Pop music that's gay, gay, gay!

  • by Ernie Alderete
  • Tuesday October 24, 2006
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I have a real gay sensibility when it comes to my collection of music, and until iTunes and other online music services came along, it was horrific trying to find some of this stuff. I spent hours scrolling through old albums, looking for unusual songs that I might have missed when the LP was first released.

It was on iTunes that I found one of Eddie Kendrick's lesser-known but most erotic songs, about the glories of masturbation and oral sex. The song is "Get the Cream Off the Top."

"Don't be afraid to pleasure yourself, can't you remember how good it felt? Craving for love is a natural desire, don't fight the feeling. Let me take you higher, this love of mine can bring relief, get the cream off the top, get the best that I've got, I'm willing to give you more than I take. If it takes all night, I'm willing to make good love to you and bring you pleasure that you can treasure, a mouthful of pleasure, a spoonful of love is all you've tasted, but without the rest of it life can be wasted. Take the best that I've got, take the cream off the top!"

One of my favorite songs is "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer. Yes, I know she betrayed us by condemning homosexuality when she was allegedly born again, but that has never diminished my enjoyment of her addictive music, and this song in particular never fails to entrance me. This is perhaps a hard song to justify as a gay song per se, certainly the lyrics are not gay- or lesbian-related, but somehow it was adopted as an anthem for a same-sex generation. iTunes also offers Summer's most erotic song, deliciously embarrassing to her evangelical Baptist soul, the multi-orgasmic "Love To Love You, Baby!"

One of the oddest tunes I came across was a Gloria Estefanesque tropical Latin number named "Ain't Nobody Straight Left in LA," by the post-Smokey Robinson Miracles. Let me paraphrase a few lines:

"La, la, la, Ain't nobody straight in LA, it seems that everybody is gay, homosexuality is a part of society. I guess they needed some more variety, freedom of expression is really the thing, almost everyone is AC/DC. Where should we go tonight? There's a club on La Cienega, there's one on Hollywood Boulevard, but all the clubs in LA are gay. Yeah, but some of the finest women go to gay bars."

Motown label-mate Marvin Gaye was one of the major proponents of erotic material, with such songs as "Let's Get It On" and "Sexual Healing."

iTunes Essentials includes several compilations of gay content, or interest. The Gay Pride: Boys Collection features "I'm Coming Out" (of the closet) by Diana Ross; "Macho Man" by the all-gay Village People; the S&M-tinged "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" by the very out Boy George; the first synthesized hit song, "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell; "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston, the number two best-selling disco record; "Dancing Queen" by ABBA; "Express Yourself" by the ultimate fag hag, Madonna; and of course, the number one biggest disco hit and virtual gay anthem, "I Will Survive," by the incomparable Gloria Gaynor.

Wham bang

The bouncy "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham! is on Gay Pride: Boys 2. George Michael was the homo half of the Wham! duo until his straight partner exited rather than be labeled gay by association.

It's hard to miss the overt sexual connotations of "I Want Your Sex," by the solo George Michael, especially after he was arrested for public sex in a park bathroom. Maybe his former partner knew Michael better than we thought.

The Gay Pride Month Album includes "More, More, More" by former porno actress Andrea True, in which she sings about a porn shoot and more, more, more intercourse! Instead of just innuendo or suggestive lyrics, the song came right out and said it was about sex and pornography.

Donna Summer's Bad Girls album did much the same by glorifying prostitution.

Several disco-infused movies, notably Midnight Express and Saturday Night Fever, reinforced the sexual aspect of the music.

Disco is the only predominantly gay, lesbian and transgender music genre, which is probably why it gets so little mainstream respect. When, in 1984, homophobic hard-rockers cried "Disco sucks," and burned mountains of long-playing disco albums in that all-American icon of heterosexual masculinity, a football stadium, it was a sexual put-down, a collective gay-bashing, that disco never recovered from. But disco lives on in our hearts, on iTunes, and on channel 37, the Strobe on Sirius Satellite Radio.