VARIOUS ARTISTS THE VELVET TINMINE:
20 JUNK SHOP GLAM RAVERS
Junk-Shop Glam might be the British equivalent of our Thrift-Store Funk, a crate-digging archaeological movement dedicated to blowing the dust off the last surviving singles of a popularly neglected genre. History is never kind, of course: the snicker factor on Velvet is out of control (bands with names like Iron Virgin!And pics of Iron Virgin's clothes!) But close your eyes (or at least squint a little) and you've got the first best soundtrack to summer. There's no Bowie, T. Rex or Sweet here—at least, not by name. But there're about three bashfully faithful bites of "Suffragette City," the best with Brett Smiley's cabaret-weary vox, a few Electric Warrior lifts courtesy of Shakane and the Washington Flyers, even the drumbeat to "Ballroom Blitz" transplanted in Tubthumper's inaccurately named "Kick Out the Jams." Nick Lowe's definitive Bay City Rollers worship song ("Bay City Rollers We Love You"—a hit in Japan!) is worth the price of admission by itself; never-rans like Bearded Lady's proto-pop-punk "Rock Star" and Stavely Makepeace's slimy instrumental "Slippery Rock '70s" prove the genre had more to it than bad hair and worse boots. The Sex Pistols might have trampled glam in the charts (and in the history books), but the 20 tracks collected here are pop at its most oblivious and innocent, the missing link between the Ronettes and the Ramones.