Monthly Archives: June 2013

Cher’s Top 6 Hits: 6 Decades of Cher

Cher is undoubtedly the ultimate gay icon and a legend. Having sold an estimated 150 million records worldwide as a solo artist and as a duo with then-husband Sonny and having been around since the mid-1960s, she’s the definition of longevity. Now she’s back on the scene again with her 26th solo studio album and first since 2001 – entitled “Closer To The Truth” – due for release in September, and recently officially released its first single, “Woman’s World” – a female-empowering club anthem. So to mark this glorious occasion and return of this magnificent Queen of Pop, we have listed Cher’s six biggest and best hits from her record-breaking six decades in the music business – one from each decade. Check them out below:

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1960s – Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

Her third solo single and the second from her second album “The Sonny Side of Chér”, “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” became Cher’s first major worldwide hit in 1966. It has been covered many a time by other artists, the most famous being Nancy Sinatra’s version in the same year. Nancy’s father Frank also covered it, as well as Stevie Wonder, among others.

Cher’s other hits in this decade include début single “All I Really Want To Do”, and her version of “Alfie” for the US release of the film of the same name, as well as “I Got You Babe” with Sonny.

1970s – Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves

“Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” became Cher’s first solo Number One hit in the US when it was released in 1971 and is still one of her signature hits four decades later, as well as still being one of her biggest-selling to date.

The 70s saw more hits for Cher, such as “The Way Of Love”, “Half-Breed” and Dark Lady”.

1980s – If I Could Turn Back Time

The music video for “If I Could Turn Back Time” cemented Cher as a classic gay icon, with a huge wig (which from then on she soon became well-known for wearing a variety of them) and controversial, wacky and revealing outfit (which inspired the likes of Christina Aguilera to wear a similar get-up in her “Dirrty” video) as well as a ship full of sailors. It was her first major global hit in about 15 years.

Her other big singles in the 90s include “Dead Ringer For Love” with rockstar Meat Loaf and “I Found Someone”.

1990s – Believe

The 90s was Cher’s most successful decade as an artist – she racked up a string of hits, including “Just Like Jesse James”, “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)”, “Love And Understanding”, her gospel-tinged version of Marc Cohn’s “Walking In Memphis”, “Strong Enough” and the big ballad “All Or Nothing” (proving she really had a good set of pipes on her).

However, it was of course “Believe” that stood out above the others. A huge hit all over the world, this iconic single with its trance-like beat and ingenious use of auto-tune to give Cher’s voice a robotic effect, set and broke records for her – mainly for the being oldest artist on practically any chart to reach Number One.

2000s – (This Is) A Song For The Lonely

The 2000s were a slow decade for Cher, as she toured for what seemed like years (and it was) with her Farewell Tour, while promoting her last – and astounding – 25th studio album, “Living Proof”. While not hugely successful on the main charts, “Song For The Lonely” became another dance club hit for her, as did “A Different Kind Of Love Song”. “The Music’s No Good Without You”, the lead song from the aforementioned album was also quite popular.

2010s – You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me

Perhaps it’s a given because it was her only song that charted anywhere since 2010, but “You Haven’t Seen The Last Me” became a new favourite for many fans when she recorded it for the “Burlesque” soundtrack. It showed her back in top form and once again proved that she still had a great voice that was able to belt out a big tune like this.  It went to Number One on the Dance Club Singles chart in the US, breaking and setting more records for her. “Welcome To Burlesque”, also from the film, is a popular track too.

What’s your favourite Cher song, do you like her new single and are you looking forward to her new album? Let us know!

City Spotlight: Rome

Rome is the epitome of a European capital city that has a rich history and culture, and is proud to keep it that way at its forefront. Its gay scene is not as prominent as other cities such as Paris, Berlin and Madrid – and you can probably “thank” the fact that the Pope resides there for that – but in the past decade or so has begun to catch up and cater towards its LGBT community and tourists that travel there. The city does, however, have a lot to offer travellers who want to sightsee and learn more about Rome and Italy’s long and interesting history and many consider it one the world’s best places to escape to for a romantic holiday.

Arcigay has been the largest national LGBT organisation since 1985 and have been fighting for more LGBT rights for many years, including civil unions, gay marriage, gays and lesbians being able to adopt and more recognition for transgender people. Many gay venues throughout Italy require people, both natives and foreigners, to purchase Arcigay membership (usually about €10), in addition to the admission cost, even those who are just visiting the country for a short time.

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Unlike more modern and cosmopolitan cities such as Manchester and Barcelona, Rome’s gay venues are not confined in one specific area and are found all cross the city, but neither are they as obvious, with many of them being hidden behind busy areas down small streets or above other buildings and businesses. This is perhaps because of the city’s strong religious influence that gay places feel less accepted or are made to cover up. This should not stop tourists though, as there are an increasing number of gay-owned bars and clubs, shops, restaurants, cafes and other venues that should be checked out and are becoming more and more popular with the LGBT community, particularly around Viale San Giovanni, which attracts most of them (although again, is not the city’s main gay area). There’s even a gay beach located about 40km away from the city. For a full, detailed list of places, click here.

Besides trying out Rome’s gay scene, the city’s obvious attractions are of course its beautiful and intriguing architecture – which ranges from ancient to medieval, from renaissance to baroque, from neoclassicism to to fascist; historical and religious sites; and famous statues. The Colosseum, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, the Piazza del Popolo, the Pantheon, the Column of Marcus Aurelius and the gardens of Villa Borghese are just some of the most popular places worth visiting. Art galleries, history museums and, more recently, fashion exhibitions are also abundant. However, if you really are more of a modern fashionista, then style capital Milan – approximately 600km to the north of Rome – is the place to go if you have time, and although it seems far, a stop off at Florence along the way is recommended. For a shorter but just as worthwhile a journey, Naples is situated around 220km south of Rome.

At Gay Homestays we have an extensive range of more than 100 accommodations available in Rome, whether they be spare rooms in people’s apartments or houses, guesthouses or B&Bs or whole properties, with a good mix of both LGBT and LGBT-friendly hosts who welcome anybody to stay with them to enjoy and explore this great and interesting city. So why not check them out and book one for when you next travel to Rome?

The best times to visit Rome are during the cooler but warm months of Spring and Autumn but if you want to go for Pride and see the LGBT community take over the usually conservative city, then it takes place on 15th June. From then on and until September there is also “Gay Village“, a summer-long festival chock-a-block with events and parties all over Rome and in its gay venues.