Friday, January 22, 2016
Weekend Mix: Glam Slam
With the recent sad passings of David Bowie, and Dale "Buffin" Griffin, it seemed only right to put together a tribute to "The Golden Age Of Rock n Roll".
Right away I was reminded all that glitters isn't necessarily "Glam". In fact there isn't that much of it as the whole era collapsed the minute it became a category. But the influence continues. Many elements that seemed new are now standard features.
Glam checklist: Theatrical make-up and stage persona. Image conscious with a fondness for fifties styles and POP Art mashups. Saxophones, female back-up singers, Flashy lead guitar stylist as foil to singer. Muscular rhythm section. Elements of prog.
Even though there is no Glam without Bowie, he doesn't appear. Instead Bauhaus represents with their faithful, lively rendition of "Ziggy Stardust" (1982, number fifteen on the UK singles chart), illustrating how glam morphed into goth. Just because the dinosaurs are gone doesn't mean we're not surrounded by birds. If you know what I mean.
In the valley of The New York Dolls, you mean. Generation X's "Valley Of The Dolls" is straight up glam. It's only missing chick singers and saxophones. From their sophomore effort. When they were still a band.
"Rock Star" is from "Velvet Tinmine" a collection of obscure UK singles from the era (1973-5), and is by Bearded Lady. I found a page in wikipedia and there is really nothing to know.
"Needles In The Camel's Eye", worked so well for Todd Haynes during the opening of "Velvet Goldmine". It's the most successful part of the movie.
A lot of art rock got lumped in with glam, and Kevin Ayers wore the make-up. "Interview" is kind of a bookend to David Essex's "Rock On".
Queen knocks it out of the park with "Now I'm Here". Epic on every level. Sheer Heart Attack indeed.