Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Free to Be, Vols. 1-5

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Free to Be, Vols. 1-5

Article excerpt

Various artists, (The Right Stuff)

It's a new formula, but we can already recognize it: If a CD has a shirtless, buffed, boyish man featured prominently on the cover, we gays know that somebody in record-business land thinks the musical contents are right up our gay alley--which is our cue to get busy with our charge cards. Having invented the strategy, the music business has discovered that chain stores will actually stock this stuff. So you better get ready to have your pink dollars courted by even more tired beefcake selling even dustier catalog material.

The five-CD Free to Be series (with more CDs in store) comes courtesy of the Right Stuff, a reissue company connected to the EMI-Capitol label that has also released homo-friendly compilations from the Salsoul, Hi, and Solar R&B/disco stables. The photography on the packaging looks like it could have been lifted from any body-obsessed gay greeting card. And the same sketchy gay timeline inside the CD booklet appears in each of the first five volumes. Free to Be is designed to snag the average sissy who likes divas, dance beats, and pop-R&B tunes from the '80s and '90s with nothing too radical or rock-oriented to jar the senses. …

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