Monday, February 24, 2014

40 Year Itch: Glitter Wrap Up

   By 1974, Marc Bolan was a has been. It happened quickly. At one moment he was the biggest star in Britain. But by 1974, he was overweight, often drunk or coked-out, and living in California. Although the new album featured a new Top 20 single in "Teenage Dream", Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow was a half-assed, lifeless mess. There are forays into funk, some copy cat versions of his old T.Rex sounds and quite a few dire lines about life as a former teen idol. The highlight for me is "Change".

After leaving David Bowie's band, the great glam rocking guitarist Mick Ronson released his first solo album, Slaughter on 10th Avenue, in February of 1974. The album features a cover of Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" and the instrumental title track with Aladdin Sane pianist Mike Garson on the ivories, his sister Margaret's backing vocals, and one stunning song that outdoes anything Bowie put out in 1974: "Only After Dark". The album reached Top 10 in the UK.

Detroit native Suzi Quatro hit #1 in the UK for two weeks in February, 1974 with "Devil Gate Drive", another Chinn Chapman tune produced by Mickie Most that failed to find an audience in the US.The #7 UK single "The Wild One"  would be her last big hit until the end of the decade.

 Four years later, she'd play the tune as "Leather Tuscadero" on ABC's Happy Days. And while the Fonz would look on with appreciation, the rest of us cringed to see Erin Moran dancing back up.


  1. A provactive statement about Bowie's 1974 output....I'm a big fan of the Diamond Dogs album. Spot on re. Bolan, but I'm coming round to thinking that he actually only made one glam tune and just released endless variations of it.

  2. for provactive read provocative

  3. Good man- I've been waiting with baited breath for Devil Gate Drive!

  4. How great to get comments! I love "Rebel Rebel" and the title track but find the rest of Diamond Dogs a little flat. I've got "Only After Dark" on high rotation right now so I may be letting my new found enthusiasm get the best of me.