Monday, November 16, 2009

Wham Bam Thank You Glam

I have been thinking about what sub-genre of Rock has been the most influential. What I mean by that is how many bands and styles have sprouted off from the original. Well after lots of thought I have come to the conclusion that the genre is Glam. I mean the 70’s rock movement not the 80’s metal from Hollywood. Although most of the influential bands come from the United Kingdom, The first that started seems to be the American act The New York Dolls. Dressed in drag and oozing with attitude not only are they viewed as early glam, also proto-punk. There it is the first offshoot, Glam helped give us punk. Other Glam bands that influence punk are Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, and David Bowie. Bowie himself with others helped influence such styles as New Wave, New Romantics, Glam Metal, Goth and Grunge. Such Bands like Sweet, Queen, who surpassed there early glam connection, Slade, Kiss Alice Cooper and T. Rex helped influence Heavy Metal and Glam Metal. There are bands that started out as glam acts that surpassed it that would surprise you, such as Kiss, Alice Cooper, Queen, Electric Light Orchestra, Twisted Sister, and Roxie Music. Elton John is included by some, others view him as glam lite or faux glam.

Glam, Glam Rock or Glitter Rock was theatrical, unconventional and gender bending. It was pop with catchy melodies and rhythms. It was fun, exciting and controversial. The Film Velvet Goldmine captured most of that in 1998. It took social convention and threw it to the wolves. Iggy Pop, Proto-Punk great, played in this sandbox with David Bowie. Glam Metal was a pale Shadow of the earlier Glam Rock. Glam Rock experimented with Style, ELO played with Orchestral Pop and Rock. Queen played with Operatic Rock. Bowie experimented with style in ways no one can explain even today. Roxy Music played with Synthesizers and through Brian Eno influence Ambient Music. Gary Glitter, Slade and Sweet seemed more throw away pop. However they were fun, bright and exciting pop. They were much better than a lot of Pop that has come along since. Glam was in your face, brash and unapologetic like most Rock. Almost Forty years later one can still see its influence all over Modern Rock. The Darkness seemed to be a throwback to this Movement. Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, from my neck of the woods, attempted a Glam revival in 2000 with Diamond Light Boogie. Glam may be gone, but cannot ever be forgotten.

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