Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wham, Bam, Thank you, Ma'am

Glitter was out there and in your face. What it wasn't was substantive (here come the comments...). Do the math on your fingers: Bowie, Bolan, Roxy, Lou Reed, The Sweet, The New York Dolls, Slade, Mott the Hoople, dare we include Jobriath - it's a short list at best (I've got fingers left), despite the fact that many of rock's most innovative fit snugly into the glitter boa ("glitter" the more common terminology in the 70s, rather than "glam"). It was like putting out fires with gasoline: a trickle of gas and you've got a fire; a puddle you've got an explosion - then it's out: Bowie morphed, Bolan died, Roxy got sophisticated, Reed was Reed. It came, it slapped you hard, it went away; such was the plethora of music from out of the early 70s: progressive rock (Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Genesis, Gentle Giant), jazz rock (Chicago, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Brown), hard rock (Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Captain Beyond), and those bands that fit no mold (Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, King Crimson) - glitter was gone and no one seemed to notice. It was 1974.

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