Friday, 8 September 2006

"Junk Shop Glam"

I've been sent a rather odd record by an online chum called 'Velvet Tinmine'. It's a collection of glamrock songs that didn't quite make it - 'junk shop glam' as it's been christened by Record Collector. And what an odd collection it is.

An AOL site tells us that:

Junk Shop Glam is a relatively new phenomenon, which came to public notice via a feature in the Jan. 2002 issue of Record Collector magazine, and was followed up by an article in the Guardian newspaper. This deals with those glam rock groups who did not achieve any chart success, and who's names have largely been lost in the annals of pop music history.

It's quite difficult to describe this musical melange of... well, I'm not sure what it is. Put it this way, I can understand why the songs weren't hits. I'm not saying they're plain awful. No, no I'm not saying that. They're interesting. Yes, that's what I'm saying. Interesting in a, well, strange way.

They'd actually make a great game, a sort of 'guess who influenced this song?' kind of way. Rip off, is probably too strong a term (no matter how accurate) but it's quite fun listening to the songs and thinking

... that's an early Sweet Andy Scott riff ...
.... that chorus is from SLADE ...
... that guitar is Marc ...
... that stomping is definitely early Glitter ...

I can even hear shades of Geordie in there too and, let's face it, Geordie weren't exactly huge.

Some of the bands later had some success and we're treated to early songs by Arrow and Hello and I recall Fancy's version of 'Wild Thing'. There's a group called The Damned but I don't think it's the same as the more famous band of that name a few years later. There's even a group called Flame, presumably influenced by the SLADE film.

Iron Virgin sound like an early 'B' side version of the Sweet when they were allowed to play their own harder songs. Their contribution is 'Rebel Rule' and I quite like it. And here's a photo of them.

'Kick Your Boots Off' by Sister sounds like a SLADE rip off; 'Slippery Rock 70s' by Stavely Makepeace is a piano-influenced version of 'Rock n Roll (Part 2)'; 'Kick Out The Jams' by Tubthumper is full of 'hey hey hey's a la T.Rex's 'Solid Gold Easy Action'.

What an interesting listen that's been!

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