My Bloody Valentine’s quintessential shoegaze album, Loveless, was released 25 years ago today.
Many now-classic albums came out right around this time a quarter of a century ago, not the least of which was Nirvana’s Nevermind. (See also: U2's Achtung Baby and A Tribe Called Quest's The Low End Theory.) But Loveless stands out from the crowd on the merit of one huge distinction: It’s the greatest doin’ it album ever.
In honor of its 25th anniversary, we offer you this list of 25 reasons to bang to Loveless today.
01. Because it’s an entire generation’s version of putting on some Marvin Gaye. Say you go on a date. You’re into that person but you’re not sure if they’re into you. Then at some point, one of you puts Loveless on the hi-fi. The introduction of Loveless relays one’s eagerness to mate faster than taking off one’s pants. At that point you can tell your genitals to just go ahead and get hyped because you’re about to enter the Bone Zone.
02. Because even if the sex is bad, the soundtrack will still be good. Sometimes a sexual experience is just lame. Maybe you thought it was going to work out and it’s definitely not, the chemistry is all wrong. While you’re in bed and trying to figure out if you should call the whole thing off or if you should just pray that it gets better, you can at least let Loveless deliver you some Grade-A indie rock to listen to while you're hating your whole life.
03. Because Loveless can make sweet sex hot or hot sex sweet. It’s usually one or the other, right? Well, with the aide of Loveless you can easily switch the mood to whichever you desire. The overall sound of the album might be dreamy, but it’s still loud-as-hell rock & roll. You and your partner can pick up on whichever vibe from the album suits you or alternate vibes as you please.
04. Because good taste in music is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Some sounds and people associated with them just don’t work for your naughty bits. Like Parrotheads. Or Deadheads. Or Juggalos. When there’s so much to frown at out there, it's extra rewarding when you find someone who shares your taste in tunes. And when that shared album is Loveless, it’s frequently a match made in the sexual shoegaze stars.
05. Because enthusiastic consent is sexy. Sex is best when it’s done with honesty and enthusiasm. So go at it with gusto or not at all. Be bold and open to a shared, mutually-satisfying experience. Instead of trying to trick someone into letting you into their pants, try Loveless instead. The drums at the beginning of “Only Shallow” somehow magically open legs, I promise. You'll both be happy.
06. Because you can get high on Loveless like a drug. Poppers, pills, pot, ecstasy — there is no end to the list of substances that people might use to try to enhance a sexual experience, but music can have a similar effect on the brain. The powerful sound production on Loveless can change your perception of space, time, gravity and, like, all of creation. For real. Give it a try.
07. Because out of the many good sex albums, Loveless is best. I know tons of folks who like to get down to Portishead. Maybe even a little Björk. Some in my generation prefer Nine Inch Nails, which I guess is understandable, but that wouldn’t do it for me. And nobody can deny the pull-your-clothes-off quality of classic soul music. But Loveless offers a certain headiness that is just freakin’ unbeatable for sexy times.
08. Because like Loveless, you’re worth it. Loveless was famously labored over for years before it came out. It also took a rumored $500k to get the darn thing done. So maybe it takes you a long time to orgasm? Maybe you're shy in bed? Who cares! It also took Loveless a long time to get comfortable and to… uh... get release. Let this album be your inspiration to treat yourself right. Don’t give up, you can get there.
09. Because it can keep you from being a total sleaze. If you’re part of the generation who thinks that Loveless is the sexiest album ever and your potential banging partner has never heard of it, just drop the whole thing. He/She is too young for you and you are not their teacher. Let them go bang someone their own age to Maroon 5 or whatever the hell the kids are into these days, you creep.
10. Because it can help you out with dirty talk. Your lover wants to hear some romantic words? Just look to the lyrics of Loveless. Well, some of them. There is a lot of confusion and insecurity in there, but there is also: “Soft as a pillow / touch her there.” “Tiptoe down / To the holy places.” “Slip your dress / Over your head.” “To lay under her, I want her there.” “Close my eyes / Feel me now.” Sigh.
11. Because it’s depressing as shit while still being beautiful. Loveless is like the musical version of ruins photography. Everything might be falling apart, but gosh, isn’t it weirdly lovely? Many of these songs are so, so sad, but still oddly exhilarating — like sex with an ex or any number of other bad ideas. Just live it and feel lucky that you have a heart that can both soar and be crushed. It’s a privilege not afforded to all.
12. Because you can match your condoms to the album cover. If you can’t protect your heart, at least protect your junk. STIs can be a real buzzkill. But with all of the recent advances in condom design, talking about protection can easily be made a part of the act. Whip out your Loveless-colored pink condom and ask your partner to swirl up on your body like those guitars. (Or say literally anything else, because that’s a terrible line.)
13. Because it can make your bed into a raft for two. Maybe you’re getting down and you’re having a moment. You know, one of those times where the world drops away and the entire universe feels like it’s just you and your partner. (Or partners, we won’t judge.) The swaying, all-encompassing sound of Loveless can make it feel like you’re together out at sea, blissfully riding soft waves to "When You Sleep."
14. Because you can use it to show your intentions. If I showed up to somebody’s house and they showed me their Loveless-styled bed or if I clicked on their dating profile and it said they were into Loveless or if I got in their car and they looked me in the eyes and then put Loveless on the stereo or if they were like “Here, take a copy of my favorite album” and it was Loveless then I would think only one thing: They are DTF.
15. Because the American presidential election is in just a few days and we’re all going to die. These things might actually be two separate facts, but they sure do feel connected right now. When Loveless came out, George H.W. Bush was president and well, those times were almost as scary as these. Many voters think that we’re screwed either way, so why not screw anyway? Election doomsday banging only comes around once every four years. Live it up.
16. Because you can synchronize your moves to the music. With any full album that you know very well, it’s easy to imagine what song is coming up next based on the one you are currently hearing. That means you can choose to actively listen to the music and give yourself performance tips like, “Go down on her during the entirety of ‘To Here Knows When’ and she will be pleased.” Yes, she will.
17. Because in a world full of crap, you’ll always have Loveless. Job got you down? Family problems? Car troubles? Terrible kids? Unpaid bills? Lost at the casino? Lost in the wilderness? Any number of bad things can throw off our little lives. We must take comfort where we can find it. Puppies, kittens, a warm cup of coffee, a starry night. And Loveless. It’s nice. Let it comfort and shelter you while you make a little love.
18. Because Brian Eno hasn’t yet made an ambient album specifically for intercourse. He’s made gorgeous ambient albums for airports, for being on land and for freakin’ Thursday afternoons, but Mr. God of Sound hasn’t ventured in the business of bumpin’ uglies. What gives, Eno? The closest we have is Loveless, as it’s painstakingly produced and Eno-approved. Check out this mini-documentary where it mentions Eno's love of “Soon.”
19. Because you can use the Loveless trick on multiple separate partners. Don’t get caught up searching through your iTunes collection with your pants down. It’s a boner-killer when somebody holds up the fun times because they’re trying to choose the perfect accompanying music. Scroll straight to Loveless, friends. Your partner will think that you picked it just for them, when really it’s your go-to selection for whenever you’re acting as DJ BJ.
20. Because it’s a good soundtrack for anything, really. Are you depressed? In love? Sleepy? Just waking up? Feeling lazy? Feeling energized? Hiding from the world? Blasting music in your car? Alone with your thoughts on the train? Surfing the web late at night? All of these situations are perfect for Loveless, that’s why it’s your best friend. Go ahead, have sex with your best friend. We won’t tell.
21. Because it will make a great story for your friends. This works in the same way as Seinfeld’s famous “yada yada yada” as a conversational shortcut. Your friend says, “So, how did your date go last night?” You say, “Oh, you know. We went out to dinner and then to a bar and then we went to his house and he put on Loveless and I woke up with knots in my hair.”
22. Because it will never be ruined by a bad boyfriend or girlfriend. Music frequently gets tangled up with our emotions. Certain albums often make you remember bummer times or mess with your head. But bang to Loveless in 2016 and this won’t happen. Why? Because if you currently listen to this album you’ve probably also been listening to it for the past 25 years, so it’s already associated with some other jerk from your past. Score!
23. Because you want to have sex with Kevin Shields. It's a bummer that it’s probably never going to happen. He has that super shy thing that makes you just want to dirty him up, but the chances of you getting to hook up with the God of Shoegaze are slim to none. So listen to Loveless instead. He thought of you, the listener, while he was making it, so you can think of him while you’re… making it. Totally works.
24. Because it’s great all the way through. Some albums are 95% great but then there’s just that one song that you just can't stand and you must skip past it every time. But Loveless wouldn’t do you like that. It might take you on a magical carpet ride to outer space and back, but would never interrupt your sexual flow. It’s perfect from beginning to end. Just like you.
25. Because, I mean, have you heard this thing? Dang.