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Baker's Dozen

Dancing & Defiance - Paul Flynn's Soundtrack To 30 Years Of Gay Culture
Andy Thomas , July 24th, 2017 11:06

To mark the anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, Paul Flynn (author of Good as You: From Prejudice to Pride, 30 Years of Gay Britain) chooses 13 records that soundtracked his life, from ACR to Elton and Lil Kim to Sleaford Mods.


Deee-Lite - World Clique
World Clique is the gay Blue Lines or Screamadelica. It's our generational nightclub experience distilled into long form, from a time ecstasy was still fresh, hope was high and dance-floors were full of the young, witty and wasted. Everything about New York nightlife in the 80s that we were imitating in Northern gay clubs like the Number One, Flesh and Vague seemed to be contained in it; the clothes, the hair, the trippy togetherness, the loose philosophy that dancing till 5am might flip the world inside out. I'm sure dancing for happiness will happen again for young people under Donald Trump and Theresa May, the reality age Reagan and Thatcher. I really hope so, anyway. 'What is Love?' is the evergreen classic from this record, though no album ever hurts from having a wedding disco staple on it, so you've got to give 'Groove Is In The Heart' a nod. Getting Bootsy Collins and Q-Tip to guest on your debut record was so wow. There's other records from this time I love – Jesus Loves You's 'Martyr Mantras', Electribe 101's 'Electribal Memories', the first M:People album, the second S'Express. They were our parochial versions of what happened in full technicolour on World Clique. Deee-Lite's wardrobe from the period has been rinsed so many times since I stopped noticing pop stars doing it by the millennium. The Deee-Lite imagery and message was perfect.