The whole musical ‘glam’ thing of the ‘70s meant many things to many people, and depending upon who you ask had remarkably varied boundaries. It quickly becomes obvious that those who compiled this collection of archived performances, captured by German TV’s Musik Laden, have a VERY broad idea of what it encompassed – for let’s face it, the likes of Smokie, Dave Edmunds and Tom Robinson didn’t exactly fit the spangly platties without one big fothermucking shoehorn.
Bass chicks ROOL!
Still, putting pedantic tendencies aside, the 20 songs included here - some mimed, but most of them totally live - feature enough absolutely classic moments to excuse the odd surfacing of the ringers above and the likes of Rod Stewart, Mungo Jerry and Showaddywaddy. Other than the intriguing appearance of ‘60s poppet Lulu standing static throughout a take on The Man Who Sold the World (hey, if you can’t get Bowie you can at least nab one of his songs), the opportunity to catch greats like Marc Bolan and Brian Eno (during his residency with Roxy Music) in action alone are worth the price of admission. Add to this a selection of the decidedly ace in Suzi Quatro, The Sweet and Alice Cooper, plus a grab bag of those heartthrobs we outwardly cringe at (but secretly adore) like the Bay City Rollers, David Essex and David Cassidy, and what you have is over an hour of mostly great fun memories. Well, for us older farts, at any rate.
Jeepster - T-Rex Virginia Plain - Roxy Music 48 Crash - Suzi Quatro Rock On - David Essex Teenage Rampage - The Sweet Bye Bye Baby - Bay City Rollers How Does it Feel - Medicine Head The Man Who Sold the World - Lulu Rock Me Baby - David Cassidy If You Think You Know How to Love Me - Smokie Here Comes the Sun - Steve Harley 2-4-6-8 Motorway - Tom Robinson Band You Got What it Takes - Showaddywaddy Love Hurts - Nazareth Here Comes the Weekend - Dave Edmunds Tonight’s the Night - Rod Stewart Do the Strand - Roxy Music 20th Century Boy - T-Rex Alright Alright Alright - Mungo Jerry Public Animal #9 - Alice Cooper
It's Keith Partridge - SWOON!
Surprisingly, for stuff of such vintage and, back then, throwaway status, things scrub up reasonably well here for the most part. Some fare better than others – the appearances by Suzi and Mungo suffer from outbreaks of that microphony stuff (interference lines on the screen) – but generally it’s all good enough for something that’s for the most part hovering around the 30 years old mark. Watch out for some of the cheesy ‘70s visual effects, however, for they are about the only things around here sharp enough to have your eye out.
From crayons to perfume to...
In an interesting move, all the original mono audio has been pushed, pulled, squished and squashed into DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes. Tending towards being a little too bass-heavy at times (even for glam stompy stuff), purists are going to pull their hair out (assuming they have any left), but otherwise it all sounds reasonable enough when ramped. It would have been nice, however, to have had the original sound mix as an option.
Save for a very funky pair of stars and stripes covered platties on the menu, there’s squat in the way of extras.
In reality there were only a handful of true exponents of the glam sound, and most of these classic acts can be found here amongst the tragics. Anybody with a bit of a penchant for those big drums, over the top guitar solos and often indecipherable or just plain comical vocal stylings (yes Bryan Ferry, we’re looking squarely at you) should find much to get down to on this little round shiny thingy.
Jack & Sarah "Proving that simplicity is no obstruction to brilliance, this is an ultimately sweet (but not sickeningly so) tale that gives all those bigger English films out there a more than respectable run for their money... "