experience

Considering there’s a good chance that you are tripping your brains out while listening to Hendrix, if you find yourself “settling” for a less-than-ideal sexual partner, just squint your eyes and lean into those lines of green color shifting and shooting through the obsidian field of consciousness pulsating within. As your neural pathways go bonkers, you’ll probably forget you’re about to accidentally make a human being you’ll have to take care of for the next 18 years — way to go, hippie — but at that point, who really cares?

“Lovin’ You” — Minnie Ripperton

Tender, sensuous and straight-up hormone detonating, Minnie Ripperton’s 1975 smash is a languid, three-and-a-half minute bra-destroying ballad that floats along on a cloud of “la la la la la”s and “do en do do doo”s and capped off by a piercing, knee-buckling falsetto blast that will fell even the most porking-indifferent paramour. In a curious aside, on Sept. 2, 1981, hundreds of kestrels slammed through the stained-glass windows of St. Catherine’s Cathedral in Utrecht, Netherlands, spraying multicolored shards and feathered corpses throughout the 15th-century church. Authorities were initially baffled by this bizarre phenomenon until altar boy Ardie Slabbekoorn admitted that he’d been blasting “Lovin’ You” while polishing the reliquary,  which apparently agitated the birds into a berserk, suicidal frenzy.

Honorable Mention:

• “Where is Thumbkin?” (Michael Bublé)

• “You Can Eat Crackers in My Bed Anytime” (Barbara Mandrell)

• “Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb?” (traditional hymn)

• “Dur dur d’être bébé! (It’s Tough to Be a Baby)” (Jordy)

• The Mattress Firm theme song

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