Glam punk is a music genre that began in the early to mid-1970s and incorporates elements of proto-punk and glam rock. The genre was pioneered by the New York Dolls, who influenced the formation of other New York City groups the Stilettos, the Brats and Ruby and the Rednecks and bands in the United Kingdom including Hollywood Brats and Jet. These bands largely began the early punk rock scene. The impact of Hanoi Rocks brought about a revived interest in the sound during the 1980s, seeing a revival with groups including the Dogs D'Amour and Soho Roses, and the pioneering of glam metal. Through the 1990s, some groups gained significant commercial success reviving the sound of glam punk, notably the Manic Street Preachers, Backyard Babies and Turbonegro.


The New York Dolls, formed in 1971, were the first glam punk band


The first band to merge proto-punk music with a glam rock aesthetic was the New York Dolls, who formed in 1971.[1] Glam punk has been seen as a backlash to the hippie folk music sensibilities of the 1960s.[2] The band immediately influenced the formation of many bands in New York City's club scene of the time.[3] Their style was adopted by a number of New York bands, including the Stilettos, the Brats[4] and Ruby and the Rednecks,[5] and subsequently was the catalyst for the city's early punk rock scene, which included Television, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, the Ramones, Blondie and Richard Hell and the Voidoids.[6] The glam punk sound spread to other locations in the following years, where notable acts Hollywood Brats, Jet and Milk 'N' Cookies formed.[1] Malcolm McLaren, who managed the New York Dolls in 1975, returned to England following the band's 1976 disbandment. There, he and his wife Vivienne Westwood used the New York Dolls, as well as other bands that they had seen while in New York, as inspiration for punk fashion and the creation of the Sex Pistols, who would largely popularise punk rock in the coming years.[7]

Subsequent developments and influence

Finland's Hanoi Rocks led a revival of the glam punk sound in the 1980s,[8] who Alternative Press writer Tim Stegall called "the revenge of the early '80s upon the world for the [New York] Dolls' mainstream commercial failure 10 years earlier".[9] During their residency in London at the beginning of the decade influenced the formation of the Dogs D'Amour, Soho Roses, Kill City Dragons and the Babysitters.[8] At the same time, Hanoi Rocks and the New York Dolls because the two most prominent influences on the emerging glam metal scene.[9] From within the glam metal scene, the sleaze metal subgenre emerged in the late 1980s, which saw an even more prominent glam punk influence in artists including Faster Pussycat, Guns N' Roses, L.A. Guns and Shotgun Messiah.[8]

Wales' Manic Street Preachers gained major commercial success in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s with the glam punk sound on their early albums Generation Terrorists (1991) and Gold Against the Soul (1993), however following the 1995 disappearance of their guitarist Richey Edwards, the band began pursuing a more pop-centric sound.[10] With the release of their 1996 album Ass Cobra, Norwegian band Turbonegro adopted a glam punk sound, Alternative Press named the album as a "classic album [which] made 1996 a crucial year in punk history".[11] In the following years, the band became what Kerrang! writer Jak Hutchcraft called "a cult phenomena in the rock world".[12] Sweden's Backyard Babies' merger of glam and punk gained significant commercial success in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with their albums Total 13 (1998) and Making Enemies Is Good (2001) receiving the awards for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album at the Grammy Awards and spots in the Top 5 of Sweden's music charts.[13]

In the early 2000s, the genre was a major influence on the post-punk revival that included D Generation, Toilet Böys and the Strokes.[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b Sfetcu, Nicolae (May 7, 2014). The Music Sound. The first and most potent example of glam punk, is the New York Dolls, they are often considered one of the creators of punk rock music in general. Though after the punk explosion in London during the 1970s happened the Dolls were considered "glam" in comparison. Which would lead to them been described as "Glam-Punk"...
    Other more obscure groups from around this time such as Hollywood Brats, the Jook, Milk 'N' Cookies, Jet, and others can be heard on the compilation "Glitterbest: 20 Pre Punk 'n' Glam Terrace Stompers".
  2. ^ Havranek, C., ed. (2009). Women Icons of Popular Music: the Rebels, Rockers, and Renegades. Vol. 1. Westport, CT: Greenwood. p. 164. ISBN 0-313-34084-6.
  3. ^ Givens, T. (2007). People of Paradox: a History of Mormon Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 281. ISBN 0-19-516711-2.
  4. ^ Antonia, Nina (2003). The New York Dolls Too Much Too Soon. Omnibus Press. p. 70. ISBN 0711996032. The rise of The New York Dolls spawned dozens of local bands. Elda Gentile got The Stilettos together with former Max's waitress, Debbie Harry, and Rick Rivets started gigging with The Brats, while a rash of Dolls copyists like Teenage Lust and The Harlots of 42nd Street threw themselves on the bandwagon and fell belly-up. Aside from Aerosmith, the most significant group of that time to be influenced by The New York Dolls was Kiss. Sure, Kiss wore make-up but by painting their faces like comic book characters or goofy animals, they defused any sexual threat.
  5. ^ "Ruby and the Rednecks at the Mercer Arts Center". September 3, 2018.
  6. ^ Taylor, Tom. "From Link Wray to New York Dolls: Who really invented punk?". Far Out. Retrieved July 9, 2023.
  7. ^ Moore, R. (2009). Sells like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis. New York: NY: New York University Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-8147-5747-5.
  8. ^ a b c Sfetcu, Nicolae (May 7, 2014). The Music Sound. The 1980s saw a re-emergence of the "Glam punk" styling with the band Hanoi Rocks. While playing in London the group influenced several other bands who played in a similar style; Soho Roses, Kill City Dragons, Dogs D'Amour, the Babysitters, etc.
    Shades of "Glam punk" can also be heard in the "sleaze glam" subgenre of Glam metal, which emerged in the late 1980s. New York Dolls hugely influenced bands in the "sleaze glam" genre, such as Guns N' Roses, Faster Pussycat, L.A. Guns, Shotgun Messiah and others. Though these bands also incorporated "heavy metal" elements, not found in pure Glam punk.
  9. ^ a b Stegall, Tim. "11 bands influenced by New York Dolls, from Social Distortion to Guns N' Roses". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 9, 2023.
  10. ^ Botchick, Cheryl (June 7, 1999). "Manic Street Preachers: This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours". CMJ New Music Report: 27. The Manic Street Preachers, who are certifiable pop stars in England, have yet to attain commercial success in the States, but This Is My Truth... is a rock-solid effort that should further endear the band to fans of serious guitar pop. Though the Preachers took a 180-degree, glam-punk-to-Britpop turn after the strange 1995 disappearance of their troubled guitarist/lyricist/press magnet Richey James, the combo's emotional intensity remains a fever pitch.
  11. ^ Stegall, Tim. "These 15 classic albums made 1996 a crucial year in punk history". Alternative Press. Retrieved December 17, 2023.
  12. ^ Hutchcraft, Jak. "Family, Fandom And Anti-Fascism: Meet The Turbojugend". Kerrang!. Retrieved December 17, 2023.
  13. ^ "Backyard Babies | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  14. ^ Harrington, J. S. (2003). Sonic Cool: the Life and Death of Rock 'n' Roll. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 38. ISBN 0-634-02861-8.