I Touch Myself
|"I Touch Myself"|
|Single by Divinyls|
|from the album Divinyls|
|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 December 1990 as the lead single from their fifth album, diVINYLS, and is a paean to female pleasure, eroticism, orgasm and masturbation.
The single achieved great success, reaching number four on the U.S Billboard Hot 100 on 18 March, 1991; meanwhile in their native country, Australia, the single reached the number one position. The song was written by Divinyls bandmembers 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 D minor. 
Usage in other media
In Chile, the song was featured in the soundtrack of the soap opera Graduados.
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 as a CD single in December 1990 and debuted at No. 31 later that month. After five weeks of being in the chart the song jumped to No. 1 knocking Vanilla Ice's debut single "Ice Ice Baby" off the top spot and stayed there for another week. It debuted on the UK Singles Chart at No. 69 and on its eighth week it peaked at No. 10 (its peak position in the UK) and 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 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.
- It was remade as a dance song by Lenny B featuring Kristy Kay.
- The American Hardcore punk/Powerviolence band Ulcer cover the song on their 1996 album "Indignation" with the titled being changed to "Just Another Label"
- Alternative rock band Eve 6 occasionally covers the song during performances.
- 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 however make an impact on the ARIA Charts.
- In 2007 The Girls of FHM released a cover version and accompanying video.
- On a tour with Ben Kweller and Ben Lee, Ben Folds performed the song live while the trio toured as The Bens.
- In 2009 Pink covered this song during her Funhouse Tour.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic included a portion of this song's lyrics in "Polka Your Eyes Out".
- Australian musician and songwriter Megan Washington covered this song during the band's 2010 Australian tour to promote their album, I Believe You Liar.
- Artist Alana D is listed in the credits of the film Miss March as having recorded a cover of the song for the film. However, the track does not appear on the official soundtrack and is not available for purchase.
- Tori Amos covered the song live in Melbourne, Australia on 15 November 2014.
- Divinyls version
- "I Touch Myself"
- "Follow Through"
End of Year charts
"Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice
|Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single (Divinyls version)
2 February 1991 – 9 February 1991
"I've Been Thinking About You" by Londonbeat
- Surnow, Rose (2013-04-22). "Masturbation Pioneer and "I Touch Myself Singer," Divinyls' Chrissy Amphlett, Dead at 53". Cosmopolitan. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "I Touch Myself Songfacts". Retrieved 14 February 2007.
- Divynls "I Touch Myself" Sheet Music musicnotes.com
- "The Artists". I Touch Myself Project. Retrieved 2014-10-21.
- "Fast Forward - Divinyls - Touch Myself". YouTube. 2007-06-03. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Last Call cover". Retrieved 23 October 2006.
- Steffen Hung. "Divinyls - I Touch Myself". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- Canadian peak
- Steffen Hung. "Divinyls - I Touch Myself". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1991". Aria.com.au. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Canadian RPM Top Singles - 1991". Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Billboard Top 100 - 1991". Retrieved 15 September 2009.