Let me tell you a story. It’s not an easy one to tell, but enough years have gone by now and I feel I’m able to share. It involves a record.
My friend Paul and I were watching The Chart Show one Saturday morning back in early 1990 and they played a minute long video clip of a dance track, from memory* the video featured some creepy ass automatons – monkeys with cymbals and suchlike and the music was an interesting keyboard riff with quite a cool, prominent key change. It was all rather repetitive and very different to my usual stuff. So later that day in Carmarthen I found myself with some change in my pocket and I bought the 12″ of Lil Louis French Kiss, felling very happy that the track had a running time of over 10 minutes – talk about value for money! the 7″ was only about 3 minutes duration.
When I came home my mum was around and asked me what I’d been up to that day, so I told her I’d been into town, played squash, bought a record. ‘Oh, let’s hear it’, said my mother, a lady who has introduced me to more music than I can think of**, ‘Okay, but it might not be your sort of thing’, I said in that patronising way teenagers have, ‘It’s very modern’. True story.
So I popped French Kiss onto the music centre, cued it up, hit play and sat down next to my mother. I tapped my fingers along to the next 5 minutes of shifting, squelching synths and slow rhythm and just as I was getting a little bored, Satan made his move, precisely 5:47 into the tune. The beat slowed slightly and a low lady-moan escaped the speakers. To be followed by another, then another and then by what can only be described, in my subsequent worldly experience, as a frankly unrealistic screaming orgasm. Just to allow adolescents listening with their parents maximum discomfort the music then stops completely, so you can concentrate on the young lady who is quite obviously having the time of her life by this point; this was an entirely unnecessary embellishment in my view, the lady was going for it with so much gusto by that time you could have driven a Sherman tank through the recording studio without obscuring her delight.
So my mother and I, possibly both paralyzed by embarrassment sat there, me looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a combine harvester while a further 4 and a half minutes of orgasmic moaning played out, the music expertly slowing and speeding up at all the right times. As this was going on various questions flickered across the barren tundra of my mind; Do I now have to leave home forever? what precisely do you have to do to a lady to generate that level of enthusiasm?^and why, oh why, did I have to buy the fucking 12″ version?!?
French Kiss finished, to be fair to the lady performer she’d given all she had any more would have risked her straining something and the turntable clicked to a halt. I was a bit lost for words. ‘That is very, umm, modern‘, my mum eventually managed as I bolted upstairs, possibly for ever.
Man, this is possibly only the second time I’ve listened to it since then and even now I had to steel myself first. ‘French Kiss’ is actually very good, rather clever and let’s face it sounds like a damned good time. Basically compared to this Jane Birkin’s ‘Je T’aime … Moi Non Plus’ and Donna Summer’s ‘Love To Love You Baby’ are a pair of long-bloomered, elderly maiden aunts. ‘French Kiss’ this may be, but this is no peck on the cheek this is, umm, full penetration; quite possibly turbo penetration. Oh, dearie me.
Definitely rather modern.
PS – The B-side is insipid rubbish.
*I won’t look at the video until later, see how (in)accurate my memory is.
**Big fan of The Stranglers and the person who when I was playing AC/DC Fly On The Wall, told me that I might like a band called Led Zeppelin who she and my dad had seen play in London once – yeah right, what do you know old woman!
^my own fumblings thus far had failed to find that particular starter motor.