Saturday, July 23, 2022

Glam Rock: Top 50 Songs

Glam Rock:

Top 50 Songs

Glam rock was a genre which emerged in the early 1970s which was characterized as much by fashion as the music itself. Performers wore flamboyant costumes (which often included glitter and platform shoes), makeup, and hairstyles. The look often flirted with andryogyny and fluid gender roles and a camp style. Musically, the genre drew largely from rock and roll, but incorporated cabaret, bubblegum pop, and throwaway pop culture.

The movement was largely British. David Bowie, T-Rex, Mott the Hoople, Sweet, and Slade were among the genre’s most popular artists. Some American artists such as Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, and the New York Dolls also incorporated glam into their music in the 1970s. There were also British artists such as Elton John and Queen who adopted some elements of glam in their ‘70s music. The genre influenced punk rock, goth, new wave, and hair bands.

This list was created by aggregating 18 lists (see sources at bottom of page) focused on the best glam rock songs of all time. Those songs appearing on 3 or more lists were then ranked based on overall Dave’s Music Database status. Then the top 50 of those songs were reranked based on their status specifically on the glam-rock lists.

Click here to see other genre-specific song lists.

1. Mott the Hoople “All the Young Dudes” (1972)
2. T-Rex “Get It On (Bang a Gong)” (1971)
3. Sweet “Ballroom Blitz” (1973)
4. Roxy Music “Virginia Plain” (1972)
5. New York Dolls “Personality Crisis” (1973)
6. Slade “Cum on Feel the Noize” (1973)
7. Alice Cooper “School’s Out” (1972)
8. Slade “Mama, Weer All Crazee Now” (1972)
9. T-Rex “20th Century Boy” (1973)
10. Sweet “Blockbuster” (1973)

11. David Bowie “Starman” (1972)
12. Sparks “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us” (1974)
13. David Bowie “Ziggy Stardust” (1972)
14. David Essex “Rock On” (1973)
15. Lou Reed “Vicious” (1972)
16. David Bowie “The Jean Genie” (1972)
17. Queen “Killer Queen” (1974)
18. T-Rex “Children of the Revolution” (1972)
19. Gary Glitter “Rock and Roll Part 2” (1972)
20. David Bowie “Rebel Rebel” (1974)

21. T-Rex “Hot Love” (1971)
22. Roxy Music “Do the Strand” (1973)
23. Pilot “January” (1975)
24. T-Rex “Telegram Sam” (1972)
25. David Bowie “Queen Bitch” (1971)
26. Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)
27. Sweet “Action” (1975)
28. David Bowie “Suffragette City” (1972)
29. Roxy Music “Love Is the Drug” (1975)
30. Lou Reed “Walk on the Wild Side” (1972)

31. Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)” (1975)
32. T-Rex “Metal Guru” (1972)
33. T-Rex “Ride a White Swan” (1970)
34. Sweet “Fox on the Run” (1975)
35. Sweet “Love Is Like Oxygen” (1978)
36. Sweet “Little Willy” (1972)
37. Suzi Quatro “Can the Can” (1973)
38. The Stooges “Search and Destroy” (1973)
39. Elton John “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” (1973)
40. Elton John “Bennie and the Jets” (1973)

41. Elton John “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Gonna Be a Long Time)” (1972)
42. Alice Cooper “Elected” (1972)
43. Lou Reed “Satellite of Love” (1972)
44. Lou Reed “Perfect Day” (1972)
45. Slade “Merry Xmas Everybody” (1973)
46. David Bowie “Space Oddity” (1969)
47. T-Rex “Jeepster” (1971)
48. David Bowie “John, I’m Only Dancing” (1972)
49. Bryan Ferry “Let’s Stick Together” (1976)
50. The Darkness “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” (2003)

Resources/Related Links:

First posted 7/22/2022; last updated 7/23/2022.

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