When faced with the daunting task of coming up with the music that’s been the soundtrack of our Out gay lives over the past 20 years, I wasn’t sure where to begin. There’s no way that two decades could easily boil down to a “best of” list. But when thinking about the songs that I’m choosing to share with Out’s readers and fans, I stuck to the gay classics — the anthems that have truly meant something to us over the years… the songs, which, when they come on at the club or on the radio, you remember exactly what was happening in your life at that time. And yes, there are a lot of our favorite divas featured within.
There’s no way that every song from each year could have made this list. Boiling it down to just five-per-year was not simple, and I’m sure I’m gonna hear from someone about, “Why wasn’t ‘Living La Vida Loca’ on the list for 1999?”
Yes, I know that “Loca” was arguably one of that year’s breakthrough pop songs…. But I’m not sure that it spoke to gay audiences as a “gay anthem” as much as other songs from that very great year of dance music. The then-closeted Ricky Martin shook his bon bon more for straight housewives’ thrill at the time… I couldn’t add Charlotte’s “Skin” or Pete Heller’s “Big Love” from that year either [two of my personal favorites!].
So, as we roll out these lists, chime in with your favorite songs from each year in the Comments section! Let’s reminisce together and share our memories of the music that’s influenced our lives.
And I’m very much looking forward to DJing many of these songs live at Out’s 20th anniversary party on October 9, at the W Hollywood!
See ya on the dance floor!
- DJ Blacklow
We'll be adding more years in the days leading up to the show. Click on a year to jump to a playlist:
DJ Blacklow (Jeremy Blacklow) grew up with the house music of NYC in the '90s. From the age of 18, the melodies & beats of Junior Vasquez & Danny Tenaglia opened his ears to the sounds that still influence him today. Living in LA since 2004, Blacklow finally listened to the advice of friends and took his love of music to the next level. He began spinning live for friends in 2010, starting to play bars, clubs & events in LA & San Diego in 2012. Throughout the summer of 2012 he has played regularly for Tom Whitman's Size Sundays at Here lounge, and also spun The Royalty Group's "High Tea at the Andaz" at San Diego Pride. His sound is a mixture of old and new progressive house music, with a tinge of contemporary EDM and a sprinkling of R&B & hip hop flare. In October 2012, Blacklow is thrilled to be playing Out Magazine's 20th Anniversary party (Oct. 9th), Tom Whitman's post AIDS Walk celebration at Here lounge (Oct .14th) and LA's now world famous Halloweenie party (Oct. 26th).