Those who think that gay and lesbian music lovers listen only to the likes of k.d. lang and Barbra Streisand will quickly learn otherwise with this enlightening four-CD collection. In assembling this anthology based in part on music historically popular with the homosexual community, compilers Marshall Blonstein and Richard Oliver have reached beyond the songs of those modern gay icons for gems like the percolating "Masculine Women, Feminine Men" by an obscure flapper-era band, Merritt Brunies & His Friars Inn Orchestra, and "I'll Try for the Sun," with '60s folkie Donovan singing of the love between two males.
Verboten's eclectic charm also has blues by Bessie Smith, some Sondheim ballads, a full disc of classical music (albeit with opera—embraced by many gays—barely represented) as well as the thumping disco of Sister Sledge. It's entertaining listening, no matter what your lifestyle preferences. (DCC Compact Classics)