who invented glam rock?

[poll id=”8″]

David Bowie
With his outer space painted up face Bowie was the closest the era got to it’s own genius. He preened and strutted across stages in a knitwear outfit that would have looked ridiculous on a mere earthling, luckily he was from another planet and his esoteric alien appearance saw the Starman acknowledged as the leader of the post Beatles generation. With a series of singles that signposted the seventies Bowie was the pied piper that led a generation ona merry glam trail…

Marc Bolan
he had been an ace face mod and then was the ultimate hippie busker- a neo Syd Barrett who was a fixture on the free festival circuit and best friends with John Peel. He then became the teenybop king of glam. He was the first to wear the glam make up and his singles, like Bowie’s sound tracked the seventies. When he went to TRex Bolan shifted the axis of pop. His tragic death made sure he never got the chance to properly state his claim for pop influence. Ironically his last ever appearance was on his seminal Marc TV show where he fell of the stage whilst duetting with Bowie. Sensitive souls say this was a sign of Bowie pushing past him but we say he just fell and he still looked cool as fuck doing it…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. The Alice Cooper Band wore make-up and looked pretty glam before School’s Out.But I think Bolan clinches it.

  2. Hmmm, I doubt anyone invented it. It was more than likely coined by some journalist or DJ doing the usual pidgeon-holeing. Interestingly, Dave Hill from Slade has said that for him, Glam Rock started the week Marc Bolan appeared on TOTP with a glitter tear drop on his cheek.

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  5. Definatley MARC BOLAN!…………Bolan may have been in the audience of the HYPE as Visconti states but the HYPE was most definatley not Glam!!!!!!! it was more CHICORY TIP!!!!!!!!!!…………Bolan NEVER dressed in superhero costumes!!!!!!! Bolan was the first to introduce the glam phase as in glitter rock……….yes Elvis had worn lame jackets and little Richard make up etc etc…….but BOLAN was the first with the whole package that came at the beginning of Glam rock and the super hero costumes came later……….people need to stop trying to re-write rock history.

  6. Marc Bolan without a doubt!, it started the day Marc went on T.o.t.p’s with Hot Love and glitter under his eye’s!!!!…the rest is history!….

  7. Its agreed then…Marc Bolan invented Glam Rock….the facts are there, and in the early 70’s became larger than the beatles, if it wasnt for his untimely death he sure would of been the face of rock as we know it…

  8. Was Marc Bolan. He was the first to use make-up as part of the image of glam and woman acessories, even the gestures and the sound to. He is the true soul, creator of glam rock and the king with no doubt. After he begin to use make-up, David Bowie did the same and others like The Sweet, Roxy Music, Rod Stewart and Alice Cooper. Bowie and Marc have share the same producer and manager. Bolan use to play in clubs with Bowie as a support guitarist 1969/1970. I associate glam-rock to Marc Bolan. He even influenced a lot of punk rock bands. He is in part one of the godfathers of punk.

  9. Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

  10. Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

  11. Bolan without a doubt. The man doesn’t get enough credit, it’s always Bowie! Bowie ripped off Bolan!

  12. Gotta be Little Richard. Frenzied, raucous music, libidinous lyrics, sharp clothes and eyeliner. And twenty years before any of the other contenders.

  13. I think is Marc.
    Could you help me about a song, please?
    I found a song in a old k7 tape and I don’t know the band.
    I think that is Glam Rock from the 70’s.

    listen at: httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lzSjnu1ujU

  14. David Bowie 1970 pre dates both New York Dolls 1971 and Marc Bolan did not start wearing glitter and satins until 1971. Bowie tended to start trends and move on quickly whereas Marc Bolan made it the focus of his career hence why he is synonymous with glam rock but Bowie was the first.

      • Hello Rachel David Bowie and the Hype 1970 including Mick legendary Ronson. The group dressed as superheroes “this gig marks the birth of glam.” Seven Ages of Rock and found this quote after I had posted my original comment so I would argue he had moved on from “arts lab hippie.” That is what Bowie always did reinvent himself.


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