Various Artists

Glitter from the Litter Bin: 20 Junk Shop Glam Rarities from the 1970s

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When Glitter From the Litter Bin: 20 Junk Shop Glam Rarities From the 1970s came out in 2003, collecting '70s glam rock obscurities had come somewhat into vogue in the British record collecting world, perhaps because it was far more of a virgin territory than, say, obscure psychedelia, punk, or doo wop. On the basis of these 20 rarities (all from 1972-1975 except Billy Hamon's "Butch Things," a real straggler from 1978), it seems doubtful that this minigenre's going to pick up much steam beyond a small circle of fetishists. These also-rans got down glam's almost overexuberant sense of bonhomie, anchored to elemental pop riffs, thump-plod beats, and anthemic choruses. However, it's less likely to recall David Bowie, T. Rex, and Roxy Music (though their influence is certainly blatant at times) than it is lesser, more dated, and U.K.-specific glam flashes like David Essex, Slade, Sweet, and Cockney Rebel. The will to succeed commercially is here in spades on these resolutely trendy flops, but the songs for the most part weren't so special, and not a little silly (and, more surprisingly, sometimes pretty thinly produced). As usual with these kinds of special-interest comps, there are some standout exceptions, particularly Ayshea's bulldozing cover of Roy Wood's "Farewell." It's welcome variety in the first place to have a gutsy woman singing this stuff instead of some guy singing like he's getting a wedgie. It's even more of a plus to have a strong song with foreboding yet poppy hooks that sounds like it could have been a hit for the Move, with Wood himself (who produced and played everything on the record) contributing what sounds like a wiggly crumhorn in the background. Other good cuts, if somewhat atypical in the context of this CD, are the aforementioned "Butch Things," with its studied Bryan Ferry-isms, and Edwina Biglet and the Miglets' "Thing," which is more novelty bubblegum than it is glam. Incidentally, a few other '60s vets make little-heralded appearances here and there, most notably Paul Ryan (who had British hits as part of Paul & Barry Ryan) and Chris Townson (who was in John's Children, and here appears drumming for Jook).

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