As detailed in Uncut (see Strange Days, Take 76), this 1974 debut from the super-effete Smiley has been rotting in obscurity for nearly 30 years. Unashamedly over-produced by Loog Oldham (who saw Brett as "the British Jobriath" rather than a pale Bowie), it's clear on the glam-baroque of "Queen Of Hearts" alone that Smiley had superstar potential. Just listen to his angelic cover of Neil Sedaka's "Solitaire" and mourn the career that might have been.
Before the sex pistols there was New York's Lower East Side: trash aesthetes with short hair and kinky vixens in B-movie stilettos. Kids with minor drug habits and slim volumes of symbolist verse. Pre-punk 'punk' was Gotham's reaction to smug denim California and prog-pomp stadium blow-out. The new Bowery Bop was about immaculate posing, street-corner nihilism. It was railroad-apartment art-rock out of the Velvets, Stooges, Dolls, with a side order of Nuggets garage psychedelics.