Tunes Du Jour Celebrates PRIDE!

Music has long been a powerful force for self-expression and building community for LGBTQ+ artists and listeners alike. This Pride playlist celebrates the incredible diversity within the LGBTQ+ community through a wide range of styles, eras, and voices.

From enduring anthems like Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” and Queen’s defiant “I Want To Break Free” to recent hits from Lil Nas X, Janelle Monae, and Troye Sivan, the songs seamlessly blend messages of pride, self-acceptance, and living authentically. Legendary artists like Elton John, George Michael, and Melissa Etheridge stand alongside bold new voices like Rina Sawayama and Perfume Genius, showing how LGBTQ+ musicians have blazed trails across decades.

The playlist pays tribute to tracks that turned the spotlight on LGBTQ+ experiences through storytelling, like The Kinks’ “Lola,” Pet Shop Boys’ “It’s a Sin,” and Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy.” It also uplifts joyful, celebratory bops, such as “I’m Still Standing,” “Go West,” and the iconic “It’s Raining Men.” 

With a mix of pop smashes, singer-songwriter confessionals, rock anthems, and hip-hop ground-breakers, the eclectic playlist reflects how LGBTQ+ artists have fruitfully influenced every corner of the musical landscape. From Carl Bean’s pioneering disco hit “I Was Born This Way” to Gossip’s “Standing in the Way of Control,” these songs unite in championing self-love, equality, and the fundamental human rights that the LGBTQ+ community continues fighting for.

Ultimately, this playlist invites listeners of all identities and backgrounds to share in the uplifting spirit of Pride. It’s a vibrant, multi-dimensional celebration of the perseverance, creativity, and unshakeable truth at the heart of the LGBTQ+ experience.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 2-12-24

I keep forgettin’ why I walked in this room
I keep forgettin’ where it was that I parked my car
I keep forgettin’ my Wifi password
I keep forgettin’ where my phone is, oh it’s in my hand

I keep forgettin’ what day of the week it is
I keep forgettin’ if turned the oven off or not
I keep forgettin’ if I fed those damn cats
I keep forgetin’ that I don’t have any cats to feed

I keep forgettin’ to schedule a haircut
I keep forgettin’ the last place I put my keys down
I keep forgettin’ my apartment doesn’t clean itself
I keep forgettin’ something else about some other thing

I haven’t forgotten that Michael McDonald was born on this date in 1952. You can hear him on a few songs on today’s playlist.

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Tunes Du Jour Presents 1985

The year 1985 was a remarkable one for music, as it showcased a variety of genres, styles, and influences. From pop to rock, from synth to soul, from rap to reggae, the music of 1985 reflected the diversity and creativity of the artists and the listeners. Whether it was the catchy melodies, the powerful lyrics, or the innovative sounds, the music of 1985 had something for everyone.

One of the most notable trends of 1985 was the emergence of new wave and synth-pop, which dominated the charts and the airwaves. Artists like Tears for Fears, a-Ha, Simple Minds, and The Cure blended synthesizers, guitars, and drums to create catchy and memorable songs that captured the mood and the spirit of the times. Songs like “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, “Take On Me”, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, and “Close to Me” became anthems for a generation that was looking for fun, freedom, and adventure.

Another trend of 1985 was the influence of dance and disco, which brought energy and excitement to the music scene. Artists like Madonna, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Dead Or Alive, and Sade combined dance beats, catchy hooks, and sensual vocals to create songs that made people want to move and groove. Songs like “Into the Groove”, “Relax”, “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)”, and “Smooth Operator” became hits that defined the style and the attitude of the era.

A third trend of 1985 was the resurgence of rock and roll, which showed the diversity and the versatility of the genre. Artists like Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Dire Straits, and The Smiths demonstrated their musical skills, their lyrical talents, and their artistic visions. Songs like “Born In The U.S.A.”, “Raspberry Beret”, “Money For Nothing”, and “How Soon Is Now” became classics that showcased the range and the depth of rock music.

A fourth trend of 1985 was the rise of social awareness and activism, which inspired many artists to use their music as a platform for change and charity. Artists took part in USA For Africa and Band Aid to raise funds and awareness for famine relief.

The music of 1985 was a year of diversity and innovation, as it offered a wide range of musical experiences and expressions. The playlist below features some of the best songs of 1985, which represent the different trends and influences of the year. Enjoy the music and relive the memories of 1985!

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 1-16-24

“I only make records when I feel I have something to say. I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something.“       – Sade Adu 

Sade’s last album came out in 2010. The album preceding that one came out in 2000. 

Sade Adu, lead singer and namesake of the band Sade, was born on this date in 1959. A handful of Sade’s best tunes are included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 5-13-23

Learning that Jeff Beck was a fan of his, Stevie Wonder invited the guitarist to the studio to jam with him. Beck played on Stevie’s composition “Lookin’ For Another Pure Love,” recorded for what was to be Wonder’s next album, Talking Book. As a thank you, Wonder wrote a song for Beck to record: “Superstition.” Wonder told Beck he can release his version prior to Wonder’s version, which would appear on Talking Book.

Motown heard Stevie’s recording and knew it would be a hit single. Stevie wanted his song “Big Brother” to be the album’s first single, but he hadn’t finished recording it by the time Motown needed a 45 to release in advance of the full-length record. Stevie begged Motown to not put out a “Superstition” single, as he promised it to Beck, whose album release was delayed. Motown ignored their superstar’s pleas. The label released the single, and scored Stevie a number one single on the US pop and r&b charts.

Beck wasn’t too happy about that turn of events, though the two men eventually sorted things out, playing the song together at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th-anniversary ceremony.

Stevie Wonder turns 73 today. He is well-represented on today’s playlist.

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