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Gruesome Twosome: Let Me Make Love Edition

The Esso Trinidad Steel Band: “If You Let Me Make Love To You, Then Why Can’t I Touch You”
LP: The Esso Trinidad Steel Band, 1971 | BUY

Ronnie Dyson: “(If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can’t I Touch You?”
LP: If You Let Me Make Love To You, Then Why Can’t I Touch You?, 1970 | BUY

Happy Fourth of July. I have a couple of versions of the song “If You Let Me Make Love To You, Then Why Can’t I Touch You” to share here. Although the title indicates otherwise, this is not a country tune but a silky, soulful ode to the frustrations of not connecting on a personal level — the old “the sex is great, but he’s dumb as a rock” saw. Ronnie Dyson’s original lit up the charts in 1970 due to its warm, Latin-esque arrangement, which complemented Dyson’s beautiful and oddly feminine voice well. Unique outfit The Esso Trinidad Steel Band included “Let Me Make Love” among the repertoire on its self-titled 1971 LP (produced by Van Dyke Parks!). The band removes the tension in Dyson’s version and comes up with a summery instrumental perfectly suited to Mai Tais on the Carribbean sands. A cool NPR story on Esso’s unlikely tour with Liberace can be heard here.

One Thought on “Gruesome Twosome: Let Me Make Love Edition

  1. Once upon a time “making love” meant to romance or woo — I’m trying to remember the old 40’s or 50’s song that makes this meaning clear but it’s escaping me. I’ve always wondered when and how the phrase came to be a synonym for having sex.

    At first I misinterpreted this song as using the term in the older sense, but I think you’re right and that makes it a fairly subtle and poignant topic for a pop song.

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