Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 Essential Albums by LGBTQ Artists, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Considering that the qualifier “LGBTQ” can often be open to various interpretations, for the purposes of this particular list, we have defined an artist as LGBTQ if he, she or they have ever publicly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer. Moreover, albums by groups have been included in the list if any of their members fit the aforementioned criteria, even if some members do not.
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BOY GEORGE | Cheapness and Beauty
Selected by Quentin Harrison
Then-former Culture Club frontman Boy George—born George O’Dowd—busied himself right after the band’s dissolution in 1986. Four albums of his own had come and gone before Cheapness and Beauty impacted, but none of them had the same potency this one did.
Released in conjunction with his memoir Take it Like a Man, Cheapness and Beauty marries glam-rock and sweeping adult contemporary ballads—contrasting genre elements to be sure—curiously well. Excluding Boy George’s dizzying Iggy Pop cover of “Funtime,” the remainder of Cheapness and Beauty is autobiographical throughout its runtime.