Glam, Hair Metal and Guilty Pleasures

Two related points:

  1. Have ya read “Fargo Rock City” by Chuck Klosterman? He was a hair-metal-addicted teen in rural North Dakota in the '80’s and although his seems to have matured past it (he loves Radiohead now) he is unapologetic for liking hair metal and offers a number of truly insightful observations about the genre in this book. Really worth reading.

  2. One of the records that he mentioned in the book that was cited by the metal bands as being influential to them was the '74 glam album “Desolation Boulevard” by the Sweet. I bought it back then, but haven’t heard it in 15-20 years. I ordered it - wow, it still holds up. As I like to say: it may only be a Big Mac and Fries, but it is a damn good Big Mac and Fries. Fox on the Run, Ballroom Blitz, A.C. D.C. Sweet F.A., No You Don’t - all amazing songs, surprisingly well produced by Chapman and Chinn, the Phil Spector’s of Glam.

Fun stuff…

Word, man.

What’s wrong with loud, obnoxious, tasteless music?

What’s wrong with watching really ugly men in really ugly outfits singing really ugly lyrics really loudly?

I think glam and hair metal should be elevated from the realm of guilty pleasure into something akin to respectability.

I long for the day when the President opens the State of the Union Address with the timeless question, “ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?”

It is within our grasp, fellow Dopers! With any luck, we can merge it with punk to create a bastard child so ugly the album covers will be able to peel paint off a battleship.

“Desolation Boulevard” is an AWESOME album. There isn’t one bad song on it.

I wouldn’t consider it that “glammy,” though. Mostly straightforward rock, as far as I’m concerned. I am also a big fan of their other album, “Give Us a Wink,” which I don’t have on CD quite yet. (The album jacket had a neat little tab that you pulled to make this big eye wink. I wonder if the CD has the same…probably not.)

In terms of musical style, I can see where you are coming from nineiron - although the use of synthies on a number of the songs, and the way-over-the-top harmonies have a glammy feel (“cuz we’re all-all-all-all-all - part of the Six-Teens!!”). I called the Sweet glam simply because they typically get lumped in with Bowie, Gary Glitter, Slade and a few others when the harder British rock from the early-to-mid 1970’s is discussed.

The album rocks. My five-year-old son has me play “Fox on the Run” several times a day. “Daddy - what’s a Fox? It’s not the animal, is it?”…too funny.

You should check out his latest book Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs. There’s an essay about the life on the road of a Guns N’ Roses Tribute Band, and another on how what shapes the news isn’t personal bias by a reporter or editor, but instead, who calls the reporter back first. Another essay deals with how John Cusak is the reason Chuck will never satisfy any woman. I highly recommend it. [the book and John Cusak;) ]

I still listen to hair metal. It takes me back to the days of my youth, and I’ll probably never give it up. I do like new music, too, so I’m not STUCK in the past. I just like to relive it a little more than the average person. :wink:

Oh, and I don’t consider it a guilty pleasure. I’m not apologetic at all. I’ll have to check out the book.

Sweet rules…love that band