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Thread: Glam Rock

  1. #1
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    Glam Rock

    Glam Rock

    Glam rock is a style of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s performed by musicians who wore outrageous costumes, makeup, and hairstyles, particularly platform shoes and glitter. Glam artists drew on diverse sources across music and throwaway pop culture, ranging from bubblegum pop and 1950s rock and roll to cabaret, science fiction, and complex art rock. The flamboyant clothing and visual styles of performers were often camp or androgynous, and have been described as playing with nontraditional gender roles. "Glitter rock" was another term used to refer to a more extreme version of glam.

    The UK charts were inundated with glam rock acts from 1971 to 1975. The March 1971 appearance of T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan on the BBC's music show Top of the Pops, wearing glitter and satins, is often cited as the beginning of the movement. Other British glam rock artists include David Bowie, Mott the Hoople, Sweet, Slade, Mud, Roxy Music and Gary Glitter. Those not central to the genre, such as Elton John, Rod Stewart and Freddie Mercury of Queen, also adopted glam styles. In the US the scene was much less prevalent, with Alice Cooper and Lou Reed the only American artists to score a hit. Other US glam artists include New York Dolls, Iggy Pop and Jobriath. It declined after the mid-1970s, but influenced other musical genres including punk rock, glam metal, New Romantic, deathrock and gothic rock. Glam rock has sporadically revived since the 1990s.

    History

    Glam rock emerged from the English psychedelic and art rock scenes of the late 1960s and can be seen as both an extension of, and a reaction against, those trends. Its origins are associated with Marc Bolan, who had renamed his acoustic duo T. Rex and taken up electric instruments by the end of the 1960s. Bolan was, in the words of music critic Ken Barnes, "the man who started it all". Often cited as the moment of inception is Bolan's appearance on the BBC music show Top of the Pops in March 1971 wearing glitter and satins, to perform what would be his second UK Top 10 hit (and first UK Number 1 hit), "Hot Love". The Independent states that Bolan's appearance on Top of the Pops “permitted a generation of teeny-boppers to begin playing with the idea of androgyny”. T. Rex's 1971 album Electric Warrior received critical acclaim as a pioneering glam rock album. In 1973, a few months after the release of the album Tanx, Bolan captured the front cover of Melody Maker magazine with the declaration "Glam rock is dead!".

    From late 1971, already a minor star, David Bowie developed his Ziggy Stardust persona, incorporating elements of professional makeup, mime and performance into his act. Bowie, in a 1972 interview in which he noted that other artists described as glam rock were doing different work, said "I think glam rock is a lovely way to categorize me and it's even nicer to be one of the leaders of it". Bolan and Bowie were soon followed in the style by acts including Roxy Music, Sweet, Slade, Mott the Hoople, Mud and Alvin Stardust. The popularity of glam rock in the UK was such that three glam rock bands had major UK Christmas hit singles; "Merry Xmas Everybody" by Slade, "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" by Wizzard and "Lonely This Christmas" by Mud, all of which have remained hugely popular. Glam was not only a highly successful trend in UK popular music, it became dominant in other aspects of British popular culture during the 1970s.

    A heavier variant of glam rock, emphasising guitar riff centric songs, driving rhythms and live performance with audience participation, were represented by bands like Slade and Mott the Hoople, with later followers such as Def Leppard, Cheap Trick, Poison, Kiss, Bon Jovi, and Quiet Riot, some of which either covered Slade compositions or composed new songs based on Slade templates. While highly successful in the single charts in the UK, very few of these musicians were able to make a serious impact in the US; David Bowie was the major exception, becoming an international superstar and prompting the adoption of glam styles among acts like Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, New York Dolls and Jobriath, often known as "glitter rock" and with a darker lyrical content than their British counterparts.

    In the UK, the term glitter rock was most often used to refer to the extreme version of glam pursued by Gary Glitter and the independent band with whom he often performed known as the Glitter Band. The Glitter Band and Gary Glitter had between them eighteen top ten singles in the UK between 1972 and 1975. A second wave of glam rock acts, including Suzi Quatro, Roy Wood's Wizzard and Sparks, had hits on the British single charts in 1973 and 1974. Quatro directly inspired the pioneering Los Angeles based all-girl group The Runaways. Existing acts, some not usually considered central to the genre, also adopted glam styles, including Rod Stewart, Elton John, Queen and, for a time, The Rolling Stones. Punk rock, often seen as a reaction to the artifice of glam rock, but using some elements of the genre, including makeup and involving cover versions of glam rock records, helped end the fashion for glam from about 1976.

    Influence

    While glam rock was exclusively a British cultural phenomenon, with Steven Wells in The Guardian writing "Americans only got glam second hand via the posh Bowie version", covers of British glam rock classics are now piped-muzak staples at US sporting events. Glam rock was a background influence for Richard O'Brien, writer of the 1973 London musical The Rocky Horror Show. Although glam rock went into a steep decline in popularity in the UK in the second half of the 1970s, it had a direct influence on acts that rose to prominence later, including Kiss and American glam metal acts like Quiet Riot, W.A.S.P., Twisted Sister and Mötley Crüe.

    New Romantics in the UK; acts like Adam Ant and Flock of Seagulls extended glam, and its androgyny and sexual politics were picked up by acts including Culture Club, Bronski Beat and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Gothic rock was largely informed by the makeup, clothes, theatricality and sound of glam, and punk rock adopted some of the performance and persona-creating tendencies of glam, as well as the genre's emphasis on pop-art qualities and simple but powerful instrumentation.

    In Japan in the 1980s, visual kei was strongly influenced by glam rock aesthetics. Glam has since enjoyed continued influence and sporadic modest revivals in R&B crossover act Prince, and bands such as Marilyn Manson, Suede, Placebo, Chainsaw Kittens, Spacehog and the Darkness.


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  3. #2
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    Not something that most folks will admit to but I was a fan of Glam Rock during my early teens and still say that Electric Warrior was one of the best albums of the Seventies ...



    Listen to this ^ on YouTube and all of the other tracks will follow.

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    I was not really a fan of any artists back then, but I did like some of their music.

    I think 'hair bands' grew out of the 'glam rock' genre. Europe springs to mind very quickly.
    American by birth, made of parts from Emmingen, Baden-Württemberg.

    Der Familie Rentz seit 1535 - Meine Ehre heißt Treue

    Das Leben ist zu kurz, um billiges Bier zu trinken!


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    Interesting read, SaxonPagan! I was never a big fan of glam rock, but I really adore bands that were part of the New Romantic movement. Glam rock was undisputedly influential.

    I like a few glam rock songs, though, such as this song from The Sweet:



    However, I like the Surf Punks' version even better!

    Let us not desire delights, daughters; we are well-off here; the bad inn lasts for only a night.
    -St. Teresa of Avila

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    A person who created that choreography hopefully feels pretty ''proud'' today .
    One kind of pre-transsexual (guitarist)?



    Sorry/my apology Alice .... I just could't help my nature ... me beastly

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    When I think of glam rock I think of Poison. I guess they were glam metal. They wore makeup. Here is a song of theirs that I like. It's not a metal song.

    Every Rose Has Its Thorn
    Lyrics
    We both lie silently still in the dead of the night
    Although we both lie close together
    We feel miles apart, inside
    Was it somethin' I said or something I did
    Did my words not come out right
    Tho' I tried not to hurt you
    Tho' I tried
    But I guess that's why they say
    Every rose has its thorn
    Just like every night has its dawn
    Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
    Every rose has its thorn
    Yea it does
    I listen to our favorite song playin' on the radio
    Hear the dj say love's a game of
    Easy come and easy go
    But I wonder does he know
    Has he ever felt like this
    And I know that you'd be here right now
    If I could have let you know somehow I guess
    Every rose has its thorn
    Just like every night has its dawn
    Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
    Every rose has its thorn
    Though it's been a while now
    I still feel so much pain
    Like the knife that cuts you the wound heals,
    But the scar, that scar remains.
    I know I could have saved our love that night
    If I'd know what to say
    Instead of making love
    We both made our separate ways
    Now I hear you've found somebody new
    And that I never meant that much to you
    To hear that tears me up inside
    And to see you cuts me like a knife, i guess
    Every rose has its thorn
    Just like every night has its dawn
    Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
    Every rose has its thorn






    Here is a band photo:

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    Senior Member Herr Rentz's Avatar
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    Aren't they a bunch of pretty boys now.
    American by birth, made of parts from Emmingen, Baden-Württemberg.

    Der Familie Rentz seit 1535 - Meine Ehre heißt Treue

    Das Leben ist zu kurz, um billiges Bier zu trinken!


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    Yes indeed, Herr Rentz. Hence why I wrote ...

    Not something that most folks will admit to but I was a fan of Glam Rock during my early teens
    It's almost like coming out of the closet but I will never confess to having liked Gary Glitter

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