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Hey girl, let Dan Brown sing to you about phone sex

In what is either one of the more leftfield viral marketing ploys in recent memory or a typically shameless Buzzfeed attempt to ride the zeitgeist to maximum page views, evidence of Dan Brown’s mythical pre-literary career as a bestselling author soft rock musician has surfaced online in concordance with today’s release of his first novel in four years, Inferno. Since there’s no way of not talking about it, we’ll get it out of the way upfront: Said evidence includes a song from 1993 about phone sex, which is exactly as subtly, insinuatingly seductive as you’d expect of a song from 1993 about phone sex written and performed by the author of The Da Vinci Code, i.e. yes, there is a blaring sax solo. Is everybody naked yet?

Alongside the sweet, sweet tones of the instrument aimed straight at your Kenny G spot, “976 Love” also contains lyrics that compare more or less favourably with the rest of Brown’s oeuvre: ‘When I’m feeling small you’re the one that I call / I know you understand / I take you to bed, I push the phone to my head (ed.: push??) / You make me feel like a man / I don’t know who you are but I know that you’re real / I feel a face in my mind /I feel your love come pulsing through my telephone line’. Now I know what you’re thinking: eeeeeeeww, but actually, if you follow that unsubtle imagery through to its logical conclusion, that any kind of love is pulsing through Dan Brown’s telephone line suggests that it’s probably another guy on the other end of the phone, which is actually fairly progressive for a straight guy to sing in character in 1993.

Excerpts are also featured from a selection of other cuts from Brown’s two albums, his 1993 self-titled debut and its suspiciously familarly-titled 1994 follow-up Angels & Demons. These include such gems as “If You Believe In Love” (‘You want someone to understand, but don’t know who to call / So you leave your dreams behind you and you start to build your walls’), “Here In These Fields” (‘I look to the west and I know I’ve been blessed / I fall to my knees and I pray’) and the decidedly John Lennon-overhearing  “All I Believe” (‘There’s no God above us, no fire below / There’s no perfect truth, no place we all go’). Maybe if Inferno somehow doesn’t just flop but retroactively negates the massive wealth Brown has accrued from his prior novels, he could be inspired to return to his original calling. FINGERS CROSSED.

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Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris Ward writes and says things about books and music and films and what have you, even when no one is reading or listening.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.

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