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The genre, sometimes termed "glam," had its origins in the early 1970s backlash against the 1960s sexual revolution. Its chief identifying features included the glorification of sexual ambiguity and androgyny and the heightened fashion consciousness. The performers affected a decadent look typically accented by foppish and/or futuristic clothing and tons of makeup and glitter dust.

Musically, glitter came across as a slicker form of hard rock. The leading exponents ranged stylistically from punk to hard rock and greatly influenced the more theatrically inclined mainstream acts of the 1970s and 1980s, including Alice Cooper, Queen, and Joan Jett.

Glitter rock lost considerable momentum when its shock value was ultimately pre-empted by genres willing to push threatrical conventions and fashion statements further to the edge. By the latter half of the 1970s most fans had defected to either the disco or heavy metal camps. Many of the leading glitter acts went on to even greater success as mainstream artists, albeit with either progressive or hard rock leanings.


Top Artists and Their Recordings

David Bowie--Space Oddity (1968); The Man Who Sold the World (1970); Hunky Dory (1971); The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972); Images 1966-1967 (1973); Aladdin Sane (1973); Pin Ups (1973); Diamond Dogs (1974); David Live (1974)

Gary Glitter--"Rock and Roll, Part 2" (1972); "I Didn't Know I Loved You (Till I Saw You Rock and Roll)" (1972); Glitter (1972)

Jobriath--Jobriath (1973); Creatures of the Street (1974)

Kiss--Kiss (1973); Hotter Than Hell (1974); Dressed to Kill (1975); Alive! (1975); Destroyer (1976); Rock and Roll Over (1976); Love Gun (1977); Alive II (1977); Dynasty (1979); Kiss Unmasked (1980); Music From the Elder (1981); Creatures of the Night (1982); Lick It Up (1983); Animalize (1984); Asylum (1985); Crazy Nights (1987); Hot in the Shade (1989); Revenge (1992)

New York Dolls--New York Dolls (1973); Too Much Too Soon (1974)

Roxy Music--Roxy Music (1972); For Your Pleasure (1973); Stranded (1974); Country Life (1975); Siren (1975); Viva! Roxy Music (1976); Manifesto (1979); Flesh + Blood (1980); Avalon (1982); Musique/The High Road (1983)

Slade--Slade Alive! (1972); Slayed? (1973); Sladest (1973); Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet (1974); Slade in Flame (1975)

The Sweet--The Sweet (1973); Desolation Boulevard (1975); Give Us a Wink (1976); Off the Record (1977); Level Headed (1978); Cut Above the Rest (1979)

Tyrannosaurus Rex/T. Rex--T. Rex (1971); Electric Warrior (1971); The Slider (1972); Tyrannosaurus Rex (A Beginning) (1972); Tanx (1973)