Welcome pop pickers to episode 4 of Genre 2, Glam Rock.
This week back to Glam Rock. Thank you to Wiki and Top of the Pops.
New Romantic acts in the UK such as Adam and the Ants and A Flock of Seagulls extended glam, and its androgyny and sexual politics were picked up by acts including Culture Club, Bronski Beat and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Gothic rock was largely informed by the makeup, clothes, theatricality and sound of glam, and punk rock adopted some of the performance and persona-creating tendencies of glam, as well as the genre’s emphasis on pop-art qualities and simple but powerful instrumentation.
Glam rock has been influential around the world. In Japan in the 1980s, visual kei was strongly influenced by glam rock aesthetics.] Glam rock has since enjoyed continued influence and sporadic modest revivals in R&B crossover act Prince, bands such as Marilyn Manson, Suede, Placebo,] Chainsaw Kittens, Spacehog and the Darkness,] and has inspired pop artists such as Lady Gaga.
The featured song, Smalltown Boy, is a good candidate for the epitomic tune of #FF. Notwithstanding that, I have always found it a great song.
The lead singer of Bronski Beat was of course Ian Hislop, taking time out from his no longer funny Have I Got News for You show. He is often confused with Jimmy Summerville, who later went on to be the lead singer of The Communards. I think in reality they are both inter-changeable.
Other Bronski Beat hits include:
Bronski Beat – Why ? (Top Of The Pops 1984)
I have always liked Donna Summer, but this version is just as good if not better in my view. Bronski Beat – I Feel Love/Johnny Remember Me (feat. Marc Almond) (Top of The Pops 1985). Marc Almond camping it up as ever.
Then along came Adam and the Ants. Transitioning from punk to glam rock. I must confess to buying an album of theirs and apart from a couple of standout tracks, was rubbish.
Adam & The Ants – Antmusic. Great tune, brings back many memories. I named my second son Adam.
Adam & The Ants – Kings of the Wild Frontier. Bigly good tune.
Adam & The Ants – Prince Charming. Not a bad song, very commercial (which I like), but a good excuse to see the lovely Diana Dors.
A bit earlier, but a vanguard of Glam to “New Wave”, we had Culture Club, with the slightly effeminate Boy George. I remember at the time trying to work out what sex he was, male or female. These days he would be classified as one of the pretend genders, (Mental Illness) no idea which type though. However, a few good tunes:
Culture Club – Do you really want to hurt me – 1982 Top of the pops.
Culture Club – Karma Chameleon (TOTP 1983)
My favourite from this band is:
Culture Club – Church Of The Poisoned Mind (TOTP 1983), like all their songs, much better listened to than watched. Proper tune this though.
I finish off with a bit of Frankie Goes to Hollywood. They only really had 3 hits, all No 1’s, a very rare feat indeed. I can think of Frankie Lane, and Gerry and the Pacemakers who have done that. I expect others but cannot be many.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – War, Two Tribes Live The Tube 29.06.84. Glad I found something from The Tube, I liked that show.
Holly Johnson of Frankie Goes To Hollywood with string quartet, The Power Of Love, live on Later With Jools Holland. I remember watching this live and thought most excellent.
Obviously, I have to finish off with Relax! But here is a version featuring none other than Lemmy. – Frankie Goes To Hollywood & Lemmy (Motorhead) – Relax (TV-show 1984)
Singalong, enjoy and be happy! Links to Origins Series:
© Phil the ex test manager 2023