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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Gary Glitter, 18 Aug. 2009
This review is from: The Ultimate Gary Glitter: 25 Years of Hits (Audio CD)
This 2 CD set is the best Gary Glitter compilation on the market. It is lavishly packaged, complete with informative liner notes by Mark Brennan, and a couple of excellent high quality photos.

Gary's 11 consecutive UK top 10 singles from 1972 to 1975 are all present and accounted for...and what fabulous singles they are: "I'm The Leader Of The Gang (I Am)", "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)", "I Love You Love Me Love", "Rock And Roll (Parts 1 & 2)", "Always Yours"...his streak of hits included several of the best singles of the 70's, and they are always a joy to hear.

However, "The Ultimate Gary Glitter" gives you substantially more than just Gary's hit songs. You also get 4 hits from The Glitter Band (who were deservedly famous in their own right), and a few lesser-known (but equally compelling) Gary Glitter tracks from the late 70's and early 80's.

Finally, the collection is nicely rounded off with Gary's festive comeback hit from 1984, "Another Rock 'n' Roll Christmas", and a jaw-droppingly good track from 1997 called "Rock Hard Men (Need The Power)". When this compilation was originally released, this song was intended as a teaser for a 1998 album release called "Lost On Life Street", which was shelved when a well-publicised sex scandal brought Gary's latest - and last - comeback to a crashing halt (the new album would eventually emerge in 2001, re-titled "On"). Listening to "Rock Hard Men", an irresistable, riff-heavy juggernaut that ranks right up there with Gary's best material, you can't help but wonder how strong a resurgence he would have had, if his crimes as a man hadn't overshadowed his brilliance as a performer.

Of course, Gary Glitter remains a highly controversial figure to this day. Some people seem to treat the sleazy tabloid headlines of the last 10 years as an excuse to re-write history - to forget that, for 25 years, Gary Glitter was one of Britain's most beloved entertainers. They also seem to forget that Gary Glitter has already been punished for his crimes - after two prison sentences, he lives today as a broken old man, without friends or sanctuary, constantly hounded by the gutter press wherever he goes.

Yes, Gary Glitter has already been punished, and is still being punished - but it is Britain's pop cultural heritage that suffers for leaving his music in a tabloid-orchestrated exile. By perpetrating this historical revisionism, we punish no one but ourselves.

"The Ultimate Gary Glitter" is a fantastic collection of classic music, innocent and fun. Music must always be judged on it's own merits, and never on the morals of it's creator...and I encourage everyone who appreciates that sentiment to buy this album.
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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Feb 2010 14:31:25 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Feb 2010 09:59:39 GMT
Gareth Hall says:
Ask yourself this question: if an artist commits a crime, does that:

a) make him a worse artist
b) make him a better artist
c) make him exactly the same artist he was before

The answer, of course, is obvious. When Gary Glitter was convicted of child molestation, his catalogue of classic songs did not magically disappear, nor did the exceptional talent which created those songs in the first place. The man broke the law, and was rightly punished for it - the artist, who exists on record and onstage, was not on trial. Unless you believe that Glitter hypnotised the young girls with subliminal messages in his songs before molesting them, you must accept that his music is blameless - and if that is the case, then the music must be judged ON ITS OWN MERITS. Are the songs fun to hear or not?

I say they are...in fact, I think they're fantastic. You may or may not agree - we all have our own personal taste - but to suggest the songs are not well-written or well-performed because their creator has a criminal conviction is nonsensical. Worse than that, it's downright stupid.

Just out of curiousity, if the cure for cancer is discovered by a doctor on the sex offender's register, would you refuse to cure your dying child because "a perv is still a perv"...or would you accept that the doctor's sexual preferences had absolutely no bearing on his medical expertise?

Think about it.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2010 17:52:13 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Aug 2010 17:55:04 BDT
gilmo1917 says:
I think you oversimplify things my friend. "Gary Glitter" was a fabrication he was not a real person. The thing behind the Glam and Glitter is not the "artist" it is a depraved creature that is and remains a verminous threat to the most vulnerable of humankind.

I agree that the music produced and the image created was a significant and enjoyable part of musical history and therefore should not be ignored on that level. However if the creature lurking behind the facade of "the artist", in any way profits from the sale of this cd then it's quite simply wrong to buy it.

To say the sentence has been served and he is constantly hounded by the tabloid press totally ignores the long term damage to the children this thing molested. They serve a "life sentence" for no crime other than they were young and innocent. If we are to accept that "sexual preferences" for same sex partners is acceptable, and I have no problem in so doing, then we should not try to "rehabilitate" child molesters, they cannot be changed as their sexual preferences obviously can no more be changed than can a Hetero or Homo sexual individuals. So what to do with them? Well what do we do with wild animals or even pet dogs that cannot understand that they are doing wrong when they attack humans? Think on that.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2010 20:08:33 BDT
Gareth Hall says:
It is an over-simplification - and a particularly distasteful one, at that - to define Gary Glitter as "a depraved creature" and "a wild animal that cannot understand right from wrong". No human being could ever be defined in such narrow and offensive terms.

Like any other person, Gary Glitter is a complex amalgam of positives and negatives, and is equally capable of offering affection and inflicting harm. To insinuate that he needs to be "put down" is outrageous - the truth is, we are only just beginning to understand the psychology of paedophilia, and we know nowhere near enough to make sweeping judgements about who is or is not "incurable". There is not even sufficient evidence to conclude whether paedophilia is a genetic or psycho-sociological phenomena - certainly, you are showing your ignorance by ASSUMING it is as innate as hetero/homosexuality.

Personally, I find it far more likely that paedophilia is the result of sexual trauma experienced or dysfunctional sexual values imposed at an early age - a psychological imbalance that may well be treatable in some cases. I also see a clear difference between paedophilia and hetero/homosexuality: gay/straight relationships, as a rule, are mutually consentual and mutually beneficial. Neither of these apply to an adult making sexual prey of a minor.

Returning to the subject of Glitter's music, your assertion that he must not be allowed to benefit from the sales of his songs is morally untenable. Why? Firstly, because banning the sale of his music would be imposing punishment beyond the boundaries of the law. By any legal definition, Glitter's songs are harmless and blameless, and perfectly acceptable as goods to be bought or sold. They also serve to illustrate the ignorance of reducing Glitter to the level of "a depraved creature" - unquestionably, this man has brought happiness to millions through his music. The same man is also guilty of molesting two children...which proves that, like anyone else, he is capable of good and bad.

To suggest that Glitter's crimes should cancel out his achievements, when the two bear no relation whatever to each other, is absurd. A good deed deserves reward, just as a bad deed deserves retribution. In Glitter's case, the law has delivered retribution for his crimes...but as long as people want to buy his music, he deserves to be financially compensated. Again, legally, that is beyond dispute. Morally? Well, if you think you can justify rendering everything good a person has ever done fruitless and futile...then let's see you try.

Me? I'm off to listen to some Gary Glitter records...they're f**king great.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Aug 2010 18:10:10 BDT
gilmo1917 says:
First of all I at no time attacked you personally yet you insult me by describing me as ignorant and distasteful. You obviously do not have children of your own (I would hope) nor have you had any experience of these creatures (again I would hope). I can answer in the affirmative to both these statements so understanding these "things" is of no interest to me and I think you insulted just about everyone else with your statement that "he is like everyone else capable of good and bad". There are degrees of bad and I can assure you that there is nothing on this earth that would make me or the majority of people sink to his level.

You conveniently ignored my comments re the Gary Glitter music and even added your own reference to banning the sale of his music, something I never suggested, I agreed with you that they are good indeed I was a big fan of the Glitter phenomena. Where exactly do I render everything good a person has done fruitless and futile? I stand by what I said about him not profiting from it though the money should go to children's charity. Your assertion that he has had retribution for his crimes totally ignores the fact that his victims are marked forever, you leap about from legal to moral definitions as it suits you. Legally your assertion is correct by the Law. Morally he can never be deemed to have matched the suffering and damage he has done to his victims! I would be interested to know of any paedophile who has ever been successfully "treated" all the statistics I have seen mark them as having an almost 100% re-offending rate. I suspect the "almost" comes about because they haven't been caught yet. Again despite your references to "legal definitions " etc you seem unable to separate Gary Glitter the stage persona from Paul Gadd the degenerate.
Don't waste your time replying to this post, I'm finished with it.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Aug 2010 20:07:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Aug 2010 20:14:39 BDT
Gareth Hall says:
If you re-read my last post, you will see that I made no personal attacks against you whatsoever. I pointed out that you made some ignorant and offensive remarks in your previous post, and so you did...at no time did I describe you as an ignorant and offensive person. The fact that you have confused a criticism of your remarks for a criticism of your character is further proof that your perception of human nature is overly simplistic - one ignorant opinion does not define a person as ignorant in their entirety, any more than one immoral act defines a person as immoral in their entirety.

Despite your frankly despicable insistence on dehumanising paedophiles (I imagine even the most heinous child molesters are not so hateful as to consider their victims sub-human "creatures"), I'm sure those closest to you could offer testimony of your love and affection for others...just as Gary Glitter was beloved by a wide circle of friends and peers, who experienced his warmth and generosity of spirit, despite his despicable capacity for inflicting abuse on innocent children.

You have taken one aspect of Gary Glitter's life - the crime for which he was imprisoned - and used that to define him as a person, totally and absolutely. If I was to take one aspect of YOUR life - your ignorant and hateful comments intended to rob Glitter, and others like him, of their very humanity - and use that to define YOU as a person, would you judge that a fair and accurate portrait of yourself? Does your chilling ability to reduce other human beings to worthless "things" define who you are?

I hope not - in fact, I know it does not. I don't see you that way, because I already know that your depth and complexity as a human being goes far, far beyond a couple of ill-judged comments on a public forum. I would never presume to use those comments as an excuse to whitewash away every loving gesture, every kind word and every positive act accumulated over your lifetime. Why would I?

I'm sure you realise what I'm getting at here. Gary Glitter's depth and complexity as a human being goes far beyond one awful night spent molesting two children. There is no just cause for using that crime to whitewash away every great song he ever performed, or to dishonour the honest hard work that went into those songs by denying him credit or compensation for them. He has already served two jail sentences, has no prospect of continuing his career, and lives with the constant intrusion of the gutter paparazzi dogging his every move...why would you rob him of his only remaining source of income as well? You asked me how you were suggesting that everything good he has done should be rendered fruitless and futile...well, if Gary can't perform anymore, and can't earn money from his back catalogue, then he has nothing left - THAT'S how. And there's a very good reason why no criminal is sentenced to have their livelihood stolen from them when they leave prison - because such a sentence would be immoral.

One more time: we are all composites of positive and negative. Gary Glitter abused two children - a crime for which he was rightly punished. Gary Glitter gave joy to millions with his music - a triumph for which he should be rightly celebrated.

ONE DOES NOT CANCEL OUT THE OTHER.

Posted on 29 Nov 2010 13:05:59 GMT
A. J. Gray says:
i agree he has paid enough who would cast the first stone

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2011 11:11:26 GMT
STEVE666 says:
"i agree he has paid enough who would cast the first stone"

I would cast the first stone! And the second and the third and the....

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2011 13:26:45 GMT
STEVE666 says:
"Me? I'm off to listen to some Gary Glitter records...they're f**king great."

Errr....no they're not. At its best it was never more than throw-away disposable pop; musically as shallow as a puddle.

But, more importantly, Mr. Hall, would you let your 'leader' babysit your children?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2011 16:51:40 GMT
Gareth Hall says:
"I would cast the first stone! And the second and the third..."

So molesting children is wrong, but stoning people to death is perfectly fine? In that case, I suggest you get on a plane and head to Afghanistan...I hear the Taliban share your enthusiasm for bashing people's heads in with rocks.

"Throwaway disposable pop" is music which blandly copies existing commercial trends, has a short shelf life, is manufactured by cynical producers and fronted by faceless "performers" instead of actual musicians.

Gary Glitter's band, with their twin drummers and distorted guitars, produced the most distinctive and instantly recognisable sound of the glam rock movement. Glitter's band were all talented musicians...Glitter himself was a talented songwriter, capable of writing all his own hits. Several of those hit songs have remained hugely popular decades after they were first recorded: one only has to notice the countless sporting arenas around the world which continue to play "Rock and Roll Pt. 2", or the fact that "I Love You Love Me Love" remains, to this day, one of the 100 best selling singles in British pop history. These songs are not "disposable"...they have been mainstays of popular culture for 40 years.

As for the music being "shallow", do I really have to remind you that many of the greatest pop songs ever written were simple and unpretentious? I suggest you listen to Elvis Presley, The Beatles, or Motown soul...popular music is often at its best when it is attempting to be FUN, rather than profoundly meaningful.

No, I would not consider Gary Glitter a suitable babysitter for my children. How is that relevant? My comments on this forum praise Glitter for his music, not his treatment of minors. One has nothing - repeat, NOTHING - to do with the other.
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