I Am a Photograph

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I Am a Photograph
Studio album by Amanda Lear
Released 1977
Recorded 1975-1977
Genre Disco
Label Ariola
Producer Anthony Monn
Amanda Lear chronology
I Am a Photograph
(1977)
Sweet Revenge
(1978)
Alternative covers
Second edition
French and Italian editions
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]

I Am a Photograph is the debut studio album by a French singer Amanda Lear, released in 1977 by a West German label Ariola Records. The album was a success on the European market and spawned Lear's first disco hit singles "Blood and Honey", "Tomorrow" and "Queen of Chinatown", the latter available only on the album re-issue. I Am a Photograph was officially re-released on CD in 2012.

Background[edit]

Amanda Lear's first album, called I Am a Photograph in reference to her former modelling career, was recorded in Munich with a German producer Anthony Monn, and consisted of mainstream disco material, with majority of lyrics written by Amanda Lear herself. In addition to original songs composed by Anthony Monn and Rainer Pietsch, the album included a number of covers: Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'", "Blue Tango", paired with Lear's self-penned lyrics and a French-language version of Elvis Presley's "Trouble". In addition, "Alphabet" largely incorporated excerpts from Johann Sebastian Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier.

The artwork is credited to Ariola-Eurodisc Studios. The front cover of the first pressing pictures a photograph of Amanda Lear taken from the Bravo magazine and stuck on a wooden garage door, between various photographs of motorcycles, a mirror, a crucifix as well as the American, Swedish and Dutch flags.[2] The second pressing featured a cropped nude picture of Amanda Lear, taken by Christa Peters for the Playboy magazine. German editions came with the full-size poster of the topless cover picture.[3] French and Italian pressings of the album used an alternative photograph from the Playboy shoot on the cover.[4]

The cover of Presley's "Trouble" was released as Lear's debut single in 1975. The French-language version of the song, "La Bagarre", met with a modest success in Germany in 1976, followed by "Blood and Honey" later the same year, which met with a major commercial success and was an international breakthrough for Lear in 1977. "Tomorrow" subsequently became a number 1 single in Italy and a trademark hit. "Blue Tango" and "Alphabet" were released in certain territories, but did not chart. Later in 1977, "Queen of Chinatown" was released as a single from the second edition of the album, becoming a hit in Europe and Lear's greatest chart success up to that point.

The album's promotional campaign was based on Amanda's "scandalous sex-symbol personality", surrounded by gossips regarding her alleged transsexualism, place of birth, which at the time was believed to be Transylvania, and her relationships with Salvador Dalí and David Bowie.[5] A small concert tour was also arranged in Italy. It became a commercial success in Europe, especially in Italy, where it reached top 10.

I Am a Photograph was re-issued with alternate track listings and covers. The second West German pressing replaced "La Bagarre" with "She's Got the Devil in Her Eyes", which was an instrumental version of "Blood and Honey". On the following edition, "La Bagarre" was omitted in favour of the new recording, "Queen of Chinatown". American edition included an extended version of "Blood and Honey" while the 1978 East German release featured "Mother, Look What They've Done to Me", a Sweet Revenge album track. The album was released as Tomorrow in Brazil, yet again with re-arranged track listing, and as Pretty Boys in Zimbabwe and South Africa. In Argentina, the album was distributed as Soy una fotografía in 1979. The official CD re-release did not take place until 2012, when Gold Legion released the album in three different versions of the front cover, including the original topless poster in chosen editions. All three editions retained the track listing of the original LP release, adding four bonus tracks, including "Queen of Chinatown". The material has been remastered from original master tapes.[6][7][8]

Contemporary music critic Michael Freedberg gave I Am a Photograph a four-star rating on AllMusic, praising its arrangements and calling it "an album not to be missed".[1] However, John C. Hughes of Popdose.com referred to the album as "nearly unlistenable", critically reflecting on Amanda's vocal performance.[9]

Track listing[edit]

Original release[edit]

Side A
  1. "Blood and Honey" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:50
  2. "Alphabet (Prelude in C by J. S. Bach)" (Johann Sebastian Bach, Charly Ricanek, Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:00
  3. "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Lee Hazlewood) – 3:18
  4. "Tomorrow" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:10
  5. "Pretty Boys" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 2:55
Side B
  1. "Alligator" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:35
  2. "The Lady in Black" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 3:30
  3. "I Am a Photograph" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:25
  4. "La Bagarre" (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) – 3:27
  5. "Blue Tango" (Leroy Anderson, Amanda Lear) – 2:40

Second German edition[edit]

Side A
  1. "Blood and Honey" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:50
  2. "Alphabet (Prelude in C by J. S. Bach)" (Johann Sebastian Bach, Charly Ricanek, Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:00
  3. "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Lee Hazlewood) – 3:18
  4. "Tomorrow" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:10
  5. "Pretty Boys" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 2:55
Side B
  1. "Alligator" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:35
  2. "The Lady in Black" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 3:30
  3. "I Am a Photograph" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:25
  4. "She's Got the Devil in Her Eyes" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 3:05
  5. "Blue Tango" (Leroy Anderson, Amanda Lear) – 2:40

Third German edition[edit]

Side A
  1. "Blood and Honey" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:50
  2. "Alphabet (Prelude in C by J. S. Bach)" (Johann Sebastian Bach, Charly Ricanek, Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:00
  3. "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Lee Hazlewood) – 3:18
  4. "Tomorrow" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:10
  5. "Pretty Boys" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 2:55
Side B
  1. "Queen of China-Town" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:15
  2. "Alligator" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:35
  3. "The Lady in Black" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 3:30
  4. "I Am a Photograph" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:25
  5. "Blue Tango" (Leroy Anderson, Amanda Lear) – 2:40

American edition[edit]

Side A
  1. "Blood and Honey" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 7:14
  2. "Alphabet (Prelude in C by J. S. Bach)" (Johann Sebastian Bach, Charly Ricanek, Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 3:58
  3. "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Lee Hazlewood) – 3:18
  4. "Tomorrow" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:10
  5. "Pretty Boys" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 2:54
Side B
  1. "Queen of China-Town" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:15
  2. "Alligator" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:31
  3. "The Lady in Black" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 3:38
  4. "I Am a Photograph" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:24
  5. "Blue Tango" (Leroy Anderson, Amanda Lear) – 2:44

East German edition[edit]

Side A
  1. "Blood and Honey" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:50
  2. "Alphabet (Prelude in C by J. S. Bach)" (Johann Sebastian Bach, Charly Ricanek, Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:00
  3. "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Lee Hazlewood) – 3:18
  4. "Tomorrow" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:10
  5. "Pretty Boys" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 2:55
Side B
  1. "Mother, Look What They've Done to Me" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:25
  2. "Alligator" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:35
  3. "The Lady in Black" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 3:30
  4. "I Am a Photograph" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:25
  5. "Blue Tango" (Leroy Anderson, Amanda Lear) – 2:40

Brazilian edition[edit]

Side A
  1. "Tomorrow" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:10
  2. "Alphabet (Prelude in C by J. S. Bach)" (Johann Sebastian Bach, Charly Ricanek, Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:00
  3. "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Lee Hazlewood) – 3:18
  4. "Blood and Honey" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:50
  5. "Pretty Boys" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 2:55
Side B
  1. "Queen of China-Town" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:15
  2. "Alligator" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:35
  3. "The Lady in Black" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 3:30
  4. "I Am a Photograph" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:21
  5. "Blue Tango" (Leroy Anderson, Amanda Lear) – 2:40

CD re-issue[edit]

  1. "Blood and Honey" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:50
  2. "Alphabet (Prelude in C by J. S. Bach)" (Johann Sebastian Bach, Charly Ricanek, Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 3:56
  3. "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Lee Hazlewood) – 3:18
  4. "Tomorrow" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:10
  5. "Pretty Boys" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 2:55
  6. "Alligator" (Rainer Pietsch, Amanda Lear) – 4:35
  7. "The Lady in Black" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 3:36
  8. "I Am a Photograph" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:25
  9. "La Bagarre" (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) – 3:27
  10. "Blue Tango" (Leroy Anderson, Amanda Lear) – 2:43
  11. "Queen of Chinatown" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 4:15
  12. "Blood and Honey" (12" Version) (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 8:55
  13. "She's Got the Devil in Her Eyes" (Anthony Monn, Amanda Lear) – 3:05
  14. "Lethal Leading Lady" (Amanda Lear, La Bionda, Malachy) – 2:52

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Release history[edit]

Year Region Format(s) Label
1977 West Germany LP, cassette Ariola Records
France LP
Italy Polydor Records
Portugal Phonogram Records
Greece Epic Records
Yugoslavia PGP-RTB
USA Chrysalis Records
1978 East Germany Ariola Records
Spain
Zimbabwe
South Africa
Japan
New Zealand RCA Records
Brazil
1979 Argentina
2012 Worldwide CD Gold Legion
2013

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Michael Freedberg. "I Am a Photograph - Amanda Lear". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  2. ^ "Images for Amanda Lear - I Am A Photograph". Discogs. www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  3. ^ "Images for Amanda Lear - I Am A Photograph". Discogs. www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  4. ^ "Images for Amanda Lear - I Am A Photograph". Discogs. www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  5. ^ Lear, Amanda (1985). My Life with Dalí. London: Virgin Books. p. 267. ISBN 0-86369-095-5. 
  6. ^ "Amanda Lear I Am A Photograph [Expanded] V1". www.shop.goldlegion.com. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  7. ^ "Amanda Lear I Am A Photograph [Expanded] V2". www.shop.goldlegion.com. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  8. ^ "Amanda Lear I Am A Photograph [Expanded] V3". www.shop.goldlegion.com. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  9. ^ John C. Hughes. "Lost in the ’70s: Amanda Lear, "Blood and Honey"". popdose.com. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  10. ^ "Amanda Lear - I Am A Photograph" (in German). austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  11. ^ "Amanda Lear, I Am A Photograph" (in German). www.charts.de. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  12. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - ALBUM 1977" (in Italian). www.hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 

External links[edit]