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Pocket Guide to Glam Rock

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If there’s one criticism I could level against Mick O’Shea’s Pocket Guide to Glam Rock (Red Planet, 2022), it is that the author must have impressively large pockets. He covers this genre of music, which had its heyday in 1970s Britain, in impressive detail. I’m used to ‘pocket guides’ being short monographs that will fit in a jacket pocket but you’re going need a trench coat (optionally bedecked with sequins and certainly in something more colourful than beige) to have a hope of pocketing this one.

If you can bear that burden, then O’Shea provides an impressive amount of detail on many of the major players at the glam rock end of the pool during that period, including extensive material on their back stories and how they influenced other acts.

What it fails to do, because of its size, is to give an easily digested overview of glam rock. However, it has plenty of detail if you are willing to dig in deeper and there’s always the list of 100 top tracks to listen to if you need some musical inspiration to support you. You’ll find that starting on page 437, which is almost at the end of the book.