Queer Music of the 1990s

What makes compiling lists of queer music by decades more challenging as we move forward in time is that the number of songs from which to choose keeps increasing greatly. For today’s playlist, I started with a list of several hundred songs by out LGBTQ+ acts or with LGBTQ+ subject matter, from which I whittled it down to the 30 tunes below. I second guess myself a lot. Should three of the first four songs be by straight-identifying acts? Should I include a lightweight novelty number over something by Maria McKee? (I decided yes, though I love Maria.) I didn’t necessarily choose my favorites. Instead I went for songs/acts that were on some level trailblazers. Here they be:

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Throwback Thursday: 1992

It’s Throwback Thursday, and on today’s playlist we go back to 1992. Compiling this list made me notice (or remember) what a kickass year for music 1992 was. The success of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” a top ten pop hit around the world months after it was sent to alternative radio, came as a complete surprise to the band’s record label and management, and seemed to kick open the doors for weirdos and freaks (I use those terms affectionately) to find their place in the sun and on the charts.

The left field entries weren’t solely from the guitar rock field. Shakespear’s Sister’s “Stay” was a song (or two songs) that stood out from the pack and was not something one would have expected from a former member of Bananarama and someone who co-wrote and sang backup on Eric Clapton’s hit “Lay Down Sally.” And Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” endures all these years later.

To me this era was a golden age for hip hop. Arrested Development, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, Kris Kross, Das EFX, Sir Mix-A-Lot and House of Pain hit creative peaks, while rap duo P.M. Dawn hit number three with “I’d Die Without You,” an unexpected ballad with nary a hint of the hip or hop.

Nineteen ninety-two was the year we met Mary J. Blige and Billy Ray Cyrus. It was the year many more people got to know Red Hot Chili Peppers, k.d. lang and En Vogue. And while new names were dotting the Hot 100, there was still room for more hits from Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Whitney Houston and U2.

Here are thirty musical highlights from 1992, a year that most definitely was not wiggida wiggida wiggida wack.

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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 87: LGBTQ Music From 1992 (Continued)

This playlist consists of twenty songs, most performed by artists who fall somewhere under the LGBTQ umbrella, a couple with queer lyrical content. This may be the most stylistically diverse playlist thus far in this series, with represented genres including alternative rock, Britpop, adult contemporary, house, mainstream rock, country, pop, dance and rap. Artists include Garth Brooks, Sugar and (The London) Suede, plus all the ones you’d expect and perhaps some you wouldn’t.

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Glenn’s Ten – June 29, 2014

A handful of readers asked me to post Glenn’s Ten, the weekly ranking of my ten favorite current songs. I’m happy to oblige.

Glenn’s Ten for this week is:
1. “Every Time the Sun Comes Up” – Sharon Van Etten
2. “Somethin’ Bad” – Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood
3. “Just One Drink” – Jack White
4. “Do It Again” – Röyksopp and Robyn
5. “Control” – Broken Bells
6. “West Coast” – Lana Del Rey
7. “Love Never Felt So Good” – Michael Jackson
8. “Hundreds of Ways” – Conor Oberst
9. “Come Get It Bae” – Pharrell Williams
10. “Ain’t It Fun” – Paramore

Rounding out today’s playlist are ten tunes that were #1 on this date in Glenn’s Ten history, in reverse chronological order.