Jon Savage's The Secret Public - How The LGBTQ+ Aesthetic Shaped Pop Culture 1955-1979 Various Artists (Jon Savage)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDTOP2 1647

Homosexuality has been a part of post-war popular music since its very inception. Until the early 70s, however, it wasn’t talked about openly in that world: it was coded, hidden, secret. This of course mirrored society - during the 50s and 60s, the gay community felt like outcasts: harassed by the police, demonised by the media and politicians, imprisoned simply for being who they were.

This compilation spans the time before and after Bowie, reflecting both the coded nature about the topic in the 50s and 60s and the greater openness that occurred in the early 70s. It begins in late 1955, with the extraordinary success of Little Richard; continues through early-60s pop and pop art; Tamla and Soul, Glam Rock, the early 70’s funk and disco that was played in the underground New York clubs, and then moves on to the omnipresence of Disco, in the late seventies.

This double CD compilation is about freedom - and freedom for all. Whilst some of the artists identify as LGBTQ+, then or now, some are included simply because they were played in gay or lesbian clubs — where their lyric or sound proved useful and enjoyable to the patrons - or because they were shaped in some way by the gay aesthetic or gay managers. It’s a love letter to the entwined world of music and sexuality in all its many guises and we hope you enjoy the ride.

This compilation will coincide with "The Secret Public: How LGBTQ Resistance Shaped Popular Culture (1955-1979)"  a monumental history of the LGBTQ influence on popular culture from the award-winning Sunday Times bestselling author Jon Savage which will be published by Faber: 06.06.2024.


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview I Hear A New World - Joe Meek & The Blue Men

  • 02 Preview Tutti-Frutti - Little Richard & His Band

  • 03 Preview Esquerita And The Voola - Esquerita

  • 04 Preview Wondrous Place - Billy Fury

  • 05 Preview Strawberry Blonde (The Band Rocked On) - Frank D'Rone

  • 06 Preview Foot Stompin' - The Dovells

  • 07 Preview Johnny Remember Me - John Leyton

  • 08 Preview Peppermint Twist (Part 1) - Joey Dee & The Starliters

  • 09 Preview Sally, Go ‘Round The Roses - The Jaynetts

  • 10 Preview You Don't Own Me - Lesley Gore

  • 11 Preview Needle In A Haystack - The Velvelettes

  • 12 Preview Get Down With It - Bobby Marchan

  • 13 Preview I'll Be Your Mirror - The Velvet Underground & Nico

  • 14 Preview Heaven Must Have Sent You - The Elgins

  • 15 Preview Stand Up Straight And Tall - Jackie Shane

  • 16 Preview Women Is Losers - Big Brother & The Holding Company

  • 17 Preview No Stranger Am I - Norma Tanega

  • 18 Preview Pretty Golden Hair - Al Stewart

  • 19 Preview David Watts - The Kinks

  • 20 Preview Nothing But A Heartache - The Flirtations

  • 21 Preview Stand! - Sly & The Family Stone

  • 22 Preview Life & Death In G & A - Abaco Dream

  • 23 Preview Nathan Jones - The Supremes

  • 24 Preview Walk On The Wild Side - Lou Reed

  • 25 Preview Coochi-Coo - Polly Perkins

  • 26 Preview I'maman - Jobriath

  • 27 Preview Soul Makossa - Manu Dibango

  • 28 Preview Law Of The Land - The Temptations

Side 2

  • 01 Preview Get Dancin' Part 1 - Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes featuring Sir Monti Rock III

  • 02 Preview Lady Marmalade - LaBelle

  • 03 Preview Nobody's Gonna Change Me - The Dynamic Superiors

  • 04 Preview Ain't Nobody Straight In L.A. - The Miracles

  • 05 Preview I Need A Man - Grace Jones

  • 06 Preview I Feel Love - Patrick Cowley

  • 07 Preview Orgasm Addict - Buzzcocks

  • 08 Preview Fuck Off - Jayne County & The Electric Chairs

  • 09 Preview Glad To Be Gay - Tom Robinson Band

  • 10 Preview I Was Born This Way - Carl Bean

  • 11 Preview Prison - Space

  • 12 Preview Disco Dance (Mega Mix) - Michele

  • 13 Preview I Need Somebody To Love Tonight - Sylvester

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