Wednesday 31 October 2012

Glam Slam

Whilst clearing up in the cave (clearing up or moving things round?) I found a copy of an old double album entitled Glam Slam.
The sleeve states: "The Definitive Glam Rock Collection" - but is it?
Here's the TV advert:

Here's the track listing:

Slade -  Mama Weer All Crazee Now
Gary Glitter -  Do You Wanna Touch Me
Suzi Quatro -  Devil Gate Drive
Elton John -  Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)
Rod Stewart -  You Wear It Well
T Rex -  Get It On
Sweet -  The Ballroom Blitz
Gary Glitter -  I'm The Leader Of The Gang
Glitter Band -  Angel Face
Mott The Hoople -  All The Young Dudes
Faces -  Cindy Incidentally
Wizzard -  Angel Fingers
Slade -  Cum On Feel The Noize
Alice Cooper -  School's Out
Sweet -  Blockbuster
Wizzard -  See My Baby Jive
Rubettes -  Sugar Baby Love
Mud -  Tiger Feet
Bay City Rollers -  Bye Bye Baby
Hello -  New York Groove
Argent -  Hold Your Head Up
David Essex -  Gonna Make You A Star
T Rex -  Hot Love
Faces -  Stay With Me
Mott The Hoople -  All The Way From Memphis
10cc -  Rubber Bullets
Cockney Rebel -  Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
Sparks -  This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us
Rod Stewart -  Maggie May

How many of the above are actually considered as part of the Glam Rock cannon?
T.Rex are often considered to be the originators of Glam Rock, Slade were there at the start and sort of got tarred with the brush, Wizzard and Roy Wood turned the colour up.  Sweet were the embodiment of "Brickies in Drag", whilst Gary Glitter was the ubiquitous face of Glam Rock (did he ever release a version of "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl"?).
But of the others?
Were Mott The Hoople really a Glam Rock band?  In the same way as Slade, I suppose they were.
What about Alice Copper?  By stretching the definition, you could probably say yes.
David Essex?  Pretty Boy, yes.  Adored by knicker-wetting pre-teens, yes.  Releasing records in 1972 to 1975, yes.  But not a Glam Rocker.
And what about The Rubettes?  Glam?  Here's the evidence:

The Rubettes - Calm down Ladies

Much of this album is from the Rock n Roll revival period directly following Glam Rock.  Wizzard probably led the way, but Mickie Most's Rak Records stable (including Mud and Suzi Quatro) and Bell Records (home of Glitter and Hello) all played a big part in shaping the charts.
And lets not forget Mike Chapman & Nicky Chinn who wrote most of the stuff.

Without wishing to invoke the Trades Descriptions Act, in what way could this album be considered definitive? Especially when you consider the ommission of the biggest name of the period.  Where is David Bowie?  Maybe K-Tel just couldn't afford the rights.

Perhaps it would've been better to title this album:
"We Wanted To Release The Definitive Glam Rock Album But Ran Out Of Ideas And Money.  Here's A Collection Of Some Of The Most Memorable Singles From The Period 1972 to 1976"
or maybe
"Now Thats What I Call Glam Rock ... Sort Of"

Glam Rock - It was just "basic" Rock & Roll, but performed after a visit to the dressing up box.

This is why The Faces are NOT a Glam band.
No, they are a Bloke Band - Music, Booze & Football (in that order)
The loosest, tightest live band ever.
They could've/should've been as big (if not bigger) than The Stones.
Combination of disillusionment (Ronnie Lane), poaching (Ronnie Wood), and solo success which surpassed the band (Rod Stewart) caused the end of the good time bar band, always performing with an air of mischief about them and a bloody big smile on their faces.

This is quite simply the best song on the Glam Slam album, if not one of the best songs ever written.
The Faces - Stay With Me

For an absolute History of The Faces, try this boxset (one of my favourites):
Five Guys Walk Into A Bar

They may not have been a Glam Rock band, but The Faces had just as much fun (if not more) than anyone wearing mascara and platform boots

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