Friday, February 29, 2008

We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off

Song: We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off
Artist: Jermaine Stewart
Album: Frantic Romantic

For the longest time I thought this song was done by Patti Labelle… but it turns out that it’s a dude, Jermaine Stewart. Born in Columbus, Ohio Stewart got his start as a dancer on both American Bandstand and Soul Train, and segued into being a back-up singer for a variety of artists. It was his back-up vocal on the album “Colour by Numbers” by Culture Club that got him his record deal with Arista Records.

Jermaine had a string of hits through the 80’s and also found much success in the clubs, where remixes of his songs were very popular. Though “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” remained his most successful and recognizable song.

While this song always seemed a little goofy for me, I mean… “We don’t have to take our clothes off, to have a good time?” I mean… if you did you’d have a BETTER time no? Well… no, this song was actually about the AIDS epidemic that was sweeping through the country in the 80’s, where a “BETTER time” meant possible death.

Stewart himself succumbed to AIDS in March of 1997 after a long illness. And while this fun yet dated track SOUNDS a bit goofy, it might be the right time, with HIV infections on the rise to give it another listen.

Because we do not need to have unprotected sex people, we can just dance and party all night… and drink some cherry wine. Uh-huh.


We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off

Word is Out

First single from his first record.

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