Why Glam Matters (To Me)

Just in case anyone’s interested, here’s my iTunes Glam playlist. It’s been getting me through the last couple of days’ worth of work.

Most of the tracks are from a double CD I picked up in London, “The Best Glam Rock Album In The World…Ever.” It was pretty solid, but I added some extra Bowie, T-Rex, Slade and Sweet to the mix.

A few of the bands are crap. Mud, for instance. Even at the age of 12, I realized this was pretty fake stuff. But I left them in the mix as the entirety of this represents a very specific time and place in my life.

Glam is possibly why I always kept my taste for pop, even after Punk hit and blew me away. In a sense, it’s the music that defined me: some of these bands are the first groups that I ever realized MATTERED – that their music was BETTER, for some reason I couldn’t really define. This was IMPORTANT in a vague, palpable way that twelve-year-old me couldn’t put into words at the time.

When Punk hit, I was a bit older, and knew why it mattered. Years afterwards, I considered Punk the prime musical influence of my life. But it took “The Best Glam Rock Album In The World…Ever” to remind me of what had shaped my musical tastes a few years before.

Ending the mix, neither “Boston tea Party,” “Sound and Vision” nor “Blinded By The Light” are – technically – Glam, but I included them as bookends of a movement that in some parts evolved and in others faded surprisingly quickly. In the same mindset, I could have just as easily have thrown the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy In The UK” as the ending track, with its blazing chords a direct descendant of the heavy guitars of glam (physically, if not philosophically). England had moved from Cockney Rebel to Cockney Rejects, but roots were shared.

Like finding forgotten photos of a first girlfriend, “The Best Glam Rock Album In The World…Ever” helped me to realize that my first musical love was was a LOT hotter than I remembered.

And every now and then, it still gets me through the days.

Come on. Feel the noise.

THE RADIO MUSKRAT GLAM PLAYLIST

Killer Queen – Queen
Blockbuster – Sweet
All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople
John, I’m Only Dancing – David Bowie
Virginia Plain – Roxy Music
The Passenger – Iggy Pop
Children Of The Revolution – T.Rex
Elected – Alice Cooper
Mama Weer All Crazy Now – Slade
This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us – Sparks
Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry
Radar Love – Golden Earring
The Man Who Sold The World – Lulu
Space Oddity – David Bowie
Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
Perfect Day – Lou Reed
10538 Overture – Electric Light Orchestra
Ball Park Incident – Roy Wood’s Wizzard
Rock On – David Essex
I’m the Leader of the Gang – Gary Glitter
Little Willy – Sweet
See My Baby Jive – Roy Wood’s Wizzard
All The Way From Memphis – Mott The Hoople
20th Century Boy – T.Rex
The Ballroom Blitz – Sweet
Tiger Feet – Mud
Life On Mars – David Bowie
Devilgate Drive – Suzi Quatro
All Because Of You – Geordie
Gudbuy T’Jane – Slade
Personality Crisis – New York Dolls
Do The Strand – Roxy Music
Once Bitten Twice Shy – Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson
Cum On Feel The Noize – Slade
Motor Bikin’ – Chris Spedding
Seven Deadly Finns – Brian Eno
Cherry Bomb – The Runaways
Solid Gold Easy Action – T.Rex
Standing In The Road – Blackfoot Sue
Dyna-Mite – Mud
Angel Face – The Glitter Band
Starman David Bowie
Dance With The Devil Cozy Powell
Skweeze Me Pleeze Me Slade
New York Groove Hello
I Love Rock And Roll – The Arrows
Can The Can – Suzi Quatro
Do You Want to Touch Me – Gary Glitter
Boston Tea Party – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
Fox On The Run – Sweet
Sound And Vision – David Bowie
Blinded By the Light – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

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The Dork Tower scheduled for Today will go up tomorrow instead, I fear. technical problems. But I’m told in a couple of weeks DorkTower.com’s being moved to a new server, and things should be lightning fast. Fingers crossed…

John

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