Discovering obscure queer artifacts is always fascinating, but few lost gems pack the wayward punch of the music on Smokey: How Far Will You Go? The S&M Recordings, 1973-81.An L.A.-based act, Smokey was the brainchild of producer EJ Emmons and singer John "Smokey" Condon, a Baltimore-bred pretty boy who spent his youth partying with the John Waters crowd. When their 1974 debut single, "Leather," inspired by Smokey's introduction to the New York leather scene, was deemed too gay for major labels, the pair started their own.
Through S&M Records, they released a string of randy, unabashedly homoerotic tracks spanning rock, stoner funk, and disco, and now those songs, along with a handful of extras, have been assembled into one naughty, raucous collection. Whether you consider cuts like "Piss Slave" -- a nine-minute dance odyssey complete with the line "I wanna be your toilet" -- novelties or revolutionary will depend on your tastes. Yet there's something admirable about these sleazy old tunes. Before punk, there was Smokey, strutting to the beat of their own drum, refusing to be anyone but themselves.
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