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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ERASURE | Wonderland
Selected by Rayna Khaitan
I’ve been a fan of Erasure since high school. Pop! The First 20 Hits was in regular rotation in my Discman and I often included them on mix tapes. But, it wasn’t ‘til college that I came to love the band the way I do now. I had a tough time at UCLA for various reasons, but the school did a few things right. For one, they assigned me the most amazing neighbor in the dorms who quickly became my best friend. We bonded over many things freshman year and Erasure was one of them.
The following year, my friend came out to me around the same time that Erasure’s eighth album Cowboy was released. He was going to study abroad that autumn, and one of the final things we did in LA that year was see Erasure together (it was each of our first time). At the show, we bought matching necklaces with the letter “e,” which we vowed to wear every day we were apart.
It was incredibly difficult for me to choose one Erasure album to highlight here. Their vast discography is a glittering opus of emotive pop and synthy abandon, but Wonderland is how the duo of Erasure started and “Oh L'amour,” one of its most enduring singles, is what got me hooked. So, I feel compelled to thank this album, in particular, for giving rise to beautiful, life-changing friendships.