The start of the glam rock era is generally pinpointed as Marc Bolan’s glittery-cheeked appearance on Top of the Pops. No surprise then that Bolan is where this book starts, but Bowie is the thread that holds it all together.
Bowie’s career and his influence on other artists, along with their influence on him in turn, are at the core of this book. Whilst I can understand the author’s desire to tie the genre to a single artist in this way, it does lead to a rather joyless over analysis at times. Reynolds is much more entertaining when discussing other glam era groups like Slade and Sweet even though he devotes less page space to them.
At 650 plus pages the book is strong on historical analysis and has plenty of anecdotes. It also references a good many less well known works that will have you scuttling off to Spotify. At the end of the day though there are too many tangents explored and it feels like a rather dry academic treatise at times.
Not a bad book but one I’d have enjoyed more if it had been shorter and displayed more focus.
Length of Read:Epic
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Other music histories, Reynold’s other books like Rip It Up and Start Again
One thing you’ve learned
All that glitters is not glam.