”The importance of the girl group sound of the early ’60s is often over-looked in the traditional telling of the history of Rock & Roll – in most accounts after the first wave of rockers either died (Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran), quit (Little Richard), went into the army (Elvis) or married a cousin (Jerry Lee Lewis), hordes of one-named Teen Idols (Fabian, Frankie, Dion) and smoothies (Bobby Rydell, Paul Anka) took over and rock music withered away until the Beatles rescued it. This narrow-minded opinion leaves out so much amazing music (Del Shannon, Jackie Wilson, the Everly Brothers, Lou Christie, the start of Motown, the Beach Boys and the surf sound as well as so much classic R&B) that it makes your head hurt. Add to that list of amazing music the girl group sound. Add the Ronettes, the Shirelles, the Chiffons, Little Eva and the Cookies. Add a style of music that when it is happy is just about the most exuberant sound on earth and when it is sad can completely rip your heart out. The sheer amount of girl group collections that have been released are a testament to the power of the sound and with the release of Rhino’s One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found maybe even the rock snobs will get over themselves and get on board. Those who already are hip to the power of the girl group sound will be floating on a cloud after just one look at the track listing. Most of the major movers and shakers from behind the mikes (everyone from the Shangri-Las, Barbara Lewis, Maxine Brown to Dusty Springfield, Jackie DeShannon and the Toys) and the mixing board (Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, the Tokens, Tony Hatch, Shadow Morton, Bob Crewe and Bert Berns) are here along with loads of acts that range from the obscure (Dorothy Berry, Sadina, Sylvan, the Pussycats) to the literally unknown (Marsha Gee). Best of all there are almost no hits to be found. There’s no ”Leader of the Pack,” no ”Stop in the Name of Love,” no ”Going to the Chapel”. Instead the compilers focus on under-rated or rare songs by the top names and the best songs by the second tier and below artists. This decision means there are no tracks that are over-used or obvious and that the disc is brimming with surprises and new discoveries to all but the most in-the-know girl group fanatics. Even they might find something here that will knock their bobby socks off and if not, at least they are in for almost five hours of pure fun.
Rhino’s designers must have had fun too when coming up with the look of the set; it is packaged in a miniature hat box, the liner notes are made to look like a diary and each separate disc is housed in a mock compact. Very cute but a retailer’s nightmare no doubt. The liner notes themselves are mostly wonderful, especially co-compiler Sheila Burgel’s nifty track-by-track annotations, and there are tons of great photos including a shot of the Shangri-Las in the studio that is almost worth the price of the set alone. The music is the real draw however; the four discs and 120 songs are lovingly chosen and sequenced with great care, making sure to keep things interesting by blending styles, tempos and moods in a glittering display of pop genius. The compilers (Sheryl Farber and Gary Stewart) make remarkably few mis-steps and quite a few brilliant decisions. The first and most important one was to cast a very wide net when gathering tracks, namely by looking to the UK for artists. There was very fertile scene there in the early to mid-60s that produced some major talent like Dusty Springfield, Sandie Shaw and Lulu. Indeed some of the collections most exciting tracks are drawn from the U.K. vaults like Petula Clark’s pounding rocker ”Heart,” Lulu’s even more pounding rocker ”I’ll Come Running” (featuring some wild guitar from session whiz Jimmy Page) P.P. Arnold’s definitive version of ”The First Cut is Deepest” and Dusty’s majestic cover of the Baby Washington song ”I Can’t Wait to See My Baby’s Face”. Another fine strategy was picking”
|Mitat||14,2 × 12,5 × 1 cm|