Putting together a weekly pop music column is all fun and games until the girls decide they don’t wanna drop anything!
Musicians actually might be the only ones to hold anything back this week; Florida schools are making new Don’t Say Gay rules, Bette Midler went full mask-off TERF, and Olayemi Olurin went in on her transphobic co-anchors on air.
On drier music weeks like this, we’ll be time-warping back to this week in gay music history to see what folks have been throwing it to throughout the years. Sometimes, you’ve just got to play the classics.
From a stack of ABBA covers to guidelines on being a lover, this is your bop rewind for this week!
“Last Dance” by Donna Summer (July 2, 1978)
Donna was so wild to drop this kind of heat on a movie soundtrack, but her spot in Thank God It’s Friday was all the better for it. It was as clear then as it is today just how hard the Queen of Disco hit with this one; “Last Dance” ended up earning songwriter Paul Jabara an Oscar, a Grammy, AND a Golden Globe, as well as getting Summer herself a well-deserved Grammy for R&B vocal.
“Monkey” by George Michael (July 4, 1988)
Michael’s solo debut Faith was a #1 hit single-making machine, and “Monkey” is no exception. It would be another good decade before he officially came out as gay, but his heartthrob status was service enough to the gays as it was.
“Wannabe” by the Spice Girls (July 8, 1996)
Can you believe it’s been 26 years since the Spice Girls debuted? The band itself is old enough to legally rent a car in the States. These girls came out of the gate with what would be a defining track of the ’90s and one of the biggest songs of their careers. The meaning of “zig-a-zig-ah” still eludes us, but it’s nice to have some mystery left after all this time together.
“Dancing Queen” by Mamma Mia Cast (July 4, 2005)
The Mamma Mia! film wouldn’t release for another couple of weeks, but the soundtrack featuring gay icons like Meryl Streep and Christine Baranski having a ball to ABBA covers was the definition of a moment. There are almost too many great scenes to choose from here, but the uber-joyous “Dancing Queen” will always be a classic.
“Cool for the Summer” by Demi Lovato (July 1, 2015)
Demi started going a little wild post Sonny With a Chance, and though it wasn’t all positive, this first public foray into their pansexuality was a blast. It was almost too on-the-nose for the unofficial song-of-the-summer status, but that little piano intro is a floor-filler if one has ever been heard.
Join us again next for our weekly bop column!