The Variations Fight Back! LP

Detour has unearthed a pretty obscure one here—the VARIATIONS were a London-area mod revival act circa 1980/81 undocumented on record until now. The first side showcases five studio tracks (sessions for a never-realized single) while the flip is comprised of bootleg-quality material from an Islington pub gig, including covers of WILSON PICKETT and “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight.” Drawing threads from punk, pop, and R&B, the VARIATIONS had an amateurish but endearing sound. No lost classics here but “Social Climbers” and the title track in particular are charming tunes that hint at what the band could have done if they’d had the chance to develop. Following their split, vocalist Mick Winslow went onto front the SCENE, who managed to cut a trio of singles in the early/mid-’80s.