MARK PAYTRESS – Glam! When Superstars Rocked the World, 1970-74
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What a lovely and evocative delight this colorful and captivating piece on the birth and creative peaks of glam rock is. Filled to the brim with pictures of bands, concert posters, album adverts, fan club newsletters, badges, and single and album covers, author Mark Paytress has composed a most impressive book on the rise and fall of the genre as well as its key players and how their endeavors influenced and propelled the movement forward. Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Queen, KISS, Mott the Hoople, the Sweet, and Slade (just to list a few examples) all figure prominently in the narrative and weave a deeply fascinating story together that is both inspiring and utterly enticing.
Paytress takes you right back to the 70s and captures the zeitgeist of the period and the raw, vivid energy associated with the arrival of the thrilling new culture known as glam rock. Reflective and oftentimes wickedly funny, Glam provides a brilliant insight into the peculiar magic of the music while also illustrating that it was not always the records or songs themselves but rather the impact that the visual presentation of Bowie, Bolan, Cooper, and their contemporaries had on the spectators and members of the audience that made them somewhat controversial. Concise, informative, and impassioned, there is something inspired and heartwarming about the recollection of being in the presence of an unprecedented phenomena. Regardless of whether you felt alien, weird, or like an outsider, those timeless tunes and anthems served as an outlet and a safe haven to many a youth back in the day, and there is a reason why countless acts and outputs from that epoch still resonate with us today.
Embodying the otherworldly spirit of a bygone era without ever coming across as an elegy for a lost world, the book is memorable and well-composed, and it certainly emphasizes the idea that it is impossible to overlook the influence of glam rock in a new, refreshing, and convincing manner. Clearly a labor of love to the author and without doubt a highly recommended read to everyone with an interest in early 70s rock and pop, this appealing treasure trove of fantastic stories and beguiling visual content ought to be added to your Christmas wish list asap.