Putting the pipe organ back into porn

JONNY WATKINS asks what the porn of yester-year and Disney films have in common.

70s 80's Films fornication Music porn

Porn. It’s pretty controversial. Especially in a uni environment such as this one, it inevitably comes up in debate on almost a daily basis, often conjuring up issues of sexual abuse, sexual health and sexism.

Undoubtedly, it’s a pretty controversial subject for a reason, and meaningful debate has to occur.

But, despite the negatives that have derived from pornography in general, it remains a potentially powerful art form – in particular, the music that will accompany footage of two (or maybs a few more) persons engaging in a bit of casual intercourse.  If you were to look at some of the biggest porno films since the 70s, you’d find an especially smooth selection of soundtracks, exemplifying not the only the funkiest grooves of the 70s, but also the finest synth-pop of the 80 or raunchiest r&b of the 90s. Admittedly, it’s rarely of the same epic proportions as Hans Zimmer’s Inception OST, or as memorable as Hakuna Makata, but the very best certainly have something to offer. Below are just a few personal faves:

Deep Throat (1972)

...The Laurels, 20 Newmarket Road, Cambridge, CB5 8DT

…The Laurels, 20 Newmarket Road, Cambridge, CB5 8DT

Storyline? Linda Lovelace embarks on a monumental journey to achieve an orgasm. Turns out her clitoris is located in the back of her throat.

The music? The fact is, the music is hardly going to impress on the grounds of production, or musical endeavour. Surrounded in controversy, due to the FBI attempting to confiscate all copies of the OST upon its release, identities of any of the musicians who performed on it are pretty difficult to come by. Pretty exciting stuff… An orgy of dirty jazz, low-grade funk, the odd wah-wah guitar and cringeworthy lyrics  (“I’d Like to Teach the World to Screw”), it’s hardly representing a highpoint for the funk/soul genre. Yet, despite its rather whimsical sound today, the fact remains that the OST wouldn’t sound out of place at perhaps a risqué drinks party, or a sexual health clinic.

New Wave Hookers (1985)

Right from the get go, with a title like that, they've got the punters' attention

Right from the get-go, you’ve got the punters’ attention

Storyline? 2 guys ditch the conventional boyhood hopes of becoming a fireman or policeman, and instead dream of being pimps. They discuss opening an escort service featuring “new wave bitches” who would become aroused after they hear New Wave music. Needless to say, it’s not that pc.

The music? The story is, minus the sexual shenanigans of the two boisterous teenagers, based upon music. In particular, the new wave, a genre encapsulated in the works of Adam and the Ants and Japan – early 80s artists with little concern for wearing too much make-up, and delving into the epitome of cool, shoulder pads. Once again, by modern standards of production, the OST does little to excite those on a technical level. Saying that though, it’s pretty grunge, dirty even in sound, working almost perfectly in-sync with the film’s outlandish design. Some could say that the costume designer had more headbands than sense, but that would be way too funny.

Since then, it would seem that there’s been a significant decline in soundtracked x-rated footage – the ‘nothingness of the noughties’. Hardcore pornography viewers would seemingly prefer to now hear the grunt of an actual person, than a big bottom bass line. Should this cause us to worry, not only for music in general, but the damaging consequences of pornography on the wider society? The lack of music, or some sort of backing track would seem to be an attempt to make the footage ‘more realistic’, so that one’s wildest, kinkiest scenario can take a step closer to reality.

Let’s be honest, as much as you would like it to be the case, KC & the Sunshine Band aren’t gonna be accompanying you on your next night out to Cindoza or Fez, sound-tracking your drunken pelvic thrusts or questionable finger probes. And for some (including KC) that’s probs a good thing. But with the growth in kinky/fetish-based pornography, ranging from the violent to the literally animalistic, should we be encouraging ‘more realistic’ pornography? Can we be sure to be able to differentiate between the made-up, and the actual? Hollywood’s over-enthusiastic portrayal of human relationships have hardly stopped people’s quest for ‘da one’. If anything, The Notebook and Licence to Wed have only proliferated the human being’s unending search for their soul mate. When an industry such as pornography is concerned, in an industry that lacks regulation, lacks caution, music may be the only answer…

Hey girl, can't be easy making sweet, sensual love to parody of perfection

‘Hey girl, can’t be easy making sweet, sensual love to a parody of perfection’

Heavy? Deffo. It’s lump/clit in your throat your stuff.

(A playlist of a few personal faves:)

What’s your opinion? Blatant attempt to talk about pornography on a student website (for jokes or summin), or should we seriously be lamenting the decline of the porno soundtrack?