Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 Essential Albums by LGBTQ Artists, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Considering that the qualifier “LGBTQ” can often be open to various interpretations, for the purposes of this particular list, we have defined an artist as LGBTQ if he, she or they have ever publicly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer. Moreover, albums by groups have been included in the list if any of their members fit the aforementioned criteria, even if some members do not.
Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or for easier navigation, view the full introduction & album index here.
FRANKIE KNUCKLES | Beyond the Mix
Selected by Daryl McIntosh
House music is a genre that doesn’t get its just do. As the fire of disco simmered and the sparks of hip-hop flared around the close of the ‘80s, house helped bridge the two movements, while combining some of the best elements of genres already in existence and providing inspiration to a few that were still on the horizon.
If there was a de facto captain of such a colossal party vessel, those fortunate enough to have enjoyed the alternative night life of the ‘80s usually identify the late Frankie Knuckles. Widely known as “The Godfather of House,” Knuckles’ DJing made him a staple of Chicago night life, before he would relocate across the pond to leave just as large of a musical imprint in London.
By the time Knuckles released his seminal debut Beyond the Mix, his name was already etched in late-night infamy. Songs from the LP like “The Whistle Song” and “Party at My House” helped solidify the house genre, as some of the biggest names in pop and R&B would follow Knuckles’ musical imagination and technical savvy.
Beyond the Mix was successful in providing the soundtrack for one of the most exciting party scenes in the early ‘90s and is undoubtedly the inspiration for regional movements that would succeed Knuckles’ own.