I Touch Myself
|"I Touch Myself"|
|Single by Divinyls|
|from the album Divinyls|
|Released||19 November 1990|
|Recorded||Groove Masters Studio, Santa Monica, 1990|
|Divinyls singles chronology|
"I Touch Myself" is a song written and recorded by the Australian rock band Divinyls. It was released in November 1990 as the lead single from their fifth album, diVINYLS, and is a paean to eroticism, orgasm and female masturbation.
The single achieved great success, reaching number four on the U.S Billboard Hot 100 on 18 May 1991; meanwhile in their native country, Australia, the single reached the number one position. The song was written by Divinyls band members Christina Amphlett and Mark McEntee and professional songwriters Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg. It has since been covered by numerous artists.
Composition and recording
Christina Amphlett and Mark McEntee wrote the song in 1990 with the songwriting team of Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg (who have written songs such as "I'll Stand by You," "Like a Virgin," "Eternal Flame," "True Colors" and "So Emotional"). Billy Steinberg had "I Touch Myself" in his notebook; he had written the first verse and the chorus lyric. Amphlett liked it immediately. The next day, McEntee, Steinberg, Kelly, and Amphlett got together and wrote the rest, an unusual move, as Steinberg and Kelly rarely collaborated with others. Putting the song together took a lot of trial and error. It was recorded to two-inch tape, making it difficult to edit. After significant experimentation they came up with an unusual structure with the bridge placed after the first chorus. It's written in the key of F Major.
Usage in other media
The song was featured in the 1997 comedy film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, in the scene where Austin dances to make the Fembots' heads explode. The song was also featured in the Chilean soap opera Graduados and TV show Supernatural. The song was also featured in the 1992 film Prelude to a Kiss. In 2014, some of Australia's leading female artists came together to reincarnate Amphlett's anthem, "I Touch Myself". Each provided their own interpretation and distinct style to the song in an effort to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer.
Promotion and chart performance
In Australia "I Touch Myself" was released on 19 November 1990 on 7" and cassette, and the CD single was released on 3 December 1990. The single debuted at No. 77 on 2 December 1990. On its tenth week on the chart, the song reached No. 1, replacing Vanilla Ice's debut single "Ice Ice Baby", and stayed there for another week. The single was certified Platinum in Australia.
"I Touch Myself" debuted on the UK Singles Chart at No. 69 and on its eighth week it peaked at No. 10, spending a total of twelve weeks in the chart. When released in the United States, the song caused a minor controversy. However, it managed to reach the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 4, and at No. 2 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, after receiving extensive play on modern rock radio, which was more accepting of the song's subject matter. Divinyls are considered a one-hit wonder in the US, as "I Touch Myself" was their only Stateside Top 40.
- Gina Riley infamously parodied the song on Fast Forward.
- In 2000, the Industrial metal band Genitorturers released their album Machine Love which included a cover version of "I Touch Myself", with slightly altered lyrics, making the singer the dominant party in the song, rather than submissive. It is often mistaken to be a Jack Off Jill cover.
- Rolf Harris performed a tongue-in-cheek version, accompanied only by his wobble board and asides full of innuendo, for Andrew Denton's Musical Challenge on the MMM Breakfast Show. This recording was released on the first Musical Challenge compilation album in 2000.
- In 2004, indie pop band Saucy Monky covered the song for their album Turbulence.
- In 2005, the a cappella group Last Call from Cornell University released their fourth album Straight Up, whose fourth track is a cover of "I Touch Myself". This cover is, obviously, a cappella and is sung at a slightly faster pace. In the same year the Belgium all-girls choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers did a classical cover version.
- In September 2006, Australian singer-songwriter and former Bardot member, Tiffani Wood, released the song as the third single from her solo album Bite Your Tongue. It did not make an impact on the ARIA Charts.
- Divinyls version
- "I Touch Myself"
- "Follow Through"
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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