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.
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 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?