“Rock and Roll Part 2” by Gary Glitter

Release Date of “Rock and Roll Part 2”

“Rock and Roll” is a two-part track which Gary Glitter (via Bell Records) originally dropped back on 3 March 1972. It was part of the artist’s debut album, which is entitled “Glitter”.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Gary Glitter's Rock and Roll Part 2 at Lyrics.org.

While the first part features notable vocals, “Part Two” is primarily an instrumental with a bunch of ‘heys’ exclaimed throughout. In fact it is popularly known in places like the United States not by its actual name but rather as the ‘Hey Song’.

An American Hit

In the United States it is “Part Two” which actually became a hit, as the song had an ubiquitous presence on the playlist of sporting events. As such, “Rock and Roll” marks the only time British artist Gary Glitter has been able to break the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. In this coveted chart, it peaked at number 7.

A Global Hit

Meanwhile the song peaked at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart and also made it onto the top 10 in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland

Controversial Character and Song

Gary Glitter has a history of child-sexual abuse which ultimately manifested in the artist being sentenced, at the age of 70, to 16 years in prison in 2015.  However he’s been getting in associated trouble with the courts since 1999.  And as such, some professional-sports teams in the United States, such as the New Jersey Devils, stopped using “Rock and Roll (Part Two)” during their games. In fact in 2012 the executive body of the National Football League (NFL) started moving towards banning the song. Even a popular cover version by a group called Tube Tops 2000 was not spared from this fate!

These initiatives were apparently put in place to prevent Glitter from receiving royalties from the song in light of his habitual criminal conduct. In fact as recently as late 2014 it was reported that Glitter in conjunction with Mike Leander, the track’s co-writer and producer, was still making $250,000 annually via royalties from this classic.

Film Appearances of “Rock and Roll (Part 2)”

A song this popular in the United States, especially in sporting circles, has logically been featured on a number of major American films. This occurred particularly around the turn of the century, before Glitter’s reputation of a child abuser was cemented. And some of the movies you may have heard of that have featured “Rock and Roll (Part Two)” are as follows:

  • Jean-Claude Van Damme’s “Sudden Death” (1995)
  • Adam Sandler’s “Happy Gilmore” (1996)
  • Keanu Reeves’s “The Replacements” (2000)
  • Robert De Niro’s “Meet the Fockers” (2004)

As such, quite a public outcry was sparked when the already-controversial 2019 movie “Joker”, starring Joaquin Phoenix, featured “Rock and Roll (Part 2)” during one of its pivotal scenes. And this beef stems from fans considering it “immoral” that Gary Glitter should receive the royalties which are undoubtedly headed his way as a result.

Did Gary Glitter write “Rock and Roll (Part 2)”?

Yes, Glitter wrote “Rock and Roll (Part 2)”. He did the writing along with Mike Leander, who also produced the song.

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