Bob Dylan, Kesha, St. Vincent, Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, and more come together in Universal Love, an album that celebrates same-sex couples.
The new EP from MGM Records reimagines some of the most popular wedding classics such as "Mad About Boy" and "She's Funny That Way" for the lovers within the LGBTQ community. Six artists from different genres each performed and refashioned one song for the album.
In Universal Love, Dinah Washington's 1950s hit "Mad About Boy" becomes "Mad About Girl," a song performed by Valerie June for same-sex partners. Meanwhile, Nobel laureate Dylan reworked the classic "She's Funny That Way" into "He's Funny That Way," making it an ode about two men who are madly in love with each other.
Kesha, who has a large gay fanbase, was also involved in the project. She performed a song titled "I Need a Woman to Love Me," a version of "I Need a Man to Love Me" originally performed by Janis Joplin.
Valerie June and Kele Okereke of Bloc Party also contributed songs to the album.
"As marriage has become more inclusive, it seems like it's time the music we celebrate it caught up," MGM Records said in a statement published on its official website. "That's why we partnered with Legacy Recordings and a diverse group of iconic artists to create Universal Love, an album that re-imagines what a first-dance song can be."
The album comes almost three years after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. Since then, more countries across the globe are saying "I do" to the union between LGBTQ couples.
"If you look at the history of pop music, love songs have predominantly come from one heterosexual perspective," said Tom Murphy, the co-producer of the album. "If we view music as something that brings people together, shouldn't these popular songs be open to everyone?"
Executive producer Rob Kaplan explained that before they recorded, they had to secure permission to rework the songs from its publishers. However, his team did not get any disapproval.
All the artists who are involved in the project were also enthusiastic about working on the album. Kaplan recalled that Dylan immediately said yes when Universal Love was pitched to him.
"And it wasn't just 'yes, I'll do this,'" the music producer recalled. "It was 'hey, I have an idea for a song.'"
Universal Love is now available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.