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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Brett Smiley - "Breathlessly Brett"



Brett Smiley - Breathlessly Brett
CD Reissue Compilation, UK, 2003
RPM Records (I-Tune purchase)

In my quest to locate everything or anything that deals with the magic that is Andrew Loog Oldham I cam across a YouTube of Andrew being interviewed on British TV about his new discovery Brett Smiley.   I became an instant fan within the ten minute interview.  Basically due to one song “Space Ace.”   The perfect throw-away glam masterpiece.   A fey Bowie rip-off that somehow becomes even greater with that comparison or placing.  The production went for broke in relaying this alienation that is partly “Space Oddity” meets the New York Dolls.  The sad thing is that this was recorded when Bowie himself was removing himself from the hardcore glam sound, so the timing was off.  Nevertheless it is one of the great songs from that era, which is perfectly great in my opinion.


Brett, if not having the hits, is at the very least an iconic figure of the lost glam years.  A very good book came out of it by Nina Antonia, The Prettiest Star: Whatever Happened to Brett Smiley, who focuses on the memory of,  and who Brett Smiley is.  The whole album is actually pretty good.  It is interesting to hear Oldham’s take of that era through his production, who still had Phil Spector on his mind.  Some of it sort of reminds me of Spector’s work on the first George Harrison solo album.  The fact that it was unreleased till 2003 is surely a crime of sorts.  But nevertheless one can find it on Spotify or I-Tunes.