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.
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LITTLE RICHARD | Here’s Little Richard
Selected by Justin Chadwick
Few artists have exerted as profound of an influence on the evolution of popular music as Richard Penniman. Steeped in the music of the church from an early age, the Georgia born and bred performer more affectionately known as Little Richard possessed a confidence and charisma both on record and on stage that instantly captivated audiences both black and white, while laying the foundation for the rock & roll and soul music phenomena that dominated the latter half of the 20th century.
Though many of us can instantly recall his endearingly animated performance style and effortlessly flamboyant personality, Richard’s unique aesthetics have never obscured the inescapable brilliance of his songwriting. Billed as his debut album, Here’s Little Richard was released in March of 1957, though it contains a handful of singles that emerged well before the LP’s arrival. His first major hit to land on the charts was the infectious classic “Tutti Frutti,” first released in October 1955. It’s included here, along with his subsequent hits “Long Tall Sally,” Slippin’ and Slidin,’” “Rip It Up,” and “Ready Teddy.”
Unequivocally one of the most important and thrilling collections of songs ever committed to wax, Here’s Little Richard is imperative listening for music fans of all stripes.