February 26, 2009

GLAM ROCK : That's Entertainment !

Combine extravagant, flamboyant, androgynous costuming and makeup with teenage bubblegum pop melodies or stomping rhythms from early rock & roll and you will have a pretty good idea of what Glam Rock is (a.k.a. Glitter Rock).

Mostly a British phenomenon, Glam Rock peaked during the mid 1970s & during these 5 years took to new heights the idea of rock music as entertainment.

Marc Bolan : the Glam Rock pioneer

Marc Bolan pioneered the genre in late 1970 with his 2-piece band called T. Rex, first with his single “Ride a white swan” topping the U.K. chart then on the album Electric Warrior a year later. Borrowing the catchy simplicity of the melodies & the underlying sexuality of artists like Little Richard and Chuck Berry, adding fat, loud, distorted guitars & pseudo-psychedelic or science fiction influenced lyrics T. Rex’s music would lead the way for previously existing pop-rock bands and artists such as David Bowie, Slade and Sweet or emerging pop-rock bands and artists like Roxy Music, Gary Glitter or Alvin Stardust.

Platform Boots & Eyeliner

Marc Bolan would not only inspire a myriad of artists with his perverted pop/rock formula but also with his visual style. Wearing glittery high heels, eyeliner, top hat, feather boa, his androgynous futuristic look would set the visual standards for this musical genre.

Glam Rock in the U.S.

Although Glam Rock was almost exclusively an English phenomenon, U.S. artists like Lou Reed and Iggy Pop flirted with the genre, while artists & bands like Alice Cooper & the New York Dolls can be seen as true U.S. based glam groups with their history of transvestism, loud guitars and theatrical performance outrage.

February 25, 2009

Decades of Influence

Glam Rock would fall by the mid-'70s, but its sound and aesthetic would deeply influence several subsequent musical genres during the new three decades, starting with punk & post-punk bands such as The Heartbreakers, The Ramones & later Joy Division, the Cure or Gary Numan in the late 1970’s. In the early 80’s, Glam Rock’s glitz would resurface in the U.S. in Heavy Metal, Arena Rock as well as in Hair Metal groups like Kiss, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot or Poison. In the U.K., heavily inspired by David Bowie & Roxy Music, Gothic Rock, Synth Pop & New Wave bands like Bauhaus, Siouxie & the Banshees, Adam & the Ants, ABC, Depeche Mode, Japan, Ultravox or Soft Cell took Glam music or image best hooks.

Born to Boogie

The playlist below will provide you with a sample of the production of this era

Découvrez la playlist Born to Boogie de domguillemin

View The Arrows I Love Rock'n Roll (1975)

View T. Rex 20th Century Boy

View The Sweet Teenage Rampage