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10 great gay songs from Sleater-Kinney, the Smiths, George Michael and more

UPDATED: Thu., June 3, 2021

Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker, aka Sleater-Kinney.  (Nikko LaMere)
Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker, aka Sleater-Kinney. (Nikko LaMere)

There are so many great gay tunes that are either love songs or cuts that are loud about being proud. The following list of 10 includes tracks that range from relatively unknown to gay bangers.

1. “One More Hour,” Sleater-Kinney: A brilliant lesbian breakup song. It’s not often that you hear both parties during a breakup song. An affair destroys the relationship that is in its last hour. “Don’t say another word / About the other girl.” Infectious, clever and Sleater-Kinney at the height of their powers. The Western Washington band, who will perform Aug. 6 at First Interstate Center for the Arts, failed to receive its due during the late 1990s.

2. “This Charming Man,” The Smiths: “I would go out tonight but I haven’t got a stitch to wear / The man said it’s gruesome but someone so handsome should care.” Morrissey, one of the most amusing lyricists in rock history, has been openly gay throughout his storied career. Much like Prince, when you experience a Morrissey song, it’s evident who wrote it due to his lyrical style.

3. “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money),” The Pet Shop Boys: “You’ve got the brawn / I’ve got the brains / Let’s make lots of money.” There are a number of Pet Shop Boy tunes, such as “Rent,” that could make the list, but it’s difficult to trump the catchy “Opportunities.”

4. “Macho Man,” Village People”: No need for a video thanks to the explicit lyrics. An anthem for the ages!

5. “Something About Him,” Brockhampton: A moving, provocative piece of ear candy.

6. “Smalltown Boy,” Bronski Beat: Jimmy Somerville’s haunting falsetto highlights this tale of a young man who has to leave the cage of his one-horse town for the big city.

7. “Forrest Gump,” Frank Ocean: Few have a voice like Ocean, and there’s a nod to the classic Tom Hanks film, as well.

8. “Piazza, New York, Catcher,” Belle & Sebastian: Rumors about certain sports superstars’ sexuality are out there. There’s always been questions about the orientation of Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Piazza. Scotland’s brilliant Belle & Sebastian were fans of metalhead Mike and wrote, “San Francisco’s calling us / The Giants and Mets will play Piazza, New York catcher. / Are you straight or gay?

9. “A Little Respect,” Erasure: A beautiful 1980s pop song that was embraced by the mainstream.

10. “Freedom 90,” George Michael: The massive hit was released about a decade before the late sex symbol came out. “I think there’s something you should know / I think it’s time I told you so / There’s something deep inside of me / There’s someone else I’ve got to be.” A generation later, and the tune still holds up.

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