Alastair Riddell's Space Waltz

Publication Type:



CHapman, Ian


33 1/3 Oceania, Bloomsbury Publishing, New York, p.126 (2023)



Call Number:



Glam rock (Music) - New Zealand - History and criticism, Glam rock music - History and criticism - New Zealand, Rock music - History and criticism - 1971-1980 - New Zealand


<p><span>Alastair Riddell's band Space Waltz was a short-lived one-album New Zealand rock act who hit gold with a #1 hit single in October 1974 with the song 'Out On The Street' but thereafter failed to achieve anything even close to that feat. While relegated to one-hit-wonder status in&nbsp;</span><span class="more">the eyes of many, to this day Riddell and Space Waltz epitomize the mid-1970s heyday of glam rock in New Zealand. But in truth their impact went far beyond this. Their generationally divisive nation-wide debut on the hugely popular MOR television talent quest Studio One/New Faces demonstrated the power of mass media exposure - they were instantly signed to a record deal with industry giant EMI - while Riddell's controversial gender-bending image provided a cultural crossroads that greatly impacted the wider youth culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. In addition, while the album's most famous track, 'Out On The Street,' is rightly regarded as New Zealand's glam rock anthem, the wider album demonstrates a compositional and musical depth that goes far beyond glam rock and into the realm of sophisticated progressive rock, ultimately providing an unlikely and highly unique musical amalgam.</span></p>