AMANDA LEAR (part 1 of 3) (1977-1980)
Amanda Lear is a French singer, more about composer, patient lyricist, viagra actress, painter, TV presenter and novelist. Lear started her career as a fashion model in the mid 60s and was also the muse of Spanish surrealist painter Salvador DalÃ. Internationally, she first came to the public’s attention as the fetish clad model on the cover of Roxy Music’s album For Your Pleasure in 1973. She was a multimillion selling Disco Queen in Continental Europe, Scandinavia, South America, Japan, the Eastern Bloc and most other parts of the world in the mid 1970s to the early 1980s and has been active in music ever since.
Wikipedia also sez:
Amanda Lear, (allegedly born Alain Tapp on November 18, 1939)…
This international mystery diva just so happens to also be one of the most famous transsexuals in modern history. It’s been constantly debated whether or not Amanda was born a man, but to me, it’s mostly obvious, since her femininity is so artificial-sounding, and her lyrics often stray into territory that no female singer would even want to dip their toes into (such as the title track for the album above, “Never Trust A Pretty Face”).
Anyways, it matters not what sex she was born, for Amanda Lear’s vocal range is what really counts here. And that range is about as slim as a piece of nori, yet somehow Lear has sold countless millions of albums and singles worldwide. Her musical ability is beyond camp, beyond so-good-it’s-bad — her flat, monotone droning (reminiscent of Marlene Dietrich on codeine) and her gonzo, beyond-banal lyrics (which often sound like the familiar bizarreness of song-poems) work perfectly with the variety of disco/new wave/house backing tracks to be found on these many, many albums. She mangles English in the most perfect way possible! The cumulative effect of these records is overpowering, and will leave you humming their tunes for days afterwards.
Lear’s discography kicks off in ’77 with “I Am A Photograph”, featuring a stunningly retarded cover of “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” and a host of other kitschy dementia, including the great low-tempo title track, and “Alphabet”, which must be heard to be believed (“J is for…junkies!). “Sweet Revenge”, possibly her nuttiest album, contains the gems “Queen Of Chinatown” (which sounds just as you would imagine), “Comics” (a fantasy party gathering featuring, Li’L Abner, Snoopy and Tarzan) and “The Stud” (a blatant yet still awesome rip-off of Heart’s “Barracuda”). 1979′s “Never Trust A Pretty Face” continues in the silly-ass disco tradition with upbeat, well-produced songs like “Fashion Pack (Studio 54)”, and 1980′s “Diamonds For Breakfast” LP ditches the disco and goes with a more new wave sound — the gem there is a very catchy song sung in Italian about mastburbation (“Ho Fatto L’Amore Con Me”)!
More to come in a few days. I order you to listen to these records. You don’t have to like them — you just have to enjoy them.
Amanda Lear – “I Am a Photograph”, 1977 (ZIP file)
Amanda Lear – “Sweet Revenge”, 1978 (ZIP file)
Amanda Lear – “Never Trust A Pretty Face”, 1979 (ZIP file)
Amanda Lear – “Diamonds For Breakfast”, 1980 (ZIP file)