The Twisted Tale of Glam Rock
by Stuart Lenig
June 2010, 175pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-37986-4
$64, £48, 54€, A92
eBook Available: 978-0-313-37987-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Though initially derided as “glitter rock,” glam rock has endured for 40 years. Mixing theatre, pop, media, and identity politics, it fuses style, costumes, theatricality, and technology into a wild, euphoric music that perfectly fits the new millennium—and has much to say about our society over the past 40 years.

Covering four decades of music history, this engaging book explores a genre of pop music that has been overlooked, under-reported, and ineffectively characterized—but which nevertheless remains immensely popular.

The very qualities that made glam unusual and undervalued are now being reintroduced into our culture through video, music, and cyber and computer mediums, while artists such as Lady Gaga have made glam popular once more. Carefully explaining this misunderstood genre, The Twisted Tale of Glam Rock explores glam’s attraction and the reasons it has endured.

With the help of copious examples, the book covers the style from the pre-glam British invasion of 1964-69 through the classical glam era (1970-75); the metamorphosis into glam goth, glam metal, and glam new-romanticism (1976-90); and the style’s reemergence (1990-present). It provides a theoretical basis for musicians’ attraction to this highly visual and theatrical form of pop music and sets glam in a historical context, following the format through MTV, videos, and vibrant stage and theatre presentations. Finally, the book explores the hybridization of glam with other styles, illustrating how the genre has progressively reemerged as a premier form of performance pop.

Features

  • 10 images of prominent performers and groups from the history of glam
  • A list of the top glam songs from each decade, chosen for their relationship to core glam concerns of identity, media, technology, theatricality, and gender issues
Stuart Lenig, PhD, is the interim chair of the Humanities and Fine Arts Division at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, TN. Dr. Lenig's published works include Communication Odysseys with professors Lacey Bennis and Daniel Johnson, a chapter on David Bowie for a book on cover songs, encyclopedia entries on graphic novels, and some humorous playlets based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

Reviews

"... this is a worthy and accessible contribution to the study of rock music history. ... Recommended. All readers."—Choice, December 1, 2010
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