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"Glam!: Bowie, Bolan And The Glitter Rock Revolution" by Barney Hoskyns

Glam!  Bowie, Bolan and the Glitter Rock Revolution - Barney Hoskyns

A slim and concise (115 pages) volume that focusses on Glam's key players (Bowie, Bolan, Roxy Music, New York Dolls, Lou Reed) and a more passing reference to some of the lesser lights (Sweet, Slade, Suzi, Sparks, Mud, Rubettes etc.). I am fairly knowledgeable about Glam Rock and learnt nothing new, however I still thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and that is testimony to Barney Hoskyns' thoughtful and highly readable style.

Barney Hoskyns places the era in context, charts the all too brief rise and fall of Glam including quotes from well informed commentators and key participants, before briefly exploring Glam's legacy. 

The book was published in 1998 and so only hints at Gary Glitter's fall from grace. The book also precedes the interest in the the so-called Junk Shop Glam scene that developed in the early 2000s. As in all musical genres, some of the best Glam tracks were recorded by those who were has-beens or were-never-gonna-bes. Some of this now highly collectible Junk Shop Glam has been issued on compilation CDs, most notably the three RPM Junk Shop Glam compilations (Boobs: The Junkshop Glam Discotheque, Velvet Tinmine: 20 Junkshop Glam Ravers, and Glitterbest: 20 Pre Punk & Glam Terrace Stompers). A more comprehensive book, or one written more recently, might choose to explore the one-offs who tried to cash in on the craze, leaving behind a lone stellar 45 before shuffling off back into complete and total obscurity.

This book is a great introduction to the Glam Rock genre, and also makes a satisfying read for the more informed reader who simply wants to enjoy a short, well written account of Glam's glory years.