From the Vault...


Various Artists
"The Best Of The Girl Groups, Volume 1"

© Rhino Records

Year of Release: 1990

track listing
  • "Leader Of The Pack"
    The Shangri-La's
  • "He's So Fine"
    The Chiffons
  • "Chapel Of Love"
    The Dixe Cups
  • "The Boy From
    New York City"
    The Ad-Libs
  • "The Shoop Shoop Song
    (It's In His Kiss)"
    Betty Everett
  • "Sally Go 'Round
    The Roses"
    The Jaynetts
  • "Remember
    In The Sand)"
    The Shangri-La's
  • "One Fine Day"
    The Chiffons
  • "Party Lights"
    Claudine Clark
  • "People Say"
    The Dixie Cups
  • "He's Got The Power"
    The Exciters
  • "I Can't Stay
    Mad At You"
    Skeeter Davis
  • "I Wanna Love Him
    So Bad"
    The Jelly Beans
  • "Dream Baby"
  • "Baby It's You"
    The Shirelles
  • "Give Him A
    Great Big Kiss"
    The Shangri-La's
  • "I Can't Let Go"
    Evie Sands

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    Various Artists
    "The Best Of The Girl Groups, Volume 1"

    Featuring four Number One singles, and other songs that will joggle your memory (for those old enough... "Oh yeah, I remember that one!...) Rhino's "The Best Of The Girl Groups, Volume 1" will obviously travel one down the Oldies Road. Back in the early years of Rock 'N Roll, before Motown and many female dominated acts (like Diana Ross & The Supremes), there were many girl groups who recorded some very catchy and memorable tunes.

    The four Number Ones contained on this volume are songs that are obviously remembered by anyone who is knowledgable of music, by any age:

    "Leader Of The Pack" The Shangri-Las (the pre-biker "Born To Be Wild")
    "He's So Fine" The Chiffons (the original "My Sweet Lord")
    "Chapel Of Love" The Dixe Cups (a great song for weddings)
    "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" The Shrielles (the musical question to ask DURING the wedding reception)

    All four songs -- great oldies, great music.

    Most people think of the Manhattan Transfer for the song "The Boy From New York City," but The Ad-Libs were the ones that originally recorded this song, with just as much spark and energy as the Manhattan Transfer recorded it. Likewise, Cher recorded "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)," in the upcoming decades to follow; Betty Everett was the one who recorded it originally. I'd have to go with the original on this one, this one is a true golden oldie. (And no, Whitney Houston did not record her own version of this song, like Cher did... that was different altogether, entitled "Shoop Shoop.")

    The Jaynetts' "Sally Go 'Round The Roses may not be a most-remembered oldie, but the more you listen to it, it will grow on you to become a regular played golden oldie too. Another memorable oldie done by The Shangri-La's, was "Remember (Walkin' In The Sand)," a song that has been covered by many harder rock bands, featuring female lead vocalists. (I believe The Runaways (Joan Jett, Lita Ford) recorded this one.) This song I think, was recorded before its time; it's musical style was meant for the harder rock acts, even though The Shangri-La's style does fit the 1960s era.

    And another golden oldie in this volume is the Gerry Goffin-Carole King composition, "One Fine Day" by The Chiffons. Their hit "She's So Fine" reached number one, and how "One Fine Day" did not reach the top of the charts when it was a popular hit, is beyond me; that song, (like many songs before and after it), should of reached number one.

    The remaining songs are the ones that really aren't most remembered, but yet, they are great little tunes added to sweeten the pie for this volume. Well, there is one song that may be remembered the most of the remaining nine songs (here's a hint, it was recorded by The Beatles). We'll get to that one in a moment, but first let's review the remaining songs in the order of appearance...

    Claudine Clark's "Party Lights" is a cute little bouncy number, that truly captures the sound of the 1960s era. The Dixie Cups return with "People Say," a song with well-done harmonies, and is a simple song; maybe not as catching as the earlier songs heard on this volume.

    The Exciters had a popular hit called "Tell Him," (featured on The Best Of The Girl Groups, Volume 2); "He's Got The Power" is a bonus track, and it's as energetic as "Tell Him," and out of curiosity, you'd be wanting to see if there is a "best-of" The Exciters, because their music is very energetic, and you'll be eager to hear more of their music, if there is any.

    Another bonus track is a cute little tune that easily fits this era: Skeeter Davis' "I Can't Stay Mad At You." Her most famous hit was a country tune called "The End Of The World," (most remembered also by Herman's Hermits). Her song on this volume is an easy ear-catcher, and a great song to be included for this volume.

    And then there's another cute jumping song (no pun on the girl group's name...) The Jumping Beans' "I Wanna Love Him So Bad" is a song having a cute beat like The Dixie Cups' "Chapel Of Love" and has the "bouncing low voice" heard in "The Boy From New York City."

    Earlier, I mentioned that Cher had re-recorded a version of Betty Everett's "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)." Well, Cher has one of her very early songs on this volume, (another bonus track), "Dream Baby." The music and style easily fits the other songs on this album, and since Cher has a very unique singing voice, you will probably be surprised that this song is recorded by the "one-and-only" Cher. It has a Phil Spector-atmosphere about it. The song was Cher's first single, as was written by her future husband, Sonny Bono.

    Now the song that was recorded by The Beatles in their very early years... "Baby It's You" by The Shirelles. This is truly a great rock 'n' roll oldie. Both versions by The Shirelles and The Beatles are in the same musical style. And for a real test, this song was re-recorded (in a much harder rock fashion) by the group Smith on Rhino's Super Hits of the '70s, Have a Nice Day, Volume 1.

    Now for the "Oh! I remember that one!" category: It seems that every Shangri-La's song triggers the memory bank. "Give Him A Great Big Kiss" is a great tune, as in their most famous hit, "Leader Of The Pack." And, the last song, may not be best remembered by the girl who recorded it (Evie Sands), but by The Hollies: "I Can't Let Go." This song by Evie Sands is also a bonus track.

    Rhino's Best Of The Girl Groups, Volume 1 is a wonderful journey down the Oldies Memory Lane. It's a great way of discovering (or remembering) the great oldies of the early years of rock 'n' roll, before The Beatles came along, and created a whole new chapter of popular music and beyond. Back then, when rock 'n' roll was dominated by male performers, it's obvious that this volume was the building blocks for the future women of rock, during and long after the 1960s.

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