September 21, 2008

"The 100 Greatest, Gayest Albums (of all time)."

From I have no idea how gay these choices are, but they do seem pretty great.
To create our list of the 100 Greatest, Gayest Albums of All Time, we polled more than 100 actors, comedians, musicians, writers, critics, performance artists, label reps, and DJs, asking each to list the 10 albums that left the most indelible impressions on their lives. After receiving responses from Boy George, Rufus Wainwright, Cyndi Lauper, the Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray, Candis Cayne, Perez Hilton, Nate Berkus, Jake Shears, John Cameron Mitchell, Wilson Cruz, Justin Bond, Darren Hayes, Junior Vasquez, Bruce Vilanch, Janis Ian, the Cliks, Ari Gold, Holly Johnson, and a slew of others, we tallied the results to determine our top-100 list.
So this was about indelible impressions on real people, not any abstract conception of what kind of music is somehow gay. It produced a nice list... and a real tribute to David Bowie.

Which of these albums do I have? 7, 8, 12, 17, 26, 38, 39, 43, 49, 50, 54, 57, 60, 62, 64, 68, 100.


Fred4Pres said...

No one asked Clay Aiken?

Methadras said...

What? There isn't a single death metal album in the lot. How rude.

Beth said...

Have or have had: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 16, 17, 19, 20, 25, 27, 32, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 41, 43, 46, 48, 49, 52, 55, 59, 60, 63, 64, 68, 74.75, 78, 83, 85, 90, 96, 97, 99, 100

Have tracks from:
98, 95, 94, 93, 91, 86, 84, 80, 79, 77, 76, 72, 71, 70, 66, 65, 62, 58, 57, 54, 53, 50, 45, 42, 40, 33, 31, 28, 26, 24, 21, 18, 15, 13, 11, 9

I suppose it would be easier to say I don't have anything from: 8, 10, 14, 22, 23, 29, 30, 36, 44, 47, 51, 56, 61, 67, 69, 73, 81, 82, 87, 88, 89, 92

When I need a big old dose of queer, I crank up Sylvester's "Mighty Real." It doesn't get queerer than that.

chuck b. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chuck b. said...

Not a bad list, esp considering the methodology. A better list would reach back a little further and pick up some early blues. And did I somehow miss mention of Billie Holiday on this list? Because without her...

These lists, however they are compiled, invariably over-represent recent music.

I listened to #10 incessantly when it came out a few years ago, I am a Bird Now, by Antony and the Johnsons (I picked it up after reading a album review in the Advocate at my dentist's office--the only times I ever read magazines: twice a year, for 5-10 minutes at my dentist's office, or on an airplane). Hard album for me to get in to at first, but once I did it really blew my mind and I thought it was amazing. I also enjoy the Scissor Sisters and the Magnetic Fields (although I don't have the most recent music by either).

I prefer to listen to fewer albums many times than to listen to many albums fewer times. So, while I know a lot of the music on this list, only a few left big impressions on me: Husker Du, the Smiths, the Velvet Underground, and Bowie.

Beth said...

And did I somehow miss mention of Billie Holiday on this list? Because without her...

No Ma Rainey, either.

Went out last night with a crowd of my friends,/They must have been women, 'cause I don't like no men./ It's true I wear a collar and a tie, Make the wind blow all the time/They say I do it, ain't nobody caught me, Sure got to prove it on me. (Prove it on Me, 1928)

XWL said...

I'm 20 albums gay on my hard drive currently (not that there's anything wrong with that).

I used to have many of the Bowie, Smiths and Queen (and Donna Summers, too) on vinyl but never bothered updating those to CD or MP3, so if we were to make this a lifetime list, I'd probably have had half of these albums in my collection at one time or another.

And those albums they listed aren't even the gayest albums I've got, I've got most of Kylie Minogue's ouevre, an Edith Piaf compilation, and everything Me'Shell NdegeOcello ever released, now that's some gay stuff (again, nothing wrong with that, though when I went to a Me'Shell concert in the late 90s, saw the largest collection of women with facial hair (not just whiskers, either), that I've personally seen).

Speaking of concerts, gayest concert I've ever attended was a bill with Vaginal Davis opening for The Butchies.

rhhardin said...

I have Carole King, Tapestry. No others.

I do have every Tiffany Echkardt album (starting with Girl Guitar, I bet you can't find that one!). The greatest songwriter of girl's and women's loves, though she seems to be marking time at the moment, having had a decade of albums paralleling her boyfriend through marriage and baby periods. She's settled down into lefty causes, celebrity and horse riding.

Not very gay, however. The loves are of girls for boys.

chuck b. said...

Tiffany Eckhardt likes to ride celebrities?

sierra said...

Some of these would make a good alternate list: gays who make incredibly un-gay albums. Top of that list would be Bob Mould, who while fronting Husker Du put out "Zen Arcade."

zeek said...

I have hundreds of albums and only 9 "gay" ones apparently.

100 listed and NO Barbra Streisand?! LOL

reader_iam said...

Dang. I'm afraid to share how many of these we have (and have had). And not because of the gay thing, but because I'm not sure you'd believe me.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yaz and Erasure but no Depeche Mode. :-(

Jeff with one 'f' said...

I'm surprised that Ann doesn't own any Smiths or Magnetic Fields. Much better lyrics AND music than at least half of the list, especially Patti Smith.

Beth said...

This list is heavily weighted toward the late 70s through mid-90s -- right about the time I was most invested in buying music, clubbing, trading mix tapes with friends...I think a bunch of people in my age range compiled it, gay or not.

vbspurs said...

Tracy Chapman! I once saw her enter a very nice CLK Mercedes in San Francisco.

So much about talkin' about the revolution.

vbspurs said...

No Bronski Beat in the Top 10? Reeks.

paul a'barge said...

More "stick my stinky gay lifestyle in your face" stuff.

Who cares, really?

Beth said...

So much about talkin' about the revolution.

Wrong revolution - she was talking about 45 rpms.

I agree about Bronski Beat, and I would have loved to see Jimmy Sommerville's soundtrack for Orlando somewhere on the list.

Zachary Sire said...

Seeing that Ann owns 54 and 62 completely changes my opinion of her. Music has a way of doing that.

You can tell a lot about someone by their taste in reveals so much (at least for me). I can't date a guy if he has shitty taste in music. It's the #1 deal breaker.

Beth said...

paul, "who cares" is like a teenager's "whatever." We know exactly who cares.

Peter Blogdanovich said...

That Hedrig and the Angry Inch movie is worth a viewing, largely for the sound track. Prince? Prince?

ricpic said...

What's so gay about the Judy Garland album? It's just a great great album the gays have co-opted. Like so many other things. Including the word gay.

Anonymous said...

i have 69 out of these 100 records.
if i thought i was straight would i have to rush out to a gay bar and s**k some d**k pronto?
thank god i'm gay... so it all makes sense!

dick said...

Saw this response on a gay site this afternoon:

Of course, one can't help but snipe. No list of gay albums can not
include (1) opera diva Eleanor Steber live concert at the Continental
Baths in NYC--billed as a "Black Towel Affair" with everybody who was
anybody in attendence and (2) Ethel Merman's Disco album.

The disco album survives at

The Steber album seems to be something that most opera people would
just as soon forget. I'll see if I can somehow get a scan of my LP for
the group. I know that the group members will chortle away at this,
but, really and truly, I picked up a used copy of it a long time ago
because it was a Steber concert. I had no idea what the Continental
Baths were.

Ann Althouse said...

I think it would have been more coherent aesthetically to have a separate list based on what made an impression on male and female gay artists. What's the point of overlapping gay men and gay women? Outside of the political interest in advancing gay rights, I don't see why gay men and gay women are lumped together. This is about art, music, and emotion. How is gay male taste like gay female taste?

Martin said...

I averaged the years on all the albums and it comes out to 1986.5 (the top 25 was 1984.1; the second 25 1986.4; the third 25 1984.7 and the bottom 25 1990.7). I think it is weighted towards post 1980 music. I would also add there was no opera! How can you be gay without Maria Callas? Or Edith Piaf? Barbra Streisand?

I am tres gay. So I should own at least 51 of the top 100 albums. A paltry 28 makes me no more than metrosexual.

See my full comments at

bill said...

Gayest concert ever attended? Probably Joan Armatrading a few years ago. I'll admit I felt a little out of place when the rest of the crowd sang along -- with gusto -- to "Willow." I had no idea that song was an anthem.

Anyway, I tired of continually clicking to the next page by about album 50, so did Two Nice Girls make the cut? If not, that list can go to hell. And Pete Shelley's "Homosapien;" which the BBC banned due to "explicit reference to gay sex." Never got that myself, but I tend not to pay attention to lyrics. Great song.

Joe said...

If gays are supposed to come from all walks of life, shouldn't the top 100 gayest albums be, well, the top 100 albums?

chuck b. said...

"How is gay male taste like gay female taste?"

I think that particular distinction is stronger in adulthood than it is adolescence, and rock is fundamentally adolescent.

The sexuality of the music is flexible and available to different interpretations. Beyond that, many other themes are universal. Hence so many straight people owning these freaky gay albums.

dick said...

Another comment from the gay website on gay albums - and he makes a lot of sense for the gays who are a little older:

I have a mere 14 of those on the list, but I would seriously question a lot
of the albums on there, it seems like a lot of people voted for albums by
gay artistes which is totally different. I would agree that Queen and
Freddie Mercury are camp, Bowie or The Smiths could never have their music
called gay or camp.

They have Judy At Carnegie Hall but where is her A Star Is Born? and if we
want a live performance, what about Deitrich in London? Where is Shirley
Bassey, the flag bearer of queens all over the world? And only one Bette
Midler? What about Divine Madness? Thighs & Whispers? Not to mention the
soundtracks of The Rose & Beaches?

Where is Billy Holliday, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Where are the Cher
big ballad albums, Heart of Stone and Love Hurts?

Did I miss a Streisand album? I didn't notice one. I got my Queen Second
Class badge, complete with tassles on Streisand.

Tina Turner, Sophie Tucker, The Supremes, Carmen Miranda, They should be on
any gay list.

I may only have 14 of the top 100 but I've got albums by everyone that I
have mentioned hereand many more. I also have the Ethel Merman Disco Album
and The Best Of Kate Smith, I know which list makes me happiest

George M. Spencer said...

What? No Cole Porter? No James Bond soundtrack alubms? No Gershwin? No Doris Day? No Billy Idol? No Miles Davis? No Randy Travis? No Mel Tillis?

No David Byrne?

Who, incidentally, has a awesome show, complete with funky white people attired in white doing modern dance on-stage. Which, I guess, is where one does modern dance.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"How is gay male taste like gay female taste?"

They're not alike. I read an interview with a female dj who was asked about her experience dj'ing at gay clubs and lesbian clubs. She said (I paraphrase from memory) that she could try almost anything new or different and the gay men would dance to it, but if she tried to play something new at a lesbian bar she would get complaints and requests for the same old standards.

Smilin' Jack said...

Closest I came was a compilation of Blondie's greatest hits, which has some tracks from "Parallel Lines." I don't think that should count, but I burned it anyway, just to be safe.

George M. Spencer said...

Suffragette City in 1973.

Suffragette City in 1990.

Quite the fashion evolution.

Wham! Bam! Thank you, Ma'am.

Unknown said...

Who said gays are from all walks of life? We are a superior breed of people. We don't have to waste our lives trying to breed. We can focus our energies on creative things. That explains our better taste, our better looks, our wicked sense of humour, our originality, our sense of fun and adventure, etc.

Of course I'm only talking about gay men here.

Ophir said...

vbspurs said...
Tracy Chapman! I once saw her enter a very nice CLK Mercedes in San Francisco.

So much about talkin' about the revolution.

She's got a Fast Car.

I have: 1, 3, 6, 15, 16, 21, 25, 31, 32, 52, 54, 60, 62, 68, 75, 90, 92, 93, 96, 99, 100. I also have songs from some others on compilations.

Overall you've got good taste, Ann. But Scissor Sisters? Seriously?