Hailed as ‘The new Bowie’ in the 70′s, flamboyant Glam artist Jobriath was the first openly gay artists signed to major label. He was also one of the first celebrities to die of AIDS. For all of his potential and the media blitz behind him, Jobriath was a commercial failure.
Behind the push from manager Jerry Brandt, Jobriath was signed to Elektra Records for one of the largest contracts to date. The record was promoted with full page ads in Rolling Stone, Vogue and Penthouse. Jobriath was splashed all over New York City, with his image on 250 city buses and a Time Squre billboard. Admid the hype of his self-titled debut record, Brandt made claims of “Elvis, The Beatles and Jobriath”.
Despite the heavy promotion and positive critcal acclaim, the record failed to chart. Despite the success of artists like David Bowie, Lou Reed, Mark Bolan and Brian Eno, it seems the general population was not ready for the self-proclaimed ‘Rock’s truest fairy’. A 2nd record, Creatures of The Night, released in 1974 fared even worse. Jobriath retired from music in 1975, and died of AIDS in 1983.