Main | Thursday, September 10, 2009

80's Flashback

Joe Jackson, Real Men, 1982. This track about coming out, bullying, and machismo was not a radio hit for Jackson despite getting surprisingly heavy rotation on MTV. There was some small controversy about censoring the word "faggot", but as I recall it was gay activists that insisted that it should remain. Jackson's never officially come out, writing in his autobiography that sexuality was too ambiguous a subject to interest him. But a couple of his songs have directly referenced NYC gay culture as well as his failed marriage to a woman. The follow-up single to Real Men, the glistening disco-ish Steppin' Out, is considered a landmark of early music videos and was Jackson's biggest hit, peaking at #6 in the U.S.

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