Minnesota’s legendary for its cold winters. How do we survive? By steaming them up. As part of The Current’s Valentine’s Day celebrations, our local music team picked 17 songs that put the X in sex and prove that Minnesota can go toe to toe with any state in the union when it comes to…well, uniting. What song do you want to soundtrack your Valentine’s Day observations? Make a request!
Vanity 6, “Nasty Girl” (1982)
A forthright production that does not put its spoken-word interlude to waste, “Nasty Girl” became the signature song of one of two projects (along with the Time) Prince created to accompany him on tour in a Minneapolis Sound showcase. “When I heard ‘Nasty Girl,'” group member Brenda Bennett told The Current, “I went, ‘Oh my God, that song is going to be a hit.'”
Apollonia 6, “Sex Shooter” (1984)
When Vanity left and was replaced by Apollonia, Vanity 6 became Apollonia 6. This song, which the band are seen performing in Purple Rain, has become a cult classic with several cover versions — including one by Of Montreal with Kid Sister. Prince’s version was released on the 2019 Originals collection.
The Girls, “S-E-S-E-X” (1984)
By 1984, André Cymone was out of Prince’s orbit and bolstering his own reputation as a writer and producer. The members of the Girls saw their band as a response to, and improvement upon, Prince’s girl groups. Unfortunately they never shot any videos, but this single from their Columbia Records album Face to Face suggests a scenario that would have really made some eyes pop at MTV. “The reality of a girl wanting to get as much out of a sexual experience as a boy shouldn’t offend anybody,” said group member Germain Brooks.
The Wallets, “Totally Nude” (1986)
Okay, not precisely a steamy song…but getting totally nude is a pretty good start, especially if you throw in a video worth of fetishes including rodents, tighty whities, and vocoder. First Minnesota music video to make a Duchamp reference?
Prince, The Scandalous Sex Suite (1989)
Too scandalous for streaming! There are no shortage of Prince songs about sex, but maybe his most forthrightly vinyl-warping, collar-loosening, speaker-shaking erotic eruption is this 1989 EP (or, in ’80s parlance, “maxi-single”) expanding on the Batman track “Scandalous” with the very enthusiastic participation of the film’s star Kim Basinger, whose collaborations with Prince at that time were…let’s just say more than musical. Seek it out if you dare.
Mint Condition, “Gettin’ It On” (1996)
You know we couldn’t have a list of steamy songs without some sweet chimes and harmonies from the ’90s. While 90% of the lyrics in this song are just a repetition of the title, Stokley Williams and Keri Lewis make the most of what remains, including a clarification that in this love connection, going down means going all the way down to the toes.
Next, “Too Close” (1997)
Minnesota’s most infamous sexy song not penned by Prince, “Too Close” is also one of the biggest hits ever to come out of the Gopher State, topping the Billboard 100 and soundtracking countless denim-on-denim makeout sessions. Not bad for a song that samples Kurtis Blow’s “Christmas Rappin’.” Four years later, boy band Blue would top the U.K. charts with a cover version.
Janet Jackson, “Would You Mind” (2001)
Janet Jackson has so many sexy songs that there are entire posts devoted to ranking them, and this might be her steamiest track. Written and recorded in collaboration with her longtime Minnesota collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (now you know why your windshield still fogs up when you drive through Edina), “Would You Mind” is an explicit catalog of what Ms. Jackson is hoping to get for, from, and with you. Her 2002 Live in Hawaii concert film contains footage of one of the most unforgettable audience-participation segments in memory.
The Chalice, “Push It” (2012)
In this percolating jam from the Minneapolis trio that introduced Lizzo to local audiences, she, Sophia Eris, and Claire de Lune trade gossip on past partners — and drop a gauntlet for potential ones. “What you gonna do to me?” You’d better have a good answer.
Caroline Smith, “Half About Being a Woman” (2013)
Minnesota’s sexiest song about a hookup that doesn’t happen. (Probably?)
Nooky Jones, “Sweet Wine” (2017)
With their sharp suits and snazzy showmanship, Nooky Jones don’t necessarily exude a heavy-breathing mood…but their songs sneak up on you, like this ballad about the virtues of taking it slow and savoring every sip. (Yes, that’s a metaphor.)
Static Panic, “Fluid Funky Butter Sweet” (2017)
Let there be bass! Static Panic’s soaring funk pop will take you there with a choral climax.
Devata Daun, “In My Room” (2018)
The music video captures this track’s listlessly smoldering vibe, with some sultry sax to turn up the heat and an ambiguous onscreen viewer suggesting a voyeuristic scenario.
Dizzy Fae, “Booty 3000” (2018)
In classic Dizzy Fae fashion, this bop manages to be both sexy and fun. She clearly communicates her needs, and if you’re not on her level…well, try again in 982 years.
Jeremy messersmith, “Sweep Me Off My Feet” (2019)
Sometimes a little me time is just what the doctor ordered when your to-do list includes “explore the sensual garden that is the human body.”
26 BATS!, “Call Me Daddy” (2019)
Surging and crashing on a pontillistic spray of notes, this 26 BATS! jam just about burned down The Current studio…and they didn’t even take the cover off the piano.
Dua Saleh, “Sugar Mama” (2019)
Call it a story song…with a happy ending, and some educational mythbusting to boot(y).