Different Class: Complete Singles and Unreleased Recordings

Aug 17, 2005 at 12:00 am

Squished beneath the glitter boots of the Sweet, Slade and T. Rex, U.K. quartet Jook sadly went unnoticed as one of that era’s Bright Young Things. Too bad too, ’cause the sides collected here (their RCA and Chiswick-Bomp singles, plus unreleased songs from an ill-fated album) find a band befitting its (major label) contract and close-cropped, post-mod power-shags.

This set’s a stunner — nary a stinker in 22 tracks — particularly considering that its clang ’n’ refrain stencil predated punk rock’s Summer of Hate by a good three years. Coulda-shoulda-been hits abound, including the wonderfully irresponsible and bold “Aggravation Place,” “Bish Bash Bosh,” “Oo-Oo-Rudi” and the self-deriding “The Jook’s On You,” all of which detail angst-in-pants youth with owl-eyed accuracy. This souped-up and remastered Small Faces-Hollywood Brats bish-bash is captured in ’70s recording glory, so each distorted note, swishing high-hat and towering tooth-rot harmony is clearly audible. Bizarrely, Jook, who can be lipstick-traced back to John’s Children (with Marc Bolan), saw their sartorial élan (Teddyboy drainpipes etc.) nicked by the Bay City Rollers. And later, certain Jook members found a home in Sparks and (the original) Jet.

The packaging is, um, sweet: The glossy poster-size fold-out sleeve is crammed with historical artifacts and contextually correct liners. Go to Car City Records in St. Clair Shores or rpmrecords.co.uk.

Brian Smith is the music editor of Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].