Music is a central part of Pride. Uplifting and energetic, it supports the freedom and celebration of the festival.
We’ve picked our top 10 essential Pride anthems. Turn it up!
I asked GLOSSY boss Andy, who was in his early years a DJ playing clubs such as Ministry Of Sound, to explain more and to run through this track selection.
Carl Bean – I Was Born This Way
I doubt many of you will have heard this before. This record started it’s origins in the depth of Motown recordings. Carl Bean himself is a preacher from the US. The lyrics are sincere, and the disco chords symbolise the strength and spirit of the LGBT community.
Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
I could have chosen “I Am What I Am” from Gloria, however this disco classic took a different meaning during the 1980s as gay liberation gathered strength. The lyrics became a representation for those who unfortunately were victim of AIDS. It lifts the spirits of everyone who hears it’s message.
Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out
Written alongside Chic’s Nile Rogers, unbelievably this song wasn’t scheduled to get released and appeared on a limited run promotional record. It was picked up by DJs and gathered paced in the nightclubs of the LGBT community. It remains an anthem of liberation.
Sylvester – Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
You can read our blog on Sylvester. He was a true icon who was true to his own individuality and proud of who he was. One of the first to openly cross-dress and not be afraid of his sexuality. Even as he was dying of AIDS he still attended Pride parades. You can read more on Sylvester in our tribute blog piece here.
Pet Shop Boys – Go West
Originally written by the Village People, it was covered by the Pet Shop Boys in 1993. Initially performed at The Hacienda in Manchester at an AIDS Charity Event, it is seen by some as a symbol of the Gay Liberation movement in 1970s San Francisco. This release came after an AIDS crisis where causes and diagnosis were now becoming better understood.
The Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men
The Weather Girls were Sylvester’s backing singers. Izora Armstead and Martha Wash took this song on after it was rejected by Diana Ross and Donna Summer. Fearless, bold and unmistakable. A definitive Pride anthem.
C & C Music Factory – Pride (A Deeper Love)
Written in 1991 by Robert Clivillés and David Cole, this House anthem was later covered by Aretha Franklin in 1994. It reached number 1 in the US chart and 15 in the UK.
George Michael – Outside
I was going to put “Freedom! ’90” here as it was George liberating himself from Wham and announced to the world that this was the new George Michael. For me I’m going for “Outside” as it followed George’s arrest for a sex act in a Beverly Hills toilet, which ultimately lead to him declaring his homosexuality. I love the production of this song, it’s so proud and full of energy. We miss you George.
Madonna – Vogue
Recorded at the height of America’s AIDS crisis in 1990s, with it’s House influenced undertones inspired by New York’s nightclubs – it has gone to become a definitive Pride anthem.
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now
Oh Freddie! No Pride top 10 could be complete without Queen. This giddy, happy-going track never fails to put a smile on your face. The lyrical determination in it coming from pure pleasure seeker Mercury is just joyful.
The Music Of Pride
It was in the 1980s where there was a shift from formal marches (which started in the late 1960s and included the infamous Stonewall Riots which lead to Christopher Street Liberation Day) to more celebratory parades. The Greek lambda symbol and pink triangle (a monument in Amsterdam which commemorates all gay men and lesbians who have been subjected to persecution because of their homosexuality) was introduced with San Francisco. It is actually the 40th anniversary of the rainbow Pride flag this year.
Pride music has strong roots within Disco and House, the New York nightclubs in the 70s and 80s playing a central part in the LGBT community. DJs such as David Mancuso, Larry Levan and the late Frankie Knuckles headlined nightclubs such as Paradise Garage or Music Box in Chicago and Trade in London. Today you can find Pride anthems across all genres such as Pop and Indie.
We are supporting the LGBT Foundation as part of our Pride campaign with a big fundraising day however if you wish to donate please click here and to learn more about the amazing work they do for the community.