15+ Perfect Glam Rock Bands Of The ’70s, Ranked

The flamboyant genre known as glam rock left an indelible mark on the 1970s music scene, captivating audiences with its sonic grandeur, radiant stagecraft, and boundary-pushing artists. It’s high time these bedazzled heroes received the recognition they deserve. The most iconic bands that embraced the grandiloquent style of glam rock have left a lasting impact across generations, continuing to captivate fans and influence musicians to this day.

Celebrating the enigmatic stars of 1970s glam rock bands means immersing oneself in a world of daring performances and infectious melodies that challenged musical norms. With outfits as bold as their sound and performances as dramatic as their lyrics, these artists achieved mainstream success as some of the greatest glam rock bands of all time.

Consider the unmatched brilliance of Queen, whose opulent sound and theatrical stage presence set a new standard for live performances. Then there’s David Bowie, a master of reinvention whose concept albums and avant-garde compositions pushed the boundaries of glam rock. Alice Cooper also stands as one of the genre’s greatest stars, pioneering shock rock with horror-themed performances that continue to captivate fans. Their discographies are filled with chart-toppers and timeless classics, solidifying their place among the best groups of 1970s glam rock bands.

Glam rock, especially from the ’70s era, presented a dazzling array of great bands. Their spectacular soundscapes, extravagant personas, and exceptional artistry will forever illuminate the annals of rock ‘n’ roll. These timeless symbols of a magical era remind us of a time when music embodied the spirit of liberation, flamboyance, and unwavering audacity.

List of Glam Rock Bands

Glam rock bands emerged in the 1970s as a flamboyant and audacious force within the music industry. Characterized by their extravagant style, theatrical performances, and boundary-pushing music, glam rock bands carved out a mesmerizing niche that captivated audiences around the world.

With their bold fashion choices, larger-than-life personas, and infectious melodies, these bands pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in both music and fashion. In this era of liberation and experimentation, glam rock bands became icons of self-expression, challenging societal norms and leaving an indelible mark on the history of rock ‘n’ roll.

Read More: Greatest Gothic Rock Bands

1. David Bowie

David Bowie’s artistic evolution throughout his career cements his status as one of the most influential and enduring figures in the history of glam rock. Embracing a transformative approach to music, Bowie’s early 1970s persona, Ziggy Stardust, epitomized the flamboyant spirit of the genre with unparalleled finesse. Clad in striking outfits and makeup, Ziggy Stardust captivated audiences with a visual and auditory spectacle that defined glam rock.

Bowie’s musical journey was marked by relentless experimentation, spanning genres from soul and funk to electronic music, showcasing his boundless creativity and determination to push the boundaries of the genre. His groundbreaking singles such as “Life on Mars?” and “Starman” not only exemplify his mastery of songwriting but also solidify his legacy as a pivotal figure in glam rock history. Bowie’s ability to continually reinvent himself and his music ensured his enduring influence on generations of artists and fans alike.

2. Queen

Queen stands as an undeniable titan among the most influential and iconic glam rock bands in history, seamlessly blending theatricality with innovative musical prowess. Led by the magnetic presence of Freddie Mercury, whose flamboyant stage persona and commanding vocals propelled the band to legendary status, Queen fearlessly pushed the boundaries of the genre while maintaining a steadfast commitment to their glam rock origins.

With a dynamic fusion of hard rock, opera, and progressive elements, Queen consistently delivered captivating and boundary-defying music that resonated with audiences worldwide. Their ability to seamlessly integrate diverse genres into their sound resulted in a catalog of songs that defied convention and solidified their place in music history.

As a testament to their enduring influence, anthems like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You” continue to reverberate through the realms of glam rock and beyond, serving as timeless reminders of Queen’s unparalleled legacy and ongoing impact on the world of music.

3. Sweet

Sweet, a British band initially known for their bubblegum pop hits, seamlessly transitioned into the realm of glam rock, establishing themselves as one of the genre’s foremost acts in the 1970s. Their dynamic fusion of hard rock elements with infectious choruses produced a uniquely glamorous and potent musical experience that captivated audiences worldwide.

With pioneering musicianship and flamboyant visuals, Sweet’s live performances were nothing short of a spectacle, embodying the essence of the glam rock era in all its extravagant glory. Immortalized through chart-topping singles such as “Ballroom Blitz” and “Fox on the Run,” Sweet left an indelible mark on the genre, their contribution proving immeasurable in shaping the landscape of glam rock.

4. T. Rex

Led by the enigmatic Marc Bolan, T. Rex emerged as a pivotal figure in the early 1970s, laying the foundation for the glam rock movement with their fusion of psychedelic folk and electric rock. Bolan’s poetic lyrics, dynamic guitar riffs, and extravagant stage presence captivated audiences and fellow musicians alike, establishing T. Rex as a driving force within the genre.

Beyond the glitter and flamboyance, T. Rex showcased a profound talent for songwriting, crafting timeless hits such as “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” and “Children of the Revolution.” These songs not only defined an era but also underscored T. Rex’s enduring influence on the evolution of glam rock.

T. Rex’s pioneering contributions to glam rock remain undisputed, their innovative spirit and musical legacy continuing to inspire and resonate with modern artists to this day.

5. Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper, a true icon of glam rock, boasts a career spanning over five decades, characterized by his provocative stage presence and bold visual style that have left an indelible mark on the genre. Renowned for his outrageous performances featuring guillotines, electric chairs, and even snakes, Cooper’s seamless fusion of horror theatrics and hard rock epitomized glam rock’s penchant for extravagance.

Throughout his illustrious career, Cooper has crafted timeless hits such as “School’s Out” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” showcasing his remarkable ability to create anthemic songs that encapsulate the spirit of rebellion and excess synonymous with glam rock.

Alice Cooper’s enduring impact on both the glam rock scene and contemporary rock music at large serves as a testament to his boundless creativity and unmatched showmanship, solidifying his status as an iconic figure in the annals of music history.

6. Mott the Hoople

Established in the late 1960s, Mott the Hoople swiftly rose to prominence as one of the era’s most significant glam rock bands, captivating audiences with their electrifying live performances and unapologetic swagger. Renowned for their ability to seamlessly blend hard rock with poetic lyricism, the band’s essence was epitomized by the iconic anthem “All the Young Dudes,” penned by none other than David Bowie himself.

Fronted by the distinctive vocals of Ian Hunter, Mott the Hoople’s signature sound was characterized by a raw yet melodic quality, perfectly encapsulating the rebellious spirit and yearning for escapism inherent in glam rock. Despite their relatively brief tenure compared to some of their contemporaries, Mott the Hoople’s contributions endure as an essential cornerstone of glam rock history, ensuring their lasting legacy within the genre.

7. Mötley Crüe

Mötley Crüe, hailed as trailblazers of the 1980s glam metal movement, unleashed a potent and electrifying fusion of hard rock and glam that pushed the boundaries of both genres. Spearheaded by the charismatic vocalist Vince Neil, the band’s unabashed embrace of sleaze, debauchery, and unapologetic hedonism became synonymous with their music and larger-than-life stage persona.

Anchored by classic tracks like “Shout at the Devil” and “Girls, Girls, Girls,” Mötley Crüe crafted anthems that not only epitomized the essence of glam but also resonated as timeless musical manifestations of the glam ethos. Their profound influence on the evolution of hard rock and glam metal is undeniable, cementing Mötley Crüe’s legacy as essential architects of the musical landscape.

8. Elton John

Renowned for his flamboyant stage persona and virtuosic piano skills, Elton John stands as a towering figure in the realm of glam rock, leaving an indelible mark on the 1970s music scene. With an impressive repertoire of hit singles and albums, including chart-toppers like “Crocodile Rock,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” and “Tiny Dancer,” Elton John’s unparalleled songwriting prowess and mesmerizing stage presence continue to resonate with audiences across generations.

Blurring the lines between pop, rock, and soul, Elton John’s distinctive sound and fearless experimentation played a pivotal role in expanding the horizons of glam rock. His enduring presence in the music industry serves as a testament to his exceptional talent and enduring influence, solidifying his status as one of the most significant artists in the history of glam rock and beyond.

9. Suzi Quatro

Suzi Quatro emerged as one of the pioneering female icons of 1970s glam rock, shattering barriers and blazing a trail for women in the genre with her fierce attitude and boundless energy. By infusing elements of hard rock, punk, and new wave into her music, Quatro challenged traditional gender roles within the predominantly male-dominated realm of glam rock.

Her electrifying stage presence, characterized by skin-tight leather ensembles and a bass guitar slung low, served as a powerful testament to her prowess as both a musician and a performer. With unforgettable hits such as “Can the Can” and “Devil Gate Drive,” Suzi Quatro left an indelible mark on the landscape of glam rock, her influence enduring as a testament to her groundbreaking contributions to the genre.

10. Electric Light Orchestra

Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) introduced a pioneering, symphonic dimension to glam rock, distinguishing themselves from their peers with their unique approach. By blending elements of classical music with rock and pop, ELO crafted innovative and orchestral compositions that offered listeners a distinct and immersive sonic experience.

Helmed by the visionary musicians Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, ELO’s lush arrangements, intricate harmonies, and unforgettable melodies pushed the boundaries of the glam rock genre. Hits like “Evil Woman” and “Mr. Blue Sky” stand as shining examples of the band’s remarkable talent and have solidified their place in the pantheon of glam rock history.

11. New York Dolls

The New York Dolls, pioneers of American glam rock, mesmerized audiences with their unfiltered rebellious energy and daring fashion sense. Blending the rawness of punk with the theatricality of glam, the band’s gritty sound and DIY ethos pushed the boundaries of conventional rock music. Their androgynous stage presence and provocative attire challenged societal norms and solidified their status as icons of defiance.

With anthems like “Personality Crisis” and “Trash,” the New York Dolls masterfully fused a raucous garage-rock spirit with dramatic glam-rock elements, creating a sound that was both raw and captivating. Their enduring influence on both the glam and punk rock scenes continues to reverberate through subsequent generations of musicians, cementing their legacy as trailblazers in the realm of rock ‘n’ roll.

12. Roxy Music

Roxy Music’s elegant blend of art rock and glam solidified their position as one of the most influential bands of the 1970s. Fronted by the suave Bryan Ferry, the band’s avant-garde songwriting approach coupled with glam’s flair for theatrics resulted in a revolutionary and refined sound.

With iconic members like Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera, Roxy Music continuously pushed the boundaries of the genre through experimental instrumentation and bold production techniques. Tracks such as “Love Is the Drug” and “Virginia Plain” serve as prime examples of the band’s exceptional talent and innovative spirit, ensuring their enduring legacy in the realm of glam rock.

13. Mud

Originating from England, Mud emerged as a prominent figure in the 1970s glam rock movement, renowned for their lively sound characterized by infectious hooks and sing-along choruses. Adorned in shimmering costumes and extravagant face paint, the band’s vibrant stage presence epitomized the flamboyant aesthetic of glam rock.

With chart-topping hits like “Tiger Feet” and “Lonely This Christmas,” Mud showcased their knack for crafting upbeat, memorable tunes that resonated with audiences and encapsulated the essence of the genre. Their spirited performances and irresistibly catchy music continue to occupy a significant place in the annals of glam rock history.

14. The Velvet Underground

Originating from England, Mud emerged as a prominent figure in the 1970s glam rock movement, renowned for their lively sound characterized by infectious hooks and sing-along choruses. Adorned in shimmering costumes and extravagant face paint, the band’s vibrant stage presence epitomized the flamboyant aesthetic of glam rock.

With chart-topping hits like “Tiger Feet” and “Lonely This Christmas,” Mud showcased their knack for crafting upbeat, memorable tunes that resonated with audiences and encapsulated the essence of the genre. Their spirited performances and irresistibly catchy music continue to occupy a significant place in the annals of glam rock history.

15. The B-52’s

The B-52’s injected a whimsical and eccentric vibe into the glam rock scene, seamlessly blending elements of surf rock, new wave, and punk to create their distinctive sound. With their playful lyrics, quirky outfits, and undeniable charm, the band epitomized the glam rock ethos of visual spectacle and captivating performances.

Their iconic singles like “Rock Lobster” and “Love Shack” embodied their infectious energy and innovative approach to music, attracting a devoted fan base drawn to their unique fusion of genres. The B-52’s made significant contributions to the glam rock genre, leaving a lasting impression and solidifying their status as a prominent force in its history.

16. Bachmann Turner Overdrive

Bachman-Turner Overdrive, commonly known as BTO, brought a hard-hitting edge to the glam rock scene, infusing their music with a gritty, bluesy flair. Spearheaded by the talented Bachman brothers, the Canadian band’s dynamic blend of powerful riffs and anthemic choruses showcased their prowess in crafting memorable and impactful songs.

Their monumental hit “Takin’ Care of Business” stands as an iconic anthem of the 1970s glam rock era, exemplifying their ability to seamlessly blend genres and encapsulate the spirit of the time. Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s passion and musicianship have left an enduring mark on the music landscape, influencing countless modern artists and solidifying their rightful place in the annals of glam rock history.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is glam rock?

Glam rock is a music genre that emerged in the 1970s, characterized by its flamboyant and theatrical style, extravagant fashion, and catchy, often melodramatic music. It often featured elaborate stage performances and emphasized visual aesthetics as much as musical content.

What are some key characteristics of glam rock bands?

Glam rock bands typically had a bold and extravagant style, both in terms of fashion and music. They often wore elaborate costumes, makeup, and hairstyles. Musically, glam rock songs tended to have catchy hooks, glam-infused guitar riffs, and sometimes incorporated elements of pop, rock, and even classical music.

Who were some of the most famous glam rock bands?

Some of the most famous glam rock bands include David Bowie and Ziggy Stardust, Queen, T. Rex, Roxy Music, The New York Dolls, and Sweet, among others. Each of these bands had a unique style and made significant contributions to the genre.

What impact did glam rock bands have on popular culture?

Glam rock bands had a significant impact on popular culture, influencing not only music but also fashion, art, and attitudes towards gender and sexuality. Their flamboyant style and rebellious attitude challenged social norms and paved the way for future generations of musicians and artists.

How did glam rock bands evolve over time?

While glam rock reached its peak popularity in the early to mid-1970s, its influence continued to be felt in subsequent decades. Some bands, like David Bowie, evolved their sound and style, while others, like Queen, maintained their glam rock roots while incorporating new elements into their music.


Glam rock emerged in the 1970s as a vibrant and influential music genre that captivated audiences with its flamboyant style, catchy melodies, and rebellious spirit. Characterized by extravagant fashion, theatrical stage performances, and boundary-pushing music, glam rock bands left an indelible mark on the music landscape and popular culture as a whole.

From iconic acts like David Bowie and Queen to trailblazers like T. Rex and The New York Dolls, glam rock bands pushed the boundaries of creativity and self-expression, challenging societal norms and inspiring generations of musicians and fans alike.

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