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Amanda Lear
R&B


Amanda Lear first surfaced in the early '70s as a fetishistically clothed album-cover model for Roxy Music. She was said to be a transsexual but, as she told Interview magazine, that was just a ruse dreamed up by her sponsor, David Bowie, to draw attention. Her importance to disco fans, however, began in 1977, when she recorded I Am a Photograph in Germany with production help from Tony Monn. I Am a Photograph is the first of six sleazy, hard-to-find albums in which she flaunts a voice so heavy with low notes it makes one wonder if she really isn't a man after all. But Lear's slow notes are simply an exaggeration of the whiskey-voiced sultriness created by Marlene Dietrich. That isn't to say, however, that Lear's lyrics -- or the music's inverted proportions -- don't exploit her mythology as a kinky concoction to the bursting point. Michael Freedberg

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