100 & Single: Buy An Adam Lambert Album, Strike A Tiny Blow For Gay Rights


Queen, "I Want To Break Free"

Janis Ian: The only thing less likely than a lyrical 17-year-old Janis Ian getting a date was the real-life 24-year-old scoring a chart-topping album singing about it. But that's precisely what happened to Between the Lines, Ian's 1975 album, featuring the wistful Top Five mopefest "At Seventeen." Ian's album-chart victory came nearly two decades before she came out publicly.

Jonathan Knight (of New Kids on the Block): One of two Knights in the hugely successful late-'80s boy band (along with brother Jordan), Jonathan sang on the 1989 chart-topping album Hangin' Tough and the 1990 followup smash Step by Step. New Kids' inability to return to the penthouse after 1990 was entirely related to the aging of their fanbase, rather than issues over with any member's sexuality. Fun fact: Knight's 2011 revelation came after an accidental and reportedly friendly 2011 outing by fellow late-'80s teenpop star Tiffany, one of the few girls he dated. Interestingly, unlike fellow boy-band alumnus Lance Bass, the decades-long delay in Knight's coming-out meant he emerged as a working boy-band member—New Kids have been reunited and recording for several years.

Ricky Martin: Few music stars must be as relieved to be off the public's gaydar as this guy. Martin's 1999 transition from established Latin radio fixture to cross-cultural megastar was dogged by the most intense sexual-identity speculation of any act in millennial pop. His self-titled English-language debut, sporting the über-hit "Livin' la Vida Loca," debuted in the penthouse with 661,000 copies, still the best sales week for a Latin pop star in history—but he spent his peak fame years dodging questions about his sexuality, lobbed by everyone from Rolling Stone to Barbara Walters. In 2010, long past his explosive Anglo-pop moment, Martin finally ended the speculation. After all that agita, the revelation didn't seem to hurt his career much; his 2011 album Música + Alma + Sexo debuted at a healthy No. 3.

Freddie Mercury (of Queen): Somewhat belying the premise of this column is the fact that everyone's favorite mustachioed rock god told a U.K. interviewer, way back in 1974, that he was "as gay as a daffodil, my dear." But Mercury's openness during his storied two-decade career is a matter of some dispute. The thing is, when that interview quip occurred—the March 12, 1974, issue of New Musical Express, to be precise—Queen was a curio of a rock band with exactly one medium-size British hit, "Seven Seas of Rhye," under its belt. And even less U.S. chart presence: their debut album had peaked at No. 83 here in 1973 and didn't go gold for another four years. On both sides of the Atlantic, the band was months away from their first big hit, "Killer Queen." After that NME interview, Mercury never directly addressed his sexuality again and, in later years, asked the few journalists he trusted not to mention his boyfriends.

By the time Queen scored their transatlantic No. 1 album The Game in 1980, the band was an American rock-radio fixture, releasing nude-women-bedecked record covers and music videos and generally not addressing Mercury's hiding-in-plain-sight orientation. Moreover, it's difficult to regard the Queen frontman as a paragon of openness given his sad end: denying his HIV-positive status to the relentless U.K. tabloid press until days before he died of AIDS in 1991 at age 45. That galvanizing death, followed immediately and coincidentally by the release of the Queen-celebrating movie Wayne's World in 1992, led to a resurgence of Queen sales. But other than a brief U.S. chart-topping appearance by the film's soundtrack, which did include "Bohemian Rhapsody," no Queen album has occupied the penthouse since Mercury's passing. Ironically given the theme of this column, Adam Lambert has served as a replacement singer for Mercury in recent performances by Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor, and they are about to go back onstage for a handful of shows later this year fronted by Lambert.


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177 comments
shadylady1031
shadylady1031

Great article and I've learned so much more about the music industry and their homophobic attitudes. I am a huge fan of Adam Lambert not because he's hugely talented and gorgeous but mostly because I admire his courage and braveery. He came "out" at age 18 and worked extremely hard to make it in the music industry. For those who don't know he was turned down for a part in Glee show as producers thought he was too old. Rubbish I say. Adam's had many disappointments in his life but never gave up trying to achienve his dream. He finally decided to audition for AI and thank goodness he did. If he hadn't the whole world would have never heard his amazing voice and seen him perform. Finally he's become a world superstar i e China, Japan, Singapore, Phillipines, SAfrica, Russia, Canada and many more countries. Finally he's been honored in US by GLAAD and several other LGBT organizations but let's not forget China..they honored him this year with Best International Music Artist & beat out Taylor S, Ke$ha,  & Psy none of which are that talented but make a lot of  money why? they are all straight. One day the US will be honoring him as they can't ignore him forever. 

Michael G
Michael G

Thanks to you, Chris, and congrats! You were the first journalist to place Adam Lambert's potential debut at No. 1 into a broader, historical context.  Great work -and you've fielded all the feedback since with with intelligence and good humor.  

Chris Molanphy
Chris Molanphy

Hello to everyone who's posted in the comments for my piece here. I just wanted to extend my congratulations to Adam's fans who, totally against the last line of my column, actually gave Adam a No. 1 album! I'd like to say I predicted this, but for me it was always more observation and hope than actual forecast. I'm thrilled it's happened, however.

Billboard's article announcing Lambert's No. 1 album is, understandably, staying away from the assertion stated in my column, given the wobbly verifiability of public figures' out status. But the fact that the piece has been posted two weeks and no one's given me a counterexample of an openly gay soloist or even minor group member who was out when he scored a No. 1 U.S. album suggests to me that the record is real.

(For those offering Gaga's bisexuality as a counterexample, I have said my piece in the comments, as have several others. I can offer only my opinion, but I do feel Gaga's status is unmistakably different from that of the other gay artists noted in the piece—especially in terms of public perception.)

This has been easily the most-commented column I've ever written and also the most rewarding for me personally, in terms of its warm reception. Thank you all—for your enthusiasm, your debate, your chart geekery (from one chart geek to others!) and your support for this quixotic pop-culture cause of mine. This has been a blast.

Randomizeme
Randomizeme

I just read this blog - and guess what - he did it! (or you did it, or we dit it, whatever)

We do now have in Adam the first out artist to top the chart! It's not officially announced yet, but HDD puts him at #1

PerfectlySpicy
PerfectlySpicy

GO ADAM!  So happy he made #1.  Couldn't happen to a nicer, more talented guy.  Great article and who knows, your thoughtful, in-depth analysis could have pushed him to achieve this.  I'm a joyous and proud glambert.  I feel honored to be a part of this success that Adam has achieved, being one of the first-week purchasers of this lovely man's fantastic album!

Guest
Guest

So I don't understand why the bisexual Lady Gaga doesn't count.

Jody good
Jody good

Great article! I love Adam and have bought his new album which is fantastic! I wholeheartedly agree with you that this is a cultural barrier that needs to be broken. All's one has to do to see the extent of homophobia in this country is to read some of the comments after Lambert's reviews. I have yet to read one that does not have hateful comments! As a psychotherapist and the mother of a gay man I would buy this album even if I was not a fan of this type of music. Lambert's message is incredible and he is an excellent role model for young teens and others trying to find their way!

Penny Burke
Penny Burke

 Who is this Chris Molanphy. Is she one of those Glamberts? 

Chris Molanphy
Chris Molanphy

UPDATE: One-day sales numbers for this week's crop of albums/next week's album chart are out. HITS says: "...a three-way battle is shaping up for #1 between Adele and Carrie Underwood, both of which will have substantial post-Mother's Day drops, and Adam Lambert, who appears to be trending to the high end of expectations."

It's within your grasp, Lambert fans! Y'all can help him make history! #shamelessadvocacy

mredfixer
mredfixer

I just bought the deluxe CD on Amazon and struck a tiny blow for gay rights!

Brenda
Brenda

I LOVE Adam and hope that I can buy the album in the store this week. If not I will be ordering it online. I have supported him from day 1 of his Idol audition. Hate that he has to fight to be heard. He has to be one of the best if not the best male vocalists performing today. Yet people will deprive themselves from listening to him because he is "gay". Shows how far we still have to go as a society. I really hope that the grassroots movement to buy his album catches on and it zooms to the #1 spot where it deserves to be, not because he is gay but because it is a great album.

adamslamb
adamslamb

Chris thought you might not have heard about this and may want to express your feelings to EW. A female reviewer wrote a homophobic and unprofessional review about Adam's new album and has received a huge backlash from fans, friends of fans and some celebrities. I won't post link here as it is too upsetting. Basically she reviewed the songs not on the basis of the quality of the music but obvious references to Adam's music being directed to the gay community. Let me know if you want the link.

LW
LW

A sadly quick return to provide illustration of my points that I posted before on teh impact of Adams sexuality on his career.  this is not the worst by far but the one that happens to have just cropped up:

A review of Adams Trespassing album, which has gotten very good reviews and a not common 4 of 5 stars from Rolling Stone magazine.  

BUT THIS IS THE REVIEW FROM ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY:

Adam Lambert might be the only American Idol alum who considers purple eyeliner a daytime look. So it's hard to understand why it took him so long to make his big gay dance-club album. Even after he came out in 2009, the eighth-season runner-up didn't stop flirting with the straight crowd, indulging in classic-rock guitars and gender-neutral pronouns on his debut, For Your Entertainment. But on Trespassing, he's left the closet far behind — defending gay marriage (''Outlaws of Love'') and celebrating what happens when two consenting adults love each other enough to share their safe words (''Chokehold''). He's also officially coming out as a superfan of funk, '80s-night house, and Studio 54 grooves, tapping Chic's Nile Rodgers to produce, along with Pharrell Williams and Dr. Luke. Thanks to these pop vets, Trespassing's first half is a study in fabulosity: ''Kickin' In'' is stripper-heel disco at its finest, and the rousing ''Shady'' plants its freak flag in the uncharted territory between Nine Inch Nails and Michael Jackson. Too bad the ballad-heavy second half is so laughably over-the-top. By the end, our hero is wailing about fallen Towers of Babel and ripping away his flesh and bone to a ''red river of screams.'' Cheer up, Glammy. It's nothing a little makeup remover can't fix. B-

__________________________________________________________________

"big gay dance club album"

He will NEVER not be seen through the prism of his sexuality and for some it clouds all else.  Period.

LW
LW

you say Adam being gay is unremarkable in that it hasnt stopped him which is true but it HINDERS him a great deal, only his undeniable talent gets him to this level whereas if not gay he would have gone much further.  He cant sing certain songs, he cant make certain videos, he is dogged by haters all the time.  In open countries he has had numerous hits and multplatinum records, having 5 or more songs all charting at the same time but not in the US.

I posed in several online gay sites the question if they would support Adam if for no other reason than to help him make important inroads and break the glass ceiling for others to follow.  If, knowing that there are ppl who will not buy his music solely because he gay they would buy it to offset that effect and show the industry that there can be a commercially successful openly gay artist. 

The answer was universally no, they will not support someone just cuz he is gay. 

Hopefully it wont be an issue.

Mahailia
Mahailia

Chris, thank you for this article.  I think this is a great idea to help Adam acheive the recognition he deserves as an artist.I would like to suggest that in addition to a grass roots buying campaign for Trespassing, that a buying campaign for Adam's current single release, Never Close Our Eyes, is also important.  If this song doesn't chart high on the radio, the likelihood of more of the music from this album reaching radio is dismal.  The importance of radio play is paramount in acheiving sucess as a recording artist.  This album needs to be heard by the masses.

Here is a link where you can listen to and also purchase Never Close Our Eyes.  It is a beautiful song, and very "dancey".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

adamslamb
adamslamb

Chris I agree with your proposal to us and think it's crucial for Adam's first week of sales to be very high including charting on Billboard at #1 but even if it doesn't happen I believe in the weeks after debut that the momentum will build as it already is. The very sad thing is artists that are "mainstream female country/crossover or pop always chart at the top unless your a Rapper than it's difficult to hit #1. I think you know who RCA has been promoting big time the last month and currently. She's all over the place. Her album isn't very good this time unlike her 2nd release but mainstream white America eats that mediocre boring music up. 

RedRoseQueen1
RedRoseQueen1

Like so many others that ARE already fans of Lambert.....I don't see why his music and other-worldly vocals can't just speak for themselves.  But I DO know that there is a segment (mostly straight males) who shy away from openly buying or supporting his music.It's that machismo, homophobic fear of being perceived as "not quite straight" if they do.Maybe Adam should title his next album "Plain Brown Wrapper" and encase it in one? It's silly that his sexual orientation should even be an issue in 2012....but there you have it.You forgot to mention Rob Halford, lead singer of the heavy metal band, Judas Priest.Halford only came "out" in 1998, to MTV News, after TWENTY YEARS of commercial success and critical acclaim. He's also a big fan of Lambert.

randy handlr
randy handlr

Chris Molanphy, Thank you very much for this post."The glass ceiling for gays" in the music industry is an issue that isn't discussed in the media and I am hopeful that the conversation you started continues. As a member of the LGBT community I am keeping an eye on how Adam juggles the double standard, homophobia in general, and misconceptions that prevent him from being more successful. He is talented, more so than other artists on the charts and deserves recognition. His ability to break this barrier will be a tremendous accomplishment for the LGBT community, yet even within our own community there is resistance in supporting him. (I'm looking at you, Out magazine.) Let the grassroots movement of getting him a #1 album begin!

Andrea Sn
Andrea Sn

This was very interesting, thank you for the article. I really hope it happens, for the reasons you mentioned and also because the album sounds amazing.

Unfortunately I don't live in the US so I can't contribute towards it, but I'll be adding to his worldwide sales for sure lol.

sue
sue

Thought your article was interesting.  I think Adam's new album us really good,   It doesn't all sound the same, but yet is cohesive.  It's wonderful.  It's not explicit either, So moms, your teens can listen to it without fear.  His being gay is no big deal, because that's the way God made him with no choice. He is not a bisexual, which is a horse of a different color here.   Even Christian gays have made tremendous gains in acceptance with some churches.  Besides Jesus gave us the ability to loose or bind in society and religion.  The Pope just needs to get all aboard and redefine it as something that is not animalistic, but very human..another sexuality.  Jesus gave the Pope the keys to the kingdom, so, he can't live in the dark ages, and create bigotry.  He's not perfect either.  So, with a newer and younger Pope, I fully expect to see the shackles loosened some. "Whatever you bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in Heaven".  Matthew 16:19.  Adam now has a wonderful beautiful boyfriend who is a very nice young man, and who loves him very much.  He is also a Christian, and wears a beautiful Salvation tattoo on his neck. Don't be surprised if they tie the knot sometime in the future.  It's time for all of us stand up and be heard for we are ALL God's children and there are NO exclusions.  Don't let your clergy make you bigoted, because they are wrong.  We must open our hearts and minds to all people with acceptance as Jesus did.  Hate is a cardinal sin as well as greed.  Don't fall prey to it.  Adam has a dance pop record that is great to dance to, and in his ballads he shows his pain and suffering from Christian persecution.  We must give all people the good news without judgment.  Plant the seed of acceptance and love in their hearts, and then watch the Holy Spirit grow within them.  You'll be very surprised...with good fruit.  God Bless

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

If Adam Lambert is as talented as everyone here seems to think, then he doesn't need to hook his wagon on to the "do it for gay rights" meme.    I don't care if Adam is gay or straight, although it appears that The Village Voice does.   

Talent is talent.  It comes in many sizes, religions, shapes, colors, ethnicities and sexual orientations.   If someone is talented and you like their music you buy their music.  

I feel bad for Adam Lambert if this is the only way he can sell music.  

Lauren
Lauren

Why should anyone buy music for any other reason than the music?  What a stupid article apparently aimed at mindless sheep.

Cathym
Cathym

I really am inspired by Adam Lambert and love the new songs I have heard so far on Trespassing. I love the idea that the blogger has put forth regarding buying Adams Album "for the cause", but am sad that it has come to this. Adam Lambert is so talented ,the fact that he does not recieve support from the LGBT community confound me, he has always been honest and proud of who he is, and deserves more respect from a supposedly progressive community.Now fighting the homophobic Radio Dj's and Program Directors is another story, I can only say that I am tired of hearing the same 10 songs over and over again every hour. Radio better look out, you ignore my requests fine, I am no longer held hostage, I can now go to online stations in other cities that will play my request for Adam good bye to local,if you ignore me!!

Janet Bilicki
Janet Bilicki

By the way, thanks for the great article.  You have made great points.  We appreciate it Chris.

Janet Bilicki
Janet Bilicki

I am a straight married woman with three kids.  I have logins and passwords to gay websites and even visited a gay bar after one of his concerts.  I think Adam is changing the world one person at a time.  I fear he won't have a good week and I'm concerned I'll be upset with the gay community for a long time if they don't support him.  To me, it would be like me not supporting woman's rights in the early 20th century.

Even if you don't like his music, buy it and gift it.  For god's sake, don't prove some of the haters right.  He won't be in this business if he doesn't sell records and the radio stations have already dissed him.  He worked so hard on this and works on promoting all the time.  Carrier or Kelly probably don't even have to visit radio stations.  They will be played and sell huge numbers.  They are great, but so is Adam.  Give him the respect he deserves next week.

Victor
Victor

Great article (even for a non-Lambert fan). But 2 minor quibbles (for the sake of accuracy):I'm not sure Elton John's commercial fall off in the late 70s was related all that much to his 'coming out' as bisexual. I think it was more about commercial trends (most significantly, the ascendancy of disco - a genre with strong roots in gay culture, no less - as the dominant trend in pop music) and his own substance abuse issues and the decline of his work at this time (exacerbated by the fact he stopped working with Bernie Taupin and producer Gus Dudgeon after 1976's Blue Moves). and:The "I Want Your Sex" video features George cavorting with one - and only one - woman (his 'girlfriend' of the time). The song is supposed to be an endorsement of monogamy, so to say 'women in varying states of undress' is slightly misleading. More to the point, even when he was 'straight' George Michael never really went down the whole 'prancing about with hot chicks' route with his videos, to sell records or prove his straightness or anything. In fact, watching the videos now, he doesn't seem to be making that much of an effort at all to hide his sexual preference.

shadylady1031
shadylady1031

Gaga claimed she is bisexual but has never been seen in public dating a female. She has a tendency to use "shock" to get more record sales. I truly do not believe she is bisexual and if she is that's fine but don't lie.

guest
guest

because claiming you are bisexual while being exclusively linked to members of the same sex is not the same as actually being openly gay.

not hating on Gaga, but madonna was pulling that shit two decades ago. this is the first time an actualfax openly gay artist with a real actualfax samesex partner is going to be Billboard 200 #1

PerfectlySpicy
PerfectlySpicy

 I've seen you ;), one of those butthurt idolberts.  Go stan your fan and let Adam's fans rejoice in his accomplishments.   Your negativity only drives Adam's success  :D:D:D

Aavari
Aavari

What's ridiculous?

mredfixer
mredfixer

Chris,Do you know the cut off date to count for debut at Billboard?  Does it matter which version, regular or deluxe?Thanks!#shamelessadvocacy

Penny Burke
Penny Burke

 You'd do better if you vote for Obama next election.

Melissa Pauls
Melissa Pauls

It is disheartening to see a major mainstream media publication write a review that consists mainly of outdated gay stereotyping masquerading as *air quotes* wit. But if you weed out all that garbage, they still liked the first half of the album, but just didn't care for the slower, darker second half. Too each his own. I don't mind their grade, a B- is still considered an overall positive score by Metacritic. 

No album is gonna be universally loved, there will always be some critics, so I prefer to to focus on the fact that so far the majority of reviews have been very positive, with many positively glowing.

And as much as I love the extremely positive reviews from venerable mainstream publications like Rolling Stone and New York Daily News, the flood of enthusiastic reviews from small niche music bloggers makes smile just as hard, some of those hardcore music lovers can be notoriously hard to please.

http://www.adamwiki.org/wiki/%...

Delaney
Delaney

 That pathetic "review" from EW is full of homophobic slurs and factual errors and very little critique of the music. The author has completely misunderstood "Chokehold", which has nothing at all to do with BDSM and safe words, but is about emotional co-dependency in relationships (straight or gay).  Nile Rodgers did not produce anything on the album - he played guitar on Shady. To call Adam singing his heart out with emotional honesty "laughably over-the-top" is worse than ridiculous. It is insulting and demeaning and not worthy of publication.  Adam has never been called "Glammy" and he has never worn purple eyeliner.  He hardly wears any eyeliner these days and his color is and always has been black.  This tiny,small-minded EW article cannot be considered a music review and should not be taken seriously. Many people have found it offensive and have requested an apology from the Editor and removal of the homophobic and offensive bits.

Chris Molanphy
Chris Molanphy

Didn't forget Halford -- in fact, I was thinking of him when I wrote of Michael Stipe (above), "One of very few out gay frontmen of a major rock band..." Yes, Halford is another such frontman, indeed one of the most famous; but he's not discussed in this column, because Priest haven't scored a No. 1 album in Billboard with Halford either in or out.

Delaney
Delaney

 Elizabeth - Adam has indeed been selling music because people like it and because his vocals are incomparable.  His music has NOT sold because he is gay but IN SPITE OF the anti-gay attitudes in much of conservative America. And that's how it should be.  The music would sell better if it were played on radio more, but commercial radio in the US in entrenched in conservative anti-gay values.  More people need to be exposed to Adam's music, because if they are, they will  see what a great, once-per-century talent he is and he will finally begin to get the respect and accolades he so deserves. Buy Trespassing because it is a very, very good album!  You won't be sorry you did.

Chris Molanphy
Chris Molanphy

P.S. I am responding at length to your "quibbles" because they were interesting, well-stated and well-informed. Thanks for keeping a healthy debate going.

Chris Molanphy
Chris Molanphy

Re: George Michael, I will confess to not counting the number of individual women in the "I Want Your Sex" video (could've sworn I saw at least two; his then-girlfriend must have had very adaptable looks). But I'd say the "Father Figure" video definitely has a "hot chick" factor to it, as modest and tame as it is for 1988, relatively speaking. By the time we get to the "Freedom ’90" video, you're essentially correct that Michael is more satirizing the hot-chicks trope than milking it...although even there he's clearly having his cake and eating it too, promotionally.

All I'll say in response to your closing comment is to repeat more clearly something I said in the above column—of course Michael's sexuality seems obvious now in retrospect. For goodness sake, Wham! broke in America with a "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" video that now looks howlingly obvious! And yet only the savviest of us Americans (I will confess to not being one of them; I was 13) picked up on the subtext. A country that by and large didn't get the Village People's good-natured in-joke in 1979 wasn't going to decode George Michael in the still-innocent ’80s, either.

Chris Molanphy
Chris Molanphy

A friend of mine on another blog suggested that Elton's fall was attributable to other causes as well, and like you, he cited substance abuse, which I'll agree surely didn't help. And disco might have been a cause as well—although John seemed to be adapting fine to disco instrumentation on such mid-'70s hits as "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and "Philadelphia Freedom" (the latter an open homage to the Gamble–Huff sound). He even managed to score a more obviously disco-oriented Top 10 hit in 1979, the Thom Bell–produced "Mama Can't Buy You Love," during the fallow period; I really don't think disco was as hard for him to adapt to as it was for other rock or soul acts.

As for Blue Moves, anything John did on that album that could be considered uncommercial, he'd just done on previous albums a couple of years or even mere months before. Was it a seemingly uncommercial album, led by an exquisite but hard-to-promote ballad? Well, Captain Fantastic doesn't scream out "hit," unless of course you're the biggest star on the planet. Was it a bit scattershot and weak? John himself calls Caribou, one of his earlier chart-toppers, "dodgy" and embarrassing. Among Elton's double albums, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is far more commercial, but still—he'd done that, too, to massively successful results.

When you look at all the factors that led to John's falloff, it was surely, to quote the war metaphor, "death by a thousand cuts." But you have to look at which of the cuts was unprecedented to explain why things John had done before and survived commercially suddenly stopped working for him. The Rolling Stone bisexuality admission was the new factor, and it may have (to paraphrase another '70s hit by Cat Stevens/Rod Stewart) cut the deepest.

Guest
Guest

Oh, I see. Because she's a woman and bisexual instead of gay, we get to define her sexuality as we see it instead of how she defines it. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Chris Molanphy
Chris Molanphy

The Billboard/Soundcsan tracking week runs from Monday to Sunday. So you have until tomorrow (I'm writing this Saturday) to buy Lambert's album and have it count toward the charts for the debut week.

AlecR
AlecR

I must live in a cave because I've never heard of Adam Lambert.  Your article is a major eye opener though.  I had NO idea this was true of Billboard #1 albums.  For sixty years?!?  WTF.   I just went to amazon and preordered 2 copies of Adam Lambert's CD.  I may or may not open then, listen to them, or even keep them.  But I will, by god, support this effort.  It's way past time, folks.

Victor
Victor

True, and I suppose we would have to ask George Michael how deliberate the (now-obvious) gay subtexts in his videos were (I was 12 when Wham were in their prime, and 14 when George was at his Faith solo peak, and I also didn't think he was gay. Moreover, I didn't even ask myself the question). And the very fact that he had 'girlfriends' in the 80s (like the woman in the "I Want Your Sex" clip, Kathy Jeung [thanks Wikipedia]) indicates he did consciously stay closeted, whatever signals he sent out in some of his videos. So it's not as if he wanted to be outed (despite "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go"'s best efforts...) I suspect he was deliberately playing to both a straight and a gay audience on some level, but it's fair to say he did present himself as straight, likely because he knew coming out would harm his career (and it would have too. An envelope-pushing song like "I Want Your Sex" from an openly gay artist in 1987 would never have flown. Instead, it was a #2 hit which redefined his image and laid the platform for his most successful period). So on second thought, my quibble is revoked. 

Victor
Victor

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, it's difficult (impossible?) to say which factor contributed most to his commercial decline, but all of them definitely played a part. I was three in 1976 so I have no idea how much of a stir his coming out prompted. He was always quite flamboyant and camp, so I would be surprised if despite the costumes and the mannerisms his fans (or radio programmers) were truly shocked by his admission, to the extent his album sales fell off so dramatically. But you never know. As you said about George Michael, most people weren't as attuned to gay subtexts then. The fact that disco was so popular shows either how oblivious people were or (more optimistically, and less likely) how unconcerned a typical American pop music fan was in the late 70s about a performer being (or appearing) what today we would consider obviously gay. I personally would attribute Elton's fall off mostly to his abandoning Bernie Taupin and Gus Dudgeon (who co-wrote and produced, respectively, all of his #1 albums) after Blue Moves, and the effect that had on the quality of his material, but I'm going to look into this. I know as a casual Elton fan (who only likes his early, pre-1976 material by the way)  I always just assumed it was drugs, bad material and new trends sweeping aside the old that cost him (and more than a few of his peers) in the 80s, but you could well be right. 

shadylady1031
shadylady1031

Wendy you forgot about Quentin Taranteno. He gave Adam a SO after Adam performed BTBW. Adam got one from Slash also and they became good friends. Slash said in interviews that the only reason he mentored on AI was because of Adam. He went to Adam's birthday party with his wife. Brian May and Roger Taylore communicate often.

Wendy Jackson
Wendy Jackson

I am 60 years old and I still cannot figure out why we all have to know what other people do in their bedrooms. I - what a fool - thought the music and the talent was what counted. I don't care if Adam Lambert is gay. It's not my business but as a consumer in this country and a music lover since Motown and the Beatles I wish people would pull their heads out of their a**** and appreciate real raw talent. That man can sing his head off. I have never heard anyone as good as Adam. It's a shame he is hated on. Thank God Adam has his head on straight and as has been said in reviews anyone that underestimates Adam Lambert is barking up the wrong tree. Adam Lambert is laser focused on success and he is smart enough to do it and has a thick enough skin to rise above. I wish him every success - I appreciate bravery. How many people get a standing ovation from Simon Cowell, Berry Gordy and Smokey (my idol). So for all the haters put that in your pipe and smoke it.

shadylady1031
shadylady1031

Alec if you don't open the album you will miss listening to the most unique and fun album I've ever listened to in my life. I'm not a tween, teen or even in my 20s but I've spoken with many that have heard the album and love it. It speaks to all generations and social issues. Anyone can benefit from this album.

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