Amoeblog

The Moon missions and the children of Major Tom -- the end of the space age and the music that followed

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 20, 2009 03:58pm | Post a Comment
first moon landing

It's the 40th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, and looking back at that achievement it's obvious that one of the many repercussions was evinced in the music of the era. In addition to the space rock of bands like Pink Floyd and Hawkwind and sci-fi minded funk acts like Funkadelic, the glam rock scene, which exploded around the same time, is one of the most obvious manifestations. For a couple of years, glam rock was massively popular in several countries and it spawned hordes of mylar-and-make-up-wearing rockers singing about extraterrestrial love and lonely planet boys. On December 7, 1972, the Apollo 17 was the last manned mission to the moon and the space age, shortly after, seems to have drawn quietly to a close. Glam rock seemed to fizzle shortly afterward, but maybe it just went underground, seeking out new frontiers in a different set of clothes.



First, in 1973, David Bowie retired his extraterrestrial Ziggy Stardust and released Aladdin Sane. Although hardly a radical departure, it was famously hyped as "Ziggy goes to America" and represented Bowie's efforts to move in a new direction. Then, in early 1974, glam rock's creator Marc Bolan announced that "Glam rock is dead." His February release, Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow - A Creamed Cage in August, was described by its creator as "cosmic soul." Bowie described his next direction as "plastic soul" shortly afterward. Glam's two most important stars seemed committed to moving on in spirit, if perhaps overstating the change in their music.

Glam & Glitter Christmas

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 24, 2008 10:15am | Post a Comment

 Marc Bolan Santa Claus

I'm not
sure what it is about Glam Rock and Christmas but I've always appreciated how many contributions to the Christmas song canon have big drums, fuzzy sax and '50s via the '70s Yuletide vibes.


My vote for the best Glam Rock Christmas song goes, hands down, to Slade with their never-tiresome-no-matter-how-many-times-you-hear-it classic, the misspelling free "Merry Xmas everybody."



 

Sadly, there's no proper footage of T. Rex's "Christmas bop" but you can just imagine Marc and Gloria Jones frolicking in the... snow.


 

No doubt eager to cash in on the success of Wizzard and Slade's Christmas successes, the less-inspired but still enjoyable Mud give us this Showaddywaddy-esque version of "Lonely this Christmas."

CUM ON FEEL THE NOIZE OF SLADE

Posted by Billyjam, July 20, 2007 08:20pm | Post a Comment

Slade
-- the great UK rock group performing "Look Wot You Done" from 1971 when they were more rock than glam, since glam rock didn't fully kick in til 1972/73. In 1972 they released the hard rock album Slayed, featuring such timeless chant-alongs as "Gudbuy T-Jane" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now." Then there was the song "Cum On Feel The Noize," which years later was popularized in the US by Quiet Riot. Formed in 1966, Slade's lineup was Noddy Holder (vocals/guitars /bass), Dave Hill (guitars/vocals/bass), Jim Lea (bass/guitar/vocals/keyboards/violin), and Don Powell (drums/percussion). Their most successful years were 1971 to 1974, during which time they made some truly classic hard rock and glam songs -- scoring over a dozen UK Top of the Pops hits.

(In which Job wrestles with his subconscious mind and recommends an album.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 30, 2007 08:17am | Post a Comment
It’s seven-thirty in the morning; I’ve just rolled out of bed after a weird and ultimately unhelpful dream about being accidentally tossed off the Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at Disneyland, after which I ended up drenched in water and yelling at Timothy Dalton, who was working as a security guard, for not believing that their stupid ride malfunctioned and landed me in a private parking garage.

Seriously. That’s what I was dreaming. Is it any wonder I’m awake an hour before normal? I mean, who needs that kind of crap? I am like, totally giving my subconscious mind the silent treatment today.

Two things are helping salvage my mood. One is writing this to you, of course. The other is listening to Jobriath.


This dude’s story is mostly tragic; one of the casualties of the music industry. He was glam at a time when glam had just started retiring. Bowie had already reinvented himself as a Zoot-suit wearing soul singer. Even so, Jobriath was promoted by Elektra Records as though his debut album would be more popular than The Beatles, and subsequently, God.

His half-naked frame was plastered all over cities at a time when we weren’t used to seeing such things. (I mean, nowadays it’s like, “Oh, a huge billboard of two, scantily-clad beefcakes frolicking in a pool together… in an advertisement for Toilet Duck.”) Jobriath’s first album was inescapable, and it hadn’t even been released.

So that, when it finally did hit the shelves, though it was critically acclaimed by many, it couldn’t live up to the hype that had come before it. Jobriath was eventually abandoned by his management and lived the rest of his life out in relative obscurity; his major legacy being an example to record companies on how NOT to handle a new act.