What is Glam Rock
Gary Glitter in the heyday of his careerGlam rock (from the English Glam rock, which in turn comes from glamorous – “spectacular”) is a genre of rock music that arose in the UK in the early 1970s and became one of the dominant styles of the first half of that decades. He enjoyed extraordinary success with rock fans.
Glam rock performers had a bright, catchy look, embodied for the most part through the theatrical performance of very strange and even eccentric costumes, the abundant use of makeup, androgynous look.
Musically, glam rock was heterogeneous, combining rock and roll, hard rock, art rock and pop music. Elements of the image of glam rock had a significant impact on disco, punk and the new wave. Glam rock is also popular under the name glitter rock (from English Glitter Rock, “brilliant rock”).
Glam rock (glam-rock), aka glitter rock (glitter rock) took shape as a style in the first half of the 70s. For the glam performers, the emphasis was primarily on the visual side of the action: plentiful make-up, elaborate clothes, and emphasized mannered behavior. Under all these “perversions”, an ironic subtext was read, the spirit of reckless and refined life-burning.
Mark Bolan at the height of his careerDigits of a boy-girl and space alien Ziggy Stardust, created by David Bowie, flirty boas and high hats of Mark Bolan, stylish sophistication of the early ROXY MUSIC, shiny costumes and boots with incredible heels in which Gary Glitter sported “bloody” Alice Cooper’s show, KISS clownery, dressed up by SLADE Indians, SWEET “teenagers” pulled in colored skin – these are all different manifestations of glam, whose origins go back to Elvis Presley himself. In many ways, the glam’s brightness, unusualness, and festivity compensated the rock listener of the 70s for his everyday life and the “grayness” of his own everyday existence.
Glam is characterized not only by image and other external signs, but also by certain musical and stylistic principles: a clear four-beat rock and roll rhythm, the relative simplicity of harmonies, catchy vocal melody, and the voice itself (usually high) in the glam is just is a genuine “expression of feelings.” Vocals can be vibrating-rattling, like Bolan’s, coarse-loud, like SLADE’s, or emphasized virtuoso, like SPARKS’s. Repeated duplications are typical, giving the vocal sound a slight “frustration”. The sound as a whole can gravitate to hard rock (hard-glam) or be more art-rock (art-glam), but at the same time it always has a bright, specific glam color (associated with underlining the mid frequencies). Elton John, Suzy Quattro, “Roxy Music”, “Mott The Hoople”, “Bad Company” and many other popular artists of the 70s did not pass the glam influences.
In the late 70s and early 80s, glam ideas were borrowed from disco and the “new wave”. Glam effects (primarily in the field of visualization) are palpable today: they are manifested in the works of many representatives of industrial, “Gothic”, glam metal, although the very spirit of “exquisite life-burning” seems to be irretrievably lost.