Rock and Roll (Gary Glitter song)

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"Hey song" redirects here. For the Taiwanese beverage producer, see HeySong Corporation.
"Rock and Roll"
Original 7" single
Single by Gary Glitter
from the album Glitter
A-side "Rock and Roll Part 1"
B-side "Rock and Roll Part 2"
Released 1972
Format 7" single
Recorded 1971
Genre Glam rock[1][2]
Length 3:02 (Part 1)
3:10 (Part 2)
Label Bell Records
Writer(s) Gary Glitter, Mike Leander
Producer(s) Mike Leander
Gary Glitter singles chronology
"Rock and Roll"
"I Didn't Know I Loved You (Til I Saw You Rock 'n' Roll)"

"Rock and Roll" is a song performed by British glam rocker Gary Glitter that was released in 1972 as a single and on the album Glitter. Co-written by Glitter and Mike Leander, the song is in two parts: Part 1 is a vocal track reflecting on the history of the genre, and Part 2 is a mostly instrumental piece. Both parts were popular in Britain, and the single went to #2 on the British charts. In concert, Glitter merged both into one performance.

In the UK, "Rock and Roll" was one of over 25 hit singles for Glitter. In the US, the instrumental portion (Part 2) attracted most of the attention; it hit #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] The US mono 45, which is mixed different from the LP, clocks in at 3:10, while it runs 2:58 on the US LP. In France, "Part 1" was the successful side, reaching #1.

It was also in North America that the "Part 2" became popularly associated with sport, as a number of professional teams adopted the song for use during games— primarily to signify scores and wins.


The song was covered by The Human League in May 1980 as the first half of a track (Rock ’n’ Roll / Nightclubbing) on the EP Holiday '80, and was included as a bonus track on the album Travelogue.

Tube Tops 2000 released a version for a glam rock tribute compilation Blockbuster: A 70's Glitter Glam Rock Experience, released in January 2001.

Use in sporting events[edit]

Part 2 of the song has often been played at various sporting events in Canada and the United States, particularly when the home team scores or wins. It was played first in a sport setting in 1974 at games for the Kalamazoo Wings of the high-minor International Hockey League by Kevin O'Brien, the team's public relations and marketing director.[4] When he went to work for the NHL's Colorado Rockies in 1976, he brought the song with him. After the Rockies moved out of town in 1982, the Denver Nuggets and Denver Broncos picked up the tradition and were the first NBA and NFL teams to play the song during games.[4] "Rock and Roll" is often referred to as "the Hey song", as the only intelligible word in Part 2 is the exclamation of "hey", punctuating the end of several instrumental phrases and repeated three times at the song's chorus. At sporting events, fans often insert their own "hey", or sometimes other chanted syllables.[5]

In 1999, Glitter was convicted of possessing child pornography in England, and in 2006 of child sexual abuse charges in Vietnam. After the second conviction was upheld in court, the NFL asked teams to stop playing the song. Glitter was dismayed by this result as he is a fan of the San Diego Chargers and had choreographed some of the team's cheerleading cadences in 1989.[6] The NFL has allowed a cover version of the song by the Tube Tops 2000 to be played.[7]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1972) Peak
Australia (Go-Set Top 40)[8] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 4
Canadian RPM Top Singles[10] 3
France (SNEP)[11] 9
Germany (Official German Charts)[12] 4
Irish Singles Chart[13] 4
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[14] 7
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[15] 6
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 4
UK (Official Charts Company)[17] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[3] 7


  1. ^ Dave Thompson. "Rock & Roll, Pt. 2 review on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 July 2013.  "It was Mike Leander, Glitter's producer and co-writer, who conceived the song, basing it around an earlier, failed, recording called "Shag Rag, That's My Bag." (...) Trimmed to 15 minutes, they called it "Rock & Roll." Edited down to an even more manageable length, they renamed it "Rock & Roll (Pts. 1 and 2)," and launched Gary Glitter as one of the brightest stars on the entire glam rock firmament."
  2. ^ Stuart Rosenberg (2009). iUniverse, ed. Rock and Roll and the American Landscape: The Birth of an Industry and the Expansion of the Popular Culture, 1955-1969. p. 181. ISBN 978-1440164583.  "Glam rock would bring considerable success to a number of British artists, such as Gary Glitter (nee Paul Gadd), who hit number 7 in 1972 with "Rock and Roll Part 2.""
  3. ^ a b "Gary Glitter awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Lisa Twyman Bessone. "Sports fans know that the strains of 'Rock and Roll Part II' can turn chumps to champs". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "NJ Devils fans boo new Bon Jovi goal song, yearn for Gary Glitter". Puck Daddy. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Bradley, Lloyd, Glitter,Gary (1992) Leader: The Autobiography of Gary Glitter. Time Warner Paperbacks p. 129 ISBN 0751500097
  7. ^ "Column: Why did NFL muzzle Gary Glitter?". Yahoo! Music news. 2006-09-15. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  8. ^ "Rock and roll in Australian Chart". Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  9. ^ " – Gary Glitter – Rock And Roll Part 2!" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Rock and roll part 2 in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Rock and roll in French Chart" (in French). Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.  You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Gary Glitter"
  12. ^ " – Gary Glitter – Rock And Roll Part 2!". GfK Entertainment.
  13. ^ "Rock and roll part 2 in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 18 July 2013.  Only one result when searching "Rock and roll part 2"
  14. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Gary Glitter - Rock And Roll search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  15. ^ " – Gary Glitter – Rock And Roll Part 2!" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  16. ^ " – Gary Glitter – Rock And Roll Part 2!". Swiss Singles Chart.
  17. ^ "1972 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 8th July 1972". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 July 2013.