From Olivia Newton-John getting "Physical" to the Pet Shop Boys "Domino Dancing," these are our picks for the thirty gayest music videos.
1. Olivia Newton-John, “Physical” (1981)
Quivering male butt cheeks within the first 15 seconds? Check! A hand-holding homo plot twist at the end? Check! A flawlessly cheesy, floor-filling tune? Check! And it all happened nearly 30 years ago. Liv wins hands down.
Wham! “Club Tropicana” (1983)
It’s not just that it’s the campiest song ever or that George looked so hot back then, but that the video really, really tries to make these lads look butch (to hilarious effect).
4. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, “Relax” (1983)
The quintessential (and once banned) video for gay leather pigs. We can’t stress just how controversial and shocking this was in its day. And how many people still have XXXL FRANKIE SAYS tees in the bottom of their closet.
5. Madonna, “Vogue” (1990)
Now these boys are ladies.
6. Marc Almond, “Ruby Red” (1986)
Flaming. No, literally. Almond plays a biker-sailor hybrid as horny, near-naked devils writhe around him, and there’s even a glittery heart in a jar! Sigh. They just don’t make queens like Marc anymore.
7 Cher, “Hell on Wheels” (1979)
She ain’t the Queen of Camp for nothin’. This little-known classic features Cher shuttling down the road in a hot pink and zebra-print spandex number and roller skates while every gay caricature (cowboy, cop, biker, bandana boy, hustler, gladiator, drag queen) eggs her on. Did this really happen?
8. Diana Ross, “Muscles” (1982)
And you thought “I’m Coming Out” was gay
9. Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (1978)
Forget all the pastiches, revivals, tributes, costumes, proms, weddings, and rip-offs since. This is pure vintage N.Y.C., and all the lovelier for it.
10. Rammstein, “Mann Gegen Mann” (2006)
The title translates to “man against man” and that’s exactly what you’ll see in this—arguably the gayest video by the straightest band in the most stupidly macho genre ever. And is it sexy? Yes!
11. Weather Girls, “It’s Raining Men” (1982)
Could there be a better gay party song? Fabulous fat black divas and buff men in fairy wings. Better than peanut butter and chocolate.
12. Kylie Minogue, “Slow” (2003)
Count on good ol’ Kylie to confect this super-glossy, super-tan, orgiastic fantasy.
13. Queen, “I Want to Break Free” (1984)
Freddie Mercury vamps it up in a matronly wig and leather skirt, then later shoots down a Slip ’n Slide of men coated in cow-print body paint. Wham-O!
14. Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” (1983)
We’re sure if this classic were released today, it would sound just as timeless. The fact that in the video Lennox adopted an eerie androgynous persona—and made her declaration of love in a barnyard full of cows—makes it all the more fabulous.
15. Take That, “Do What U Like” (1991)
What the eff? Is this behind-the-scenes footage from a Bel Ami movie? Vintage Robbie Williams at his worst, but just wait till the cheeky mop-up sesh towards the end.
16. Right Said Fred, “I’m Too Sexy” (1992)
Two bald, beefy brothers (one gay) voguing and cat-walking while wearing mesh. Sums up the early gay ’90s in a nutshell.
17.. Duran Duran, “The Wild Boys” (1984)
Even the lack of butchness in “wild boys” is funny. It takes awhile to get going, but trust us, it’s worth it.
18. Pet Shop Boys, “Domino Dancing” (1988)
Two shirtless construction hotties are supposedly in love with the same chica, but with their flimsy-wristed showdown and the splashy, porntastic wrestling match that follows, they couldn’t be less convincing.
19. Erasure, “Take a Chance on Me” (1992)
Andy Bell and Vince Clarke make the shabbiest drag queens ever
20. The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (1989)
In addition to the B’s massive gay appeal, the video for this party anthem features one of the most famous drag queens in the world. Yes, that afroed beauty going into orgasmic convulsions is a pre-“Supermodel” RuPau
21. Deee-Lite, “Groove Is in the Heart” (1990)
A loopy, tranced-out masterpiece. No, Lady Miss Kier is not a drag queen. She’s better.
22. Antony and the Johnsons, ““Epilepsy Is Dancing”” (2009)
We like to call this one “Midsummer Night’s Queens.” In Antony’s fantasia, masked fairies frolic, while he’s like a big gay cannon, spitting out cartoon flowers and butterflies. Beyond gay...
23. Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (1984)
Not the original mix, but it’s still a heartbreaker.
24. Divine, “You Think You’re a Man” (1984)
The filthy Pink Flamingos star barks over a synth beat produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, the men behind Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record),” as shady gay dudes prowl around a dance club. Is that Rebecca De Mornay with the cocktail shaker?
25. Scissor Sisters, “Filthy/Gorgeous” (2004)
It’s all on full display in this John Cameron Mitchell–directed video: bears, trannies, strippers, X-rated Twister, drag king Murray Hill paddling Jake Shears’s ass, and—wait for it—a cameo from Charlotte Rae (a.k.a. Mrs. Garrett)!!!
26. The Knife, “Pass This On” (2003)
This spooky video stars gorgeous Swedish drag queen Rickard Engfors, who lip syncs the track to a comatose audience (including Knife members Karin Dreijer and Olof Dreijer) in what appears to be a ski lodge or bingo hall. Weeeeeird.
27. Menudo, “Hold Me” (1985)
Scary gay face and Technicolor, with beachside skipping perfected
28. Judas Priest, “Hot Rockin’” (1981)
You can tell they’re Brits because they’ve clearly never seen a gym before, let alone worked out. But this video still gets a 10/10, especially considering lead singer Rob Halford later came out of the closet.
29. Dead or Alive, “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” (1985)
Classic in all its ugliness.
30. Cazwell, “All Over Your Face” (2006)
Shirtless thrill-seekers run around Manhattan’s Lower East Side extolling the virtues of a good facial. Meanwhile, Amanda Lepore’s lips threaten to swallow her face whole. Gay at its raunchiest.