10 of the best (or worst?) innuendoes in rock history
This weekend marks 20 years since the release of blink-182’s Take Off Your Pants And Jacket, a remarkably-titled album that is arguably the high-water mark for smutty rock innuendoes. In celebration, here are 10 of the rock world’s greatest bits of filthy wordplay and eyebrow-raising euphemisms.
Please note: There are differences between puns, innuendoes and double entendres, we know. We’ve put them all together for this list. After all, as Linkin Park said, innuendo doesn’t really matter.
10. KISS – Love Gun
KISS like euphemisms involving loud things that blast. Both Rocket Ride and Take Me use rockets (‘Put your hand in my pocket / Grab onto my rocket’), while Love Gun goes for a penis-as-weapon motif. Seann William Scott describes Love Gun succinctly in the movie Role Models: “It’s about Paul Stanley’s dick, and how this girl’s going to get some of his dick.” Pulitzer stuff, it really is.
9. Aerosmith – Big Ten-Inch Record
Archaic recording formats and leery boasts combine in Aerosmith’s cover of an early ‘dirty blues’ song, and Steven Tyler sounds ever so pleased with himself as he sings of his girlfriend demanding, ‘Now whip out your big 10-inch record of a band that plays the blues.’ Aerosmith later titled their best-of collection Big Ones, and ingeniously called the video version Big Ones You Can Look At. However, they occasionally came up with truly befuddling euphemisms, like in the bakery-confusion anthem Cheese Cake, with the lyric, ‘She knows I can’t resist her / Cheese cake / Got my fingers in her pie / Cheese cake.’
8. ZZ Top – Pearl Necklace
It’s a song about jewellery. Or is it? OR IS IT?
7. The entire output of Bloodhound Gang
Problematic punsters Bloodhound Gang built a career on what were often single entendres – Kiss Me Where It Smells Funny isn’t going to slip by anyone’s radar. Jimmy Pop does occasionally manage a slightly subtler pun though, like, ‘You came twice last year / Like the Sear’s catalogue’, and, ‘Abracadabra, that bra, do you think I could pull it off? / […] Jot me down on your to-do list.’ Pour one out, however, for missed opportunities – surely Diarrhea Runs In The Family should have been called Diarrhea Runs In The Genes?
6. The entire output of Steel Panther
Again, Steel Panther don’t deal in innuendoes so much as full-on, impossible to misinterpret, detailed descriptions of filth. A line like, ‘I’m gonna blow my load at the glory hole’ is really only interpretable in one way. Likewise, ‘Goin’ in the back door / Gettin’ in no matter what / Goin’ in the back door / A little bit muddy but it sure ain’t shut’ is, obviously, a song about robbing a house. Also, it shouldn’t be forgotten that their drummer is called Stix Zadinia, which is just appallingly bad.
5. Turbonegro – If You See Kaye (Tell Her I L-O-V-E Her)
One of the sweeter songs in Turbonegro’s oeuvre, this sees Hank Von Hell asking listeners to pass on a message to his girlfriend Kaye. It’s nice, and possibly had an influence on Britney Spears’ If U Seek Amy a few years later. It comes just a few tracks after the sailing anthem Blow Me (Like The Wind) with its heartfelt chorus, ‘So blow me / Blow me like the wind / Blow me / Blow me once again.’
4. Led Zeppelin – The Lemon Song
‘Squeeze me, baby, ’til the juice runs down my leg / The way you squeeze my lemon has me falling out of bed,’ sings Robert Plant cheerily. The Lemon Song wasn’t Zeppelin’s only foray into slightly confusing food-as-genitals music – Physical Graffiti’s opening track Custard Pie has the refrain, ‘I chew on a piece of your custard pie.’
3. Simple Plan – No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls / Get Your Heart On!
Actually releasing a record is something a lot of bands toil for years without ever getting the chance to do, so it is to Simple Plan’s credit that they decided to commemorate this dreams-coming-true scenario by giving their debut a delightfully shit testicle-based joke title. Cleverer, although accent-dependent, was their third album, Get Your Heart On!, a boner joke that easily slips through the radar. An EP of bonus tracks from the album sessions was released as Get Your Heart On – The Second Coming. Get it?
2. AC/DC – Big Balls
AC/DC have never been a band afraid of committing to a joke, and Big Balls – in which Bon Scott sings about large-scale high-society functions – has them fully going for it, putting their all into what is essentially one three-minute joke. Doing a very silly accent, he takes great delight in belting out lines like, ‘It’s my belief that my big balls / Should be held every night’, and the chorus, in which the whole band shout, ‘We’ve got the biggest balls of them all’, is a thing of delight. AC/DC were also responsible for Givin’ The Dog A Bone (‘Oh, she’s using her head again’), Sink The Pink (‘There’s a woman going down’) and, well, loads.
1. blink-182 – Dude Ranch / Enema Of The State / Take Off Your Pants And Jacket
No other band has come close to this unparalleled run of magnificently filthy album titles. Dude Ranch seems innocuous enough – it’s a type of farm – but can absolutely be read as a salad dressing-based gag about semen (see also: Pearl Jam). Enema Of The State is just a lot of fun (and beats the hell out of the baffling in-jokey working title for the album, Viking Wizard Eyes, Wizard Full Of Lies). But Take Off Your Pants And Jacket is extraordinary: surely the funniest album title of all time.
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