Glam Essentials

Glam Essentials

Glam rock saw itself as pop’s flamboyant revenge on rock for becoming unduly worthy, complex and unglamorous at the turn of the '70s. As a musical form, glam is all about poise and attack, a decadent rebellion against the suffocating normalcy of suburban life. There’s the primal rock rush epitomised by the gouging guitars of Wolverhampton band Slade, or the stylish strut of London outfit The Sweet’s glam-boogie beat. And then there’s the artistic sophistication of titans such as David Bowie and Roxy Music, who were able to blend new genres from an immaculate, cherry-picked list of their favourite sounds and throw them all together with a theatrical shimmy. Straddling both camps, T. Rex’s Marc Bolan led the way as the scene’s pouting, extravagant figurehead, his fey allure giving beefy rockers the opportunity to raid the dressing-up box and try on different personalities, experimenting with makeup and subverting gender norms.

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