Listen to Simon Reynolds’ new glam rock playlist



A misguided introduction to shock rock and art pop.

Having tackled rave culture in Energy Flash and deconstructed pop music’s obsession with its own past in Retromania (one of our top 25 books for record collectors), journalist and music writer Simon Reynolds has wound the clock back a turn for his latest book, Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and its Legacy.

A raucous portrait of the alien glamour and gender mayhem that tore through the legacy of the ’60s, Shock and Awe traces the emergence of a genre that favoured illusion over truth, parody over sincerity and personal identity over public politics to the present day, where theatrical excess and the cult of personality still reign supreme in contemporary pop culture.

By way of an introduction, we asked Simon to compile a playlist that captures glam rock at its most potent. Over to Simon for a little more context:

Here’s a mix that takes you on a misguided tour of glam’s side roads and anomalous alleys. An off-the-beaten track(s) wander through the shock rock and art pop hinterland of the early ’70s, with follow through into the later ’70s, the 1980s and beyond, tracking the mutation and proliferation of glam and glitter genres across the genrescape.


01. David Bowie – ‘We Are Hungry Men’
02. T. Rex – ‘Children of Rarn’
03. Mott the Hoople – ‘Sucker’
04. Hello – ‘Another School Day’
05. Geordie – ‘Geordie Stomp’
06. Jimmy Jukebox, ‘Motorboat’
07. David Essex – ‘We All Insane’
08. Alice Cooper – ‘Sick Things’
09. Sparks – ‘Biology 2’
10. Roxy Music – ‘Sultanesque’
11. The Sweet – ‘No You Don’t’
12. Screemer – ‘Interplanetary Twist’
13. Daddy Maxfield – ‘Rave ‘n’Rock’
14. David Essex – ‘Stardust’
15. Japan – ‘Adolescent Sex’
16. Ultravox – ‘Rockwrok’
17. Rock Follies – ‘O.K.’
18. Suzi Quatro – ‘In the Morning’
19. Fox – ‘S-S-Single Bed’
20. The Tubes – ‘Tubes World Tour’
21. Doctors of Madness – ‘Mainlines’
22. Cockney Rebel – ‘Cavaliers’
23. David Bowie – ‘Art Decade’
24. Associates – ‘White Car In Germany’
25. Klaus Nomi – ‘The Cold Song’
26. Siouxsie and the Banshees – ‘Spellbound’

Simon Reynolds’ Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and its Legacy is published by Faber & Faber. Order your copy here.