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Top 50 Sexy Pop Songs

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30. Righteous Brothers - "Ebb Tide" (1965)

Righteous Brothers - Anthology
Courtesy Rhino

This is perhaps the king of 1960s sexual metaphors in a pop song. A number of versions of this song were recorded in the 1950s, but few recordings of any song can boast of such an orgasmic buildup in the structure of orchestrations and vocals as this Righteous Brothers version. This was the soundtrack of countless makeout sessions during the decade. The Righteous Brothers hit #5 on the pop singles chart with this classic.

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29. Breeders - "Cannonball" (1993)

Breeders - "Cannonball"
Courtesy 4AD

There are few instrumental sounds in pop and rock sexier than Kim Deal's lead guitar in "Cannonball." The lyrics are vague, but the vocals themselves sound like a sexual come on. "Cannonball" was the Breeders first successful single reaching #2 on the modern rock chart and just missing the pop top 40 at #44.

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28. Beach Boys - "Wouldn't It Be Nice" (1966)

Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Courtesy Capitol Records

Perhaps it is a tribute to the greatness of this song that it has been criticized both for pointing out the sexual yearning of youth and being too conservative in encouraging waiting until marriage for sex. To this ears, the song is quite sexy in the falsetto yearning for a day when, "There wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do." This is the opening track on the Beach Boys' legendary Pet Sounds album and it landed at #8 on the pop singles chart.

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27. Diana Ross - "Love Hangover" (1976)

Diana Ross - Diana Ross
Courtesy Motown

Diana Ross embraced disco with this classic. There is a languid feel that was encouraged in the studio. Reportedly, Diana Ross danced around to the disco break, hummed, and sang bits of the song as she relaxed into the performance. There is a carefree, letting go, sexy feel to the recording that has helped "Love Hangover" to become such a classic. The song became Diana Ross' fourth solo #1 pop single.

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26. Teddy Pendergrass - "Close the Door" (1978)

Teddy Pendergrass - Life Is a Song Worth Singing
Courtesy Philadelphia International

R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass sounds effortlessly romantic when he sings. There is a slight quaver that amounts to something like a sexual shiver in his voice. "Close the Door" details the joy in being able to enjoy sex with a lover after a long day's work. This song hit #1 on the R&B singles chart and peaked at #25 on the pop singles chart.

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25. U2 - "Mysterious Ways" (1991)

U2 - "Mysterious Ways"
Courtesy Island Records

U2 have indicated that "Mysterious Ways" was one of their more difficult songs to write with it originally consisting solely of a bass groove. Lyrically, there is a sort of mysticism combined with what sounds like nearly explicit sexuality with lines like, "If you want to kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel." "Mysterious Ways" hit #9 on the pop singles chart and topped both rock and modern rock charts.

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24. LL Cool J - "Doin' It" (1996)

LL Cool J - "Doin' It"
Courtesy Def Jam

LL Cool J turned the loverman heat on high here. LeShaun's vocals bathed in sexual ecstasy are key to the success of "Doin' It." Her repeated, "doin' it and doin' it and doin' it well" becomes hypnotic. The song became LL Cool J's third top 10 pop hit peaking at #9.

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23. Bob Dylan - "Lay Lady Lay" (1969)

Bob Dylan - "Lay Lady Lay"
Courtesy Columbia

Bob Dylan is not an artist who immediately comes to mind when thinking of sexy pop music. However, the simplicity of the request for a lover to come to bed sung in a low croon makes this a sexy classic. It became a #7 pop hit for Bob Dylan and one of the biggest pop singles of his career.

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22. Madonna - "Justify My Love" (1990)

Madonna - "Justify My Love"
Courtesy Warner Bros.

This #1 hit single by Madonna is most prominently remembered for the controversy that greeted the accompanying sexually explicit music video. However, the song itself is quite powerful and enthralling in its dreamy, beat heavy celebration of carnal coupling.

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21. Shakira - "Underneath Your Clothes" (2002)

Shakira - "Underneath Your Clothes"
Courtesy Epic

Rarely has there been more extravagant praise for a male lover than Shakira's "Underneath Your Clothes." The physicality implied is quite sexual itself, but the spiritual implications in the song raise it above the norm. This was Shakira's second top 10 pop hit single in the US peaking at #9.

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