Label: Major Minor
Year of Release: 1969
Sometimes when you obtain second-hand records, you're given subtle clues about the personal preferences and habits of their previous owners. My copy of "Flames" by Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera, for example, has "MILLWALL FC" scrawled over-enthusiastically across the label - though I can't really think of a link between the two myself. This record, I'm sorry to say, had a sticky mess across the vinyl I had to remove with an alcohol based cleaner. Whether the sticky mess was actually the substance I had in my worst fears or not I wouldn't like to say.
"Erotica" is, after all, probably one of the saucier "Je T'Aime" related records to have leaked out during the late sixties. It's five minutes of the inappropriately named Rita (I mean, really, Rita has to be one the least erotic names ever, surely? Or a couple of rungs down from Ursula at least) puffing, groaning and climaxing to a funky rhythm. Atop the groove is a psychedelic, organ driven jam which isn't terribly unlike Pink Floyd during their prime, ending in some bizarre "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" styled disorientation, making this a pretty unusual choice for a single. It was certainly never going to get airplay, and there's nothing soft, sensual or gentle about the track itself, so it was primarily depending on shock value to generate the sales which never came. It is a genuinely engaging piece of work, though, and if it weren't for the porno feel to the entire thing I'm sure we'd have heard a lot more about it - and given the fact that Lil Louis' "French Kiss" was an orgasmic club hit in the nineties, it's surprising that a few more retro-minded DJs haven't picked up on this yet.
The B-side "Sexologie" is rather more restrained, sounding as if it could be the new theme tune to "Bottom" if Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson had ever actually had a chance to make another series. Which is appropriate, given that "Erotica" is the kind of single the character Eddie would have owned and treasured himself…