If Music Be the Food of Love. . .

Straight Guy,

Out magazine is featuring the Top 100 Greatest, Gayest Albums of All Time.

I'll skip the "how do you define gay music?" brainiac talk and cut to the refrain: I have 32 of the 100. I'm curious, oh, straight friend, how many do you own? Readers, how many CDs are in your stash? Which ones do you love most? Let us know with a comment.

Here's a bit about my top faves on the list.
  • ABBA, Gold: Nothing particularly gay going on here, but "Waterloo" still makes my jump around the apartment with my air guitar.
  • Dusty Springfield, Dusty in Memphis: She had an authentic voice and a knock-out band. Every song is great, but I get carried away by "I Don't Want to Hear it Anymore."
  • Anthony and the Johnsons, "I Am a Bird Now": "This one will tear you up," said the knowing woman in the CD shop as she urged my to buy this a few summers back. How right she was. I'm not even sure I like the music, but the sound is raw and personal.

The Top 100 is a pretty good mix of styles, and not too heavy on the music for those nights spent alone, broken hearted, and newly single. How many nights can you drink a slosh of vodka tonics, put on Judy Garland's Judy at Carnegie Hall, and belt away with her to "The Man That Got Away" before you realize that you're only punishing yourself. Okay. . . well, turns out the answer is many, many times.

--Gay Guy

Thanks GG,

I own 23 of the Gayest Albums of All Time. Interesting criteria though. So Nirvana is gayer than the Village People -- who didn't make the list, at all? It's a schlocky stereotype, sure. But Donna Summer made the list... twice.

One of my college roommates was gay, but not out yet, and only fooling himself. He was also very active in his Jewish faith. So, like a moth to a flame, he was nuts for the Barbara Streisand Christmas Album. It didn't make Out's list, but my memories of him belting out Christmas Carols and mimicking Babs will always make it the Gayest. Album. Ever.

Nice guy.
I'm sure it was a confusing time for him. I give him points for bravery. Whether he was fearless or clueless, I still don't know. But that album basically outed him... and nearly converted him.

A few admissions:
  • The Immaculate Collection: The last, good, greatest hits album. Who does this anymore? Who even qualifies? U2?
  • Freedom 90: Perhaps the greatest pop song of that decade. I once saw a grungy band in a dive bar in Dewey Beach rock their version of this into the stratosphere.
  • Deee-Lite: Yes.
  • Prince: Longtime fan, even of the indulgent stuff (3 out of every 4 albums), but doesn't he deserve his own category, somewhere beyond the LGTBQ spectrum?
I'll have to check out "I Am a Bird Now." Never heard of it before.

--Straight Guy

Straight Guy,

I love the layers of irony in the story about your college room mate. The closeted gay guy who is Jewish thrilling to an album of Christmas songs recorded by a Jewish woman who is a gay icon. The truth is always odder than fiction, isn't it?

--Gay Guy


LB said...

Glad to see Laura Nyro and Labelle on the list. Great tunes, great voices. Gonna pop mine in to the CD player NOW.

Straight in Upstate said...

Where is the soundtrack from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert? One of the best sing-along soundtracks of all time - can I get a witness, GG? (Crowning moment: at least three versions of I Love the Night Life). I assumed that was a gay classic, but maybe it's just a classic soundtrack to a gay movie. Some interesting choices on there - liked the Lou Reed and David Bowie, a little surprised there wasn't more old school wimmins music on there like Holly Near.

Straight Guy said...

UPDATE: Straight Guy's comments added to original post.


TimBo said...

Isn't Queen the obvious choice for Gayest group.

Virgin blogger said...

I only own four of the albums. Considering I'm a greatest hits type of girl, I didn't think I would have even one album on the list. Now what does it mean if I have Prince's greatest hits volumes 1-4? Should I substitue Purple Rain for this? If this is the case, make that 5.

To highlight one album in particular: Cyndi Lauper's "She's So Unsual" should be considered part of everyone's top 100 greatest regardless of the category. As a girl of 7 yrs old in 2rd grade, it was my first tape and I played it until the tape ripped. Even then I tried to repair it and play it again.

garrett munroe said...

i mostly think of "gay music" as being about male/male love. all types i guess. but i guess that sex has to be there. do you know "the way his collar falls" by the band SAVES THE DAY?

meblog2 said...

I want to nominate Deborah Harry and Blondie. Just try being gay without "Call Me" or "I Want that Man."

CS said...

I own 24 of the top 100, tho given the dates next to some of them, perhaps I was ahead of my time...