Glam Rock

Glam rock originated in Britain in the 70s. It was a theatrical movement and many of the artists adopted personas — adopting dramatic props such as garish costumes, makeup and glitter. The movement was particularly popular in the mainstream in the early-to-mid 70s. Marc Bolan’s vibrant appearance with T. Rex on Top of the Pops in 1971 is often seen as the definitive beginning of glam rock and the trends that followed. Glam rock artists presented an androgynous visual appearance that subverted traditional gender-roles. David Bowie was particularly influential in this regard, but his musical output, especially records such as The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), was widely acclaimed and successful in combining elements of hard rock, art rock and pop. 

The androgynous caricature of Ziggy Stardust effectively resembled the times and placed the work within the bounds of glam rock; however, the cohesive amalgam of rock-style riffs and pop styles meant the music appealed to a wider audience. As much a fashion movement as it was a musical one, the visual aesthetic is extremely distinctive whilst musical characteristics are far more diverse. Songs generally took influence from tock & roll, hard rock and ‘bubblegum’ pop. Typically, however, the songs are loud and simple with catchy guitar riffs and memorable choruses. Vocal lines can also be ambiguous with regards to gender distinctions, a primary example of which is Sweet’s massive hit, Ballroom Blitz.

Notable artists:

Alice Cooper

David Bowie




T. Rex

Roxy Music

Mott The Hoople

If you want to commission your own music in this style, or would like more information or help, please contact us.