Friday, April 2, 2010

Songs that Changed the Landscape of Human Thought and Understanding: Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy"

While we often make light of sex, it is a serious matter. Without it, none of us would be on this planet. It's so important that even God is quoted as saying, "Be fruitful, and multiply" in his most famous literary work, The Holy Bible: The King James Version (Genesis 1:22). At least he didn't command us to "Be multiple and fructify." That would probably hurt.

However, people willingly torture themselves in a variety of ways in an effort to procure sex. They will lift heavy inanimate objects over and over, have all the hairs simultaneously ripped from the areas surrounding the genitals and anus, wear leather pants in public, willingly, and get really drunk for the sole purpose of intentionally lowering their standards. These strange rituals are socially accepted forms of becoming sexy, something we all want to be.

But what if one was TOO SEXY? Right Said Fred ask this important question in their 1991 hit "I'm Too Sexy." The group's lead singer, Richard Fairbrass, singing atop a musical backdrop of infectious House beats, observes, "I'm too sexy for my shirt / so sexy it hurrrrrrrrrrrts." This is a metaphysical problem most of us don't anticipate. What would happen if you were so sexy it literally hurt? Would you have to go to the doctor? Would you be dehydrated? Would your blood pressure go through the roof? He's also "too sexy for Milan, New York and Japan" (it's "Japon" in the Spanish version!). Well, if he's too sexy for the hippest, most urbane, fashion capitols in the world, would he have to make like an astronaut and get in a spaceship whose destination was the mythical Sexy planet rumored to circle Alpha Centauri? After the song's bridge, which features an exceptionally faithful homage to The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Third Stone from the Sun," Richard Fairbrass extends the state of being "too sexy" to its logical, and ultimate, destination, as he sings, "I'm too sexy for my cat / Poor pussy, poor pussycat." I'm not even going to comment on this one.

Right Said Fred accomplishes something quite extraordinary with "I'm Too Sexy": it is THE most depressing dance anthem in existence. If we were so sexy that we were beyond sex, then humanity would be destroyed. Perhaps this is just one of the main reasons why "I'm Too Sexy," and not, let's say, Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," My Bloody Valentine's "Only Shallow," and Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back," is easily the greatest song of the early 1990s.

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