Rock and Roll (Gary Glitter song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"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—but primarily to signify scores and wins. Use of the song was most prevalent in Denver, and by the New Jersey Devils hockey team—so much so in the case of the latter that an attempt to replace it as its goal song with a Bon Jovi song was met with complaints by fans.


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 at Kalamazoo Wings hockey games in 1974 by Kevin O'Brien, the public relations and marketing director of the team.[4] When he went to work for the Colorado Rockies hockey team in 1976, he brought the song with him. After the demise of the Colorado Rockies, 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]

New Jersey Devils[edit]

When the Rockies moved to New Jersey in 1982, the New Jersey Devils continued the tradition of using "Rock and Roll" as their goal song; it was also in New Jersey that the playing of the song became infamous for fans chanting "hey, you suck" in tune to it. During Gary Glitter's aforementioned child abuse charges, it was replaced by other songs (including "Kernkraft 400" and "Song 2") for a period before "Rock and Roll" was re-instated. During its home opener for the 2013–14 season on 5 October 2013, the Devils dropped "Rock and Roll" in favor of "This Is Our House" by New Jersey-native Bon Jovi. Fan reaction was immediately negative, as fans booed the playing of the new song, and complained about the change on social networking services. Yahoo! Sports writer Greg Wyshynski speculated that the change was related to the "you suck" chant, as the team had also stopped playing "If You're Happy and You Know It" at games to prevent fans from using a chant attacking the New York Rangers.[5][8]

In an open letter posted to the team's official website, the team's management confirmed that the removal of the song was due to the aforementioned "you suck" chant, stating that "our strength is our unity. We want a game experience that represents what we are on the ice, makes all age groups proud of who we are, and represents our community." Consequentially, the team announced that it would take suggestions for a new song until 27 October, and showcase fan suggestions at the team's next home games until 2 November, when the official replacement will be unveiled.[5][8] Following a vote by fans on the team's website, the Devils announced on 2 November 2013 that "This Is Our House" would in turn be replaced by The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army".[9]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1972) Peak
Australia (Go-Set Top 40)[10] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[11] 4
Canadian RPM Top Singles[12] 3
France (SNEP)[13] 9
Germany (Official German Charts)[14] 4
Irish Singles Chart[15] 4
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[16] 7
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[17] 6
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[18] 4
UK (Official Charts Company)[19] 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. ^ a b c "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. ^ a b "Devils change goal song, ask for replacement suggestions; What would you pick instead of Gary Glitter?". Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Seven Nation Army voted new goal song". New Jersey Devils. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Rock and roll in Australian Chart". Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  11. ^ " – Gary Glitter – Rock And Roll Part 2!" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  12. ^ "Rock and roll part 2 in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "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"
  14. ^ " – Gary Glitter – Rock And Roll Part 2!". GfK Entertainment.
  15. ^ "Rock and roll part 2 in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 18 July 2013.  Only one result when searching "Rock and roll part 2"
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Gary Glitter - Rock And Roll search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  17. ^ " – Gary Glitter – Rock And Roll Part 2!" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  18. ^ " – Gary Glitter – Rock And Roll Part 2!". Swiss Singles Chart.
  19. ^ "1972 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 8th July 1972". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 July 2013.