According to me, and I'm the one writing so I'm right, Glam Rock was an English phoenomina of the early 70's, it's main identifying mark wasn't the clothes worn or the name of the singer (Larry Lurex anyone?) but the rhythm of the music. A very basic tribal 4 on the floor pervades glam rock.. sometimes played on the floor tom tom ala' Gary Glitter/Suzi Quatro sometimes the whole band just stomped along on the beat like Slade or T-Rex, but this was rock'n'roll.. pure and simple.
Draw a line from the birth of rock'n'roll in the '50's to the moment when Rock reached it's evolutionary peak and started to feed on itself with Punk Rock in the mid 70's, everything since has more or less been an ironic pastiche of something that came before.. either a retro nod.. or a blatant copy.. Grunge? nah.. you've never heard a Pink Fairies record.. Techno? no.. we're talking Rock'n'Roll here.. Disco? ...I said ROCK'N'ROLL!
Start with Elvis.. Meet the Beatles.. get Psychedelicised.. Prog-rock came next.. then Punk.. except.. no, step back a bit, during the Prog-Rock years of the early 70's some folk didn't want 20 minute epic songs, they wern't interested in classical music, time changes or augmented 7th chords.. these people harked back to the glory days of cartoon rock, the late 50's early 60's when the "Jukebox Hall" (© Gary Glitter) pumped out dance tunes and boy met girl.. when rock was king and too dress *UP* was cool.. add this movement to the decade taste forgot (Stand up the 70's!) and what have you got? the freakshow outrage of Glam Rock!
At the time Glam was totally OUT. un-hip.. a joke.. those of us with Sweet records were laughed at by our "Yes-fan" friends.. Slade were a Joke as were T-Rex.. even the mighty David Bowie was a "pop star" laughed at by "real" music fans who derided the make-up and the hair as proof that they in their dirty jeans were cool. Bowie was only rehabilitated when Punk bands started namedropping him.. as were the majority of Glam bands whose 3 minute sonic outbursts formed part of the blueprint for UK punk.. the US version fed more on the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, but just listen to "Action" by the Sweet or anything by T-Rex or Slade and you can almost feel the UK version of Punk welling up in the background..
The following pages follow the history of glam via it's apperances in the UK charts of the time.. why use the charts as a guide? well, To be Glam you had to be Big Loud, Brash and above all: A STAR! ..if you wern't in the charts you wern't glam enough! ..if you feel I've left anyone out.. email me, I'll either add 'em or give you a valid reason why they're false glam..
So, lets go, onward to the birth of Glam: 1970