Glam rock (also known as glitter rock) is a style of rock and pop music that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s, which was performed by singers and musicians who wore outrageous clothes, makeup, and hairstyles, particularly platform-soled boots and glitter. The flamboyant costumes and visual styles of glam performers were often camp or androgynous, and have been connected with new views of gender roles.
Glam rock peaked during the mid-1970s with artists including Marc Bolan & T. Rex, David Bowie, Sweet, Roxy Music and Gary Glitter in the UK, and the Alice Cooper group, New York Dolls, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Jobriath in the US. It declined after the mid-1970s, but had a major influence on other genres including punk, glam metal, New Romantics and gothic rock and has sporadically revived since the 1990s.
Musically glam rock was very diverse, varying between the simple rock and roll revivalism of figures like Alvin Stardust to the complex art rock of Roxy Music, and can be seen as much as a fashion as a musical subgenre. Visually it was a mesh of various styles, ranging from 1930s Hollywood glamour, through 1950s pin-up sex appeal, pre-war cabaret theatrics, Victorian literary and symbolist styles, science fiction, to ancient and occult mysticism and mythology; manifesting itself in outrageous clothes, makeup, hairstyles, and platform-soled boots. Glam is most noted for its sexual and gender ambiguity and representations of androgyny, beside extensive use of theatrics. It was prefigured by the showmanship and gender identity manipulation of American acts such as The Cockettes and Alice Cooper, the latter of which combined glam with shock rock.