Album: Various artists, Nippon Girls (Big Beat International)

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The Independent Culture

In 1960s Japan, Svengali producers used chirpy girl singers to cover hits by Connie Francis or Helen Shapiro, then started to get creative on original garage stompers, baroque ballads and bossa-nova exotica.

Subtitled "Groovy Girl Pop from the Land of the Rising Sun, 1966-70", this diligent comp offers 25 examples where the trash values (cheesy organ, fuzz-box guitars) are immense. Unless you're David Lynch or Malcolm McClaren, however, only half are worth hearing twice, as lead vocals are often bland.