"I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am!)" was a top hit for British rock singer Gary Glitter. This song reached #1 in the UK Top 40 in 1973. As a result of its popularity, Glitter's nickname became "The Leader of the Gang", often shortened to "The Leader". Written by Gary Glitter and Mike Leander and produced by Mike Leander, I'm the Leader of the Gang was Glitter's first number one single in the UK, spending four weeks at the top of the chart in July 1973.
The song is a glam rock anthem typical of Glitter's early 1970s output, based on a simple mid-tempo rhythm (the so-called "Glitter Stomp") and loud chanted backing vocals (sample lyrics: "Hey!", "Come on, come on!"). Gary Glitter had a backing band, The Glitter Band, but they did not participate in his recording sessions, and precisely who, if anyone, helped Glitter and producer/co-writer Mike Leander in the studio remains unknown. Glitter has said in interviews that he and Leander preferred to play everything themselves, since it allowed them to record the songs as they were being written.
The song became a concert favourite with the crowd chanting the Come On, Come On refrain before Glitter took to the stage. Although Glitter's version failed to chart in the USA, the following year a version by Brownsville Station made the top 30 on the Cashbox top 100 and reached number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Spice Girls covered this song in their only film, Spice World. Originally, Glitter had a four minute cameo in the film with the girls as they performed the song, but his appearance was completely deleted from the final cut of the film due to Glitter's child porn charges that occurred shortly before the film's release.
Previously, Suburban Legends would sometimes open their shows with a shortened version of the song.