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.

Follow Tunes Du Jour on Facebook

Follow Tunes Du Jour on Twitter

Follow me on Instagram

Tunes Du Jour Presents 1998

The year 1998 was a watershed moment for popular music. Emerging from the stylistic chaos and radical experimentation of the early/mid ’90s, the music of 1998 represented a culmination of daring artistic visions cohering into some of the most innovative, insightful, and flat-out infectious songs of the decade. Across genres, it was a year that shattered boundaries and solidified legends – a prolific melting pot of game-changing sounds destined to endure.

One of the standout tracks of the year was The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” a song that fused rock with sweeping orchestral arrangements, creating an anthemic yet melancholic sound that resonated with a wide audience. Its poignant lyrics and grandiose strings captured a sense of wistful longing and existential reflection that felt emblematic of the complicated late ’90s zeitgeist. Similarly, Radiohead’s “Karma Police” continued to explore the darker, more unsettling side of human experience with its haunting melody and cryptic lyrics, solidifying the band’s status as one of alt-rock’s most vital and cerebral forces.

The late ’90s also saw electronic music rapidly integrating into the mainstream pop landscape in visionary ways. Fatboy Slim’s “The Rockafeller Skank” was an explosively funky example of this trend, with its gritty, sample-heavy production and addictive dancefloor-ready beats. Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better With You” took a more soulful tack, combining classic house rhythms with a simple yet instantly catchy vocal hook to create an enduring dancefloor classic still beloved today. And the Norman Cook remix of Cornershop’s “Brimful of Asha” ingeniously blended Indian folk sounds with UK club vibes for a globe-spanning hit. For seekers of more atmospheric, boundary-pushing electronica, Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” provided a hypnotic, cinematic soundscape. This fertile era helped lay the groundwork for electronic music’s dominance in pop in the coming decades.

Hip-hop and R&B asserted their cultural force in 1998 as well, with few tracks as powerful as Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” – an undeniable feminist anthem of self-respect powered by Hill’s dexterous rapping and soulful crooning. Her ability to fuse hip-hop bravado with uplifting, socially-conscious lyricism over neo-soul grooves earned her massive critical acclaim. Similarly future-leaning was Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody?” which saw the singer’s sultry vocals gliding over Timbaland’s percussive, synthetic production for an alluringly sleek sound that felt years ahead of its time. 

While maintaining their commercial clout, pop’s biggest icons weren’t afraid to musically reinvent themselves in 1998. Madonna’s “Ray of Light” saw the Queen of Pop shedding her known persona for a more spiritually inquisitive stance matched by the song’s trance-inflected electronica textures. And Janet Jackson’s “Together Again” honored loved ones lost to AIDS with its uplifting, gospel-tinged dance-pop sound tempering heavier subject matter.

In retrospect, the diverse brilliance of 1998’s musical landscape feels almost overwhelming. From fist-pumping dancefloor anthems to raw outpourings of soul, from guitar-driven songs of profundity to mindblowing productions that rewrote pop’s boundaries – the year’s music seamlessly bridged the underground and the mainstream in a way that felt thrillingly new. It was the sound of artists across genres at their hungriest and most inspired, creating the shared musical memories that still bond generations of fans together in nostalgic reverie decades later. For many, 1998 was simply the rarest of cultural moments – when everything intersected with perfection. 

Follow Tunes Du Jour on Facebook

Follow Tunes Du Jour on Twitter

Follow me on Instagram

Tunes Du Jour Presents 1997

Music in 1997 was a true reflection of the decade’s diversity and boundary-pushing spirit. From the era’s biggest mainstream pop acts to the underground scenes bubbling up, the hits of ’97 showcased an exciting range of styles and genres commingling.

On the one hand, you had the unstoppable rise of wildly popular all-female groups like the Spice Girls with their debut smash “Wannabe” and the soaring vocals of Whitney Houston on “Step by Step.” At the same time, 1997 was also the year that brought the world jarring yet brilliant alt-rock statements like Radiohead’s sci-fi epic “Paranoid Android” and the dark, literary narratives of acts like Nick Cave.

Hip-hop continued evolving in dozens of directions, from the stunning lyricism of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize” to the early flashes of what would become the dominant sound of the 2000s with Missy Elliott’s groundbreaking “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly).” The year’s electronic/dance highlights came in all tempos and styles, whether the gritty yet blissful big beat of The Prodigy’s “Firestarter” or the sleek Daft Punk groover “Around the World.”

While teenager pop captured the mainstream with acts like Hanson’s “MMMBop,” the alternative/indie realm gifted 1997 with timeless gems spanning rockist earnestness (Ben Folds Five), fuzz-pop dreaminess (The Cardigans’ “Lovefool”), and idiosyncratic lo-fi (Elliot Smith, Yo La Tengo). It was an era of strange but beautiful hybrids, like the trip-hop soul of Erykah Badu’s “On & On.”

Looking back at 1997’s musical landscape, you’re struck by not just the sheer quality of the output, but the vibrant plurality of styles. It was a moment when the underground and the overground were engaged in an intriguing conversation, shaping what came next.

Follow Tunes Du Jour on Facebook

Follow Tunes Du Jour on Twitter

Follow me on Instagram

Tunes Du Jour Presents Tribute Songs

This playlist consists of tributes to some of the most influential figures in history and culture:

Candle In The Wind – Elton John: A heartfelt tribute to the iconic Marilyn Monroe, Elton John’s poignant melody captures the essence of her tragic life and enduring legacy.

Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile) – Van Morrison: Van Morrison’s soulful tribute to Jackie Wilson celebrates the enduring power of music to uplift and inspire, capturing the essence of Wilson’s legendary performances and infectious charisma.

Vincent – Don McLean: Don McLean’s haunting ballad pays homage to the tormented genius of Vincent Van Gogh, intertwining his artistry with the complexities of his inner struggles.

When Smokey Sings – ABC: ABC’s smooth tribute to Motown legend Smokey Robinson pays homage to his soulful melodies and timeless contributions to music, evoking the nostalgic allure of his classic hits.

Pride (In The Name Of Love) – U2: With soaring vocals and stirring lyrics, U2’s anthem commemorates the life and legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., inspiring listeners to carry on his message of love and equality.

The Late Great Johnny Ace – Paul Simon: Paul Simon’s poignant tribute to rhythm and blues singer Johnny Ace reflects on the tragic circumstances of his untimely death, capturing the essence of his brief yet impactful career.

Nightshift – Commodores: A soulful tribute to the legendary soul singers Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, the Commodores’ “Nightshift” celebrates their contributions to music and honors their enduring impact.

King Tut – Steve Martin: Steve Martin’s irreverent tribute to the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun celebrates the enduring fascination with ancient history and the enduring legacy of one of its most iconic figures.

Man On The Moon – R.E.M.: R.E.M.’s enigmatic ode to the enigmatic Andy Kaufman captures the essence of his eccentricity and genius, inviting listeners to ponder the mysteries of his life and art.

Andy Warhol – David Bowie: David Bowie’s avant-garde homage to pop artist Andy Warhol captures the essence of his enigmatic persona and artistic vision, reflecting on his influence on contemporary culture and creativity.

Abraham Martin And John – Dion: Through Dion’s soulful rendition, “Abraham Martin And John” tenderly remembers the legacies of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and John F. Kennedy, reflecting on their enduring influence on American history.

Rock and Roll Heaven – The Righteous Brothers: The Righteous Brothers’ soul-stirring tribute to fallen rock ‘n’ roll stars celebrates their enduring legacy and contributions to music, offering a heartfelt homage to their memory.

All Those Years Ago – George Harrison: George Harrison’s heartfelt tribute to his late bandmate John Lennon not only reminisces about their time together in The Beatles but also serves as a poignant reflection on love, loss, and the passage of time.

Big Train (From Memphis) – John Fogerty: John Fogerty’s rollicking tribute to Elvis Presley captures the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll rebellion and pays homage to the enduring influence of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll on American music.

Biko – Peter Gabriel: Peter Gabriel’s powerful anthem honors the memory of South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, capturing the spirit of resistance and resilience that defined his legacy.

Tunic (Song For Karen) – Sonic Youth: Sonic Youth’s haunting tribute to Karen Carpenter reflects on the tragic circumstances of her life and untimely death, capturing the essence of her talent and the profound impact of her music.

Emmylou – First Aid Kit: First Aid Kit’s ethereal tribute to country music icon Emmylou Harris celebrates her timeless talent and profound influence on the genre, echoing the purity and grace of her musical stylings.

Brian Wilson – Barenaked Ladies: Barenaked Ladies’ whimsical tribute to Brian Wilson celebrates his innovative genius and enduring legacy as a founding member of The Beach Boys, capturing the spirit of his iconic melodies and harmonies.

Englishman in New York – Sting: Sting’s homage to the eccentric poet and playwright Quentin Crisp celebrates his unapologetic individuality and unwavering commitment to authenticity, embodying the spirit of self-expression and acceptance.

Velvet Underground – Jonathan Richman: Jonathan Richman’s heartfelt tribute to the Velvet Underground pays homage to their groundbreaking contributions to music and celebrates their enduring influence on alternative rock.

Alex Chilton – The Replacements: The Replacements’ infectious tribute to rock ‘n’ roll icon Alex Chilton pays homage to his rebellious spirit and enduring impact on music, capturing the essence of his legendary status.

She’s Madonna – Robbie Williams with Pet Shop Boys: Robbie Williams’ provocative tribute to Madonna celebrates her status as a pop culture icon, reflecting on her impact on music, fashion, and female empowerment.

Happy Birthday – Stevie Wonder: Stevie Wonder’s spirited anthem advocates for the recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a national holiday, encapsulating the fervent spirit of the civil rights movement and celebrating the enduring legacy of King’s vision for equality and justice. With its infectious melody and uplifting lyrics, the song serves as both a tribute to King’s contributions to society and a call to action for continued progress and unity.

Elvis is Everywhere – Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper: Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper’s irreverent tribute to Elvis Presley humorously celebrates the enduring presence of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in popular culture, reflecting on his larger-than-life persona and lasting legacy.

Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way – Waylon Jennings: Waylon Jennings’ classic pays homage to the pioneering spirit of country music legend Hank Williams, reflecting on his influence and innovation within the genre.

Song To Woody – Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan’s heartfelt tribute to folk music legend Woody Guthrie pays homage to his influence on his own musical journey and celebrates the enduring power of Guthrie’s songs to inspire and provoke.

Sweet Gene Vincent – Ian Dury: Ian Dury’s rollicking tribute to rockabilly pioneer Gene Vincent captures the energy and excitement of his music, paying homage to his enduring impact on rock ‘n’ roll.

Bowie – Flight of the Conchords: Flight of the Conchords’ whimsical tribute to David Bowie celebrates his eclectic persona and musical genius, capturing the essence of his iconic status as a cultural icon.

Giorgio By Moroder – Daft Punk feat. Giorgio Moroder: Daft Punk’s electrifying tribute to legendary producer Giorgio Moroder not only celebrates his innovative contributions to electronic music but also reflects on the evolution of the genre and its impact on contemporary culture.

Martin Scorsese – King Missile: King Missile’s irreverent tribute to filmmaker Martin Scorsese playfully celebrates his contributions to cinema and pop culture, reflecting on his unique vision and enduring impact on the art of filmmaking.

Follow Tunes du Jour on Facebook

Follow Tunes du Jour on Twitter

Follow me on Instagram

Tunes Du Jour Presents 1989

Although 1989 may not have been a groundbreaking year for popular music, it bestowed upon us an array of iconic hits spanning diverse genres. Take, for instance, The B-52’s infectious “Love Shack,” with its quirky lyrics and irresistible beat that whisked revelers away to a neon-lit haven of love and laughter. Meanwhile, Neneh Cherry’s “Buffalo Stance” effortlessly blended hip-hop beats and funk, showcasing Cherry’s distinct rap-singing style and exuding an aura of boldness and unapologetic confidence.

On a more introspective note, The Cure’s “Lovesong” captured the poignant ache of love’s longing through haunting melodies and Robert Smith’s plaintive vocals. In contrast, Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” emerged as a pop gem, infusing catchy hooks with Abdul’s signature sassy charm. Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” thundered onto the scene as a resounding anthem against social injustice, urging listeners to question authority and demand change.

Meanwhile, De La Soul’s “Me, Myself And I” provided a playful yet insightful commentary on self-identity and individuality, solidifying their status as pioneers of alternative rap. Pixies’ “Debaser” shattered musical conventions with its raw energy, while N.W.A’s “Express Yourself” defiantly resonated with those embracing authenticity. Enya’s “Orinoco Flow” whisked us away on Celtic winds, and Young M.C.’s “Bust A Move” had us grooving to its playful rap verses.

Then there were the soulful strains of Guns N’ Roses’ “Patience,” revealing a softer side to the rock rebels, and Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” a fusion of pop sensibility with gospel-infused vocals that pushed boundaries. Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” pulsated with infectious energy, blending pop, new wave, and soul, while Prince’s “Batdance” defied genres with its blend of funk, rock, and pop flamboyance. Meanwhile, Nirvana’s “About a Girl” hinted at the seismic shift the band would bring to the music industry.

Reflecting on the music of 1989, we’re reminded of its enduring legacy and profound impact on contemporary music. Each song in this playlist serves as a time capsule, transporting us to a moment when music had the power to unite, inspire, and ignite imaginations. So let’s press play and embark on a journey through the sonic landscape of 1989, where every note resonates with the magic of music.

Follow Tunes du Jour on Facebook

Follow Tunes du Jour on Twitter

Follow me on Instagram