Tuesday, May 21, 2019

60s American music: Basement Beehive: The Girl Group Underground

Basement Beehive:  The Girl Group Underground

The artists here are unknown for the most part—and certainly unheralded.  Nonetheless some are truly marvelous.  How good is the compilation?  Well, it contains a mine of nuggets, many of which should have been hits in a just universe.  Check out just three from disc I:  The Tonettes' "I Gotta Know," Paulette & The Cupids' "Teenage Dropout" and Judi & The Affections' "Dum, Dum De Dip."  Or more from disc II:  The Mellow Dawns' "I'm Sorry Baby," The Petites' "Lonely Girl" and The Soulettes' "It's Alright."

Aside from just plain good music on both discs, there are standouts which veer from the girl group mentality of the time, two of which are Vickie & The Van Dykes' "I Wanna Be a Winner" which is Joan Jet tough.  Another is The Belles' "Melvin," a gal's version of Them's "Gloria."

Bottom line?  A must-have for girl group junkies.  Highly recommended.

Disc 1

1.  Will You Be My Love - The Four J's 2:09
2.  I'll Never Know - The Chantells 2:23
3.  My Fault - Passionettes 2:03
4.  I Gotta Know - The Tonettes 1:39
5.  I Wanna Be a Winner - Vickie & The Van Dykes 2:32
6.  A Love of Mine - The Vandelettes 2:18
7.  I'll Say Yes - The Devilettes 2:49
8.  Searching for My Man - The Velvelettes 1:44
9.  Help Me Somebody - Chapells 2:03
10.  Same Old Sweet Lovin' - The Devotions 2:03
11.  My Lover - The Hill Sisters 2:27
12.  Find Somebody New - The Soulettes 2:48
13.  I Don't Believe - The Mellow Dawns 3:13
14.  Never Gonna Cry - The Cineemas 2:37
15.  Dum, Dum, De Dip - Judi & The Affections 2:44
16.  Come Go With Me - The Para-Monts 2:39
17.  Melvin - The Belles 2:29
18.  I Believe (The Man Loves Me) - The Petites 3:00
19.  Fall in Love Again - The Voices 2:46
20.  Unlucky in Love - Charles Pikes & The Scholars 2:17
21.  Broken Heart - The Contessas 2:41
22.  I Won't Cry - The Shades 2:49
23.  Where Is Love - The Monzas 2:05
24.  Thank You Baby - Toni & The Harts 2:37
25.  From One Fool to Another - The Dreamliners 2:26
26.  Baby Be Good (While I'm Gone) - The Rayons 2:36
27.  Teenage Dropout - Paulette & The Cupids 2:32
28.  Laughing on the Outside - Bernadette Carroll 2:22

Disc 2

1.  You're Acting Kind of Strange - Chapells 3:24
2.  Oh My Sweet Love - The Hill Sisters 2:36
3.  Never Change Our Love - Toni & The Harts 2:35
4.  I'm Leaving You - The Devilettes 4:13
5.  Don't Look - The Chantells 4:13
6.  Baby I'm Crying - Vickie & The Van Dykes 2:36
7.  He'll Wait on Me - Paulette & The Cupids 2:16
8.  The Lonely Fool - The Dreamliners 2:32
9.  Lonely Girl - The Petites 2:39
10.  My Plea - Passionettes 2:23
11.  My Heart Can Feel the Pain - The Tonettes 2:35
12.  I Don't Want to Lose You - The Para-Monts 3:10
13.  For as Long as You Want Me - Dotty McCullum 2:28
14.  Tell Me Not to Hurt - The Shades 2:48
15.  Ain't It the Truth - The Monzas 2:25
16.  Forever Is a Long, Long Time - The Voices 2:35
17.  You Confuse Me Baby - The Rayons 2:36
18.  He's All Mine - The Vandelettes 2:50
19.  Devil's Gotten Into My Baby - The Devotions 2:44
20.  Come Back - The Belles 2:27
21.  I'm Sorry Baby - The Mellow Dawns 2:18
22.  A Crush on You - The Cineemas 2:16
23.  Gimme Gimme - The Contessas 2:14
24.  What Do You Do - Charles Pikes & The Scholars 2:35
25.  The Nursery - The Four J's 1:55
26.  It's Alright - The Soulettes 3:25
27.  Ain't Gonna Hurt My Pride - Judi & The Affections 2:29
28.  The Humpty-Dump - Bernadette Carroll 2:11

No text.  Sixty-four-page, hardcover booklet which details the history of labels and artists.  The CDs are housed in pockets inside the front and rear covers.  Disc I/28 tracks.  69:03.  Disc II/28 tracks.  75:41.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

50s American music: Teenage Heaven: The Fifties Girl Group Phenomenon

Teenage Heaven:  The Fifties Girl Group Phenomenon

Though my girl group collection is fairly extensive, many of the artists who appear here are new to me.  Even the groups I'm familiar with offer songs that aren't in my collection.  So?  So if you're into girl groups, Teenage Heaven offers plenty to discover and enjoy.  Delightful.

1. The Shirelles ~ I Met Him On A Sunday
2. The Shirelles ~ I Want You to be My Boyfriend
3. The Shirelles ~ I Got the Message
4. The Shirelles ~ Dear 533-10761
5. The Shirelles ~ Doo-Waddie
6. The Poni-Tails ~ Just My Luck To Be Fifteen
7. The Poni-Tails ~ Born Too Late
8. The Poni-Tails ~ Seven Minutes In Heaven
9. The Chantels ~ Maybe
10. The Chantels ~ Prayee
11. The Blossoms ~ He Promised Me
12. The Blossoms ~ Move On
13. The Blossoms ~ Have Faith In Me
14. The Bobbettes ~ Mr Lee
15. The Bobbettes ~ Look at the Stars
16. The Bobbettes ~ Rock and Ree Ah Zole
17. The Quin-Tones ~ Down the Aisle of Love
18. The Quin-Tones ~ Please Dear
19. The Baby Dolls ~ Go Away Baby
20. The Baby Dolls ~ Boyfriend
21. The Sharmeers ~ A Schoolgirl In Love
22. The Deltairs ~ Lullaby Of The Bells
23. The Deltairs ~ Standing at the Altar
24. The Starlettes ~ Please Ring My Phone
25. The Sensations ~ Please Mr. Disc Jockey
26. The Sensations ~ Little Wallflower
27. The Antwinettes ~ Johnny O
28. Copesetics ~ Believe In Me
29. The Tonettes ~ Oh What A Baby
30. The Tonettes ~ Howie
31. Georgettes ~ Oh Tonight
32. The Joytones ~ Gee What a Boy
33. The Joytones ~ Is This Really the End

No text.  Brief but interesting booklet.  33 tracks.  78:59.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

60s British music: Crispian St. Peters

Follow Me

Follow Me is Crispian St. Peter's debut album which includes his hits:  "The Pied Piper" (#5 UK), "You Were on My Mind" (#2 UK), "Changes" (#47 UK) and "Almost Persuaded" (#52 UK) plus 6 bonus tracks.  The music?  Well, St. Peters is often criticized because his music bounces around genres.  But given the music here, I'd say that it doesn't matter a jot.  His vocals are first rate and so are the songs.  I'm especially enamored of the gorgeous "But She's Untrue."  And if "Jilly Honey" doesn't get the toes tappin', nothing will.  While nothing groundbreaking appears on Follow Me, it is satisfying.  No regrets here.

No text.  Scant liner notes.  20 tracks.  56:58.

Friday, May 10, 2019

50s music: Welcome to the Club: Early Female Rockabilly

Welcome to the Club:  Early Female Rockabilly

Since not many women were involved in rockabilly, you'll find a lot of carryover of artists and/or songs from one compilation to another.  Such is the case with Welcome to the Club.  The inclusion of artists/songs you may not have heard, however, makes the purchase worthwhile.  Check out, for example, The Ladell Sisters' "Rockin' Robert," Barbara Pittman's "I Need a Man," Patsy Ruth Elshire's "Watch Dog," Bunny Paul's "History" as well as her "Sweet Talk" and Rose Maddox's "Hey Little Dreamboat" and "Wild Wild Young Men."  Betty Barnes' "What Would You Do?" is pretty cool too.  A must-have for rockabilly fans.

Note:  Some vinyl noise is apparent.

Title text only.  Brief booklet.  33 tracks.  78:20.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

60s American music: 60's Girl Groups

60's Girl Groups

As nearly always with compilations like this, I'm amazed and bewildered that fantastic groups and their music, for whatever the reason, missed the star wagon.  Add 60's Girl Groups to your collection.

No text.  Limited liner notes.  17 tracks.  42:43.

Monday, May 6, 2019

60s French music: Serge Gainsbourg

Comic Strip

Comic Strip offers pop hits from 1966-1969 to include duets with Brigette Bardot and Jane Birkin.  Though Gainsbourg is rightfully a French icon, beyond "Hold Up" the songs here simply didn't engage or interest me—not even the scandalous "je t'aime...  moi non plus."  Frankly, I much prefer songs he wrote for the likes of, say, France Gall or Fran├žoise Hardy.  If, however, you're a Gainsbourg fan, you can hardly go wrong with Comic Strip.

No text.  11-page booklet in French.  20 tracks.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

90s music: The Sugar Twins

Patio A-Go-Go!

The Sugar Twins vault back to 60s with a ton of musical and lyrical fun—not to mention miniskirts and go-go boots.  Patio A-Go-Go! lacks all pretension and is, from first note to last, recorded with a twinkle in the eye and a seductive grin.  In short, the CD is a lighthearted hoot that doesn't disappoint.

Note:  Since the CD doesn't turn up that often, finding it at a reasonable price may be difficult.  Shop around and be patient.

No text.  Scant liner notes.  12 tracks.  33:15.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

60s British music: Marylebone Beat Girls 1964-1967

Marylebone Beat Girls 1964-1967

Yes, there are artists on Marylebone Beat Girls who are successful enough to have found some measure of fame and fortune such as Cilla Black, Helen Shapiro, Julie Driscoll and even Billie Davis.  And there are others whose moment glittered and passed all too quickly.  Regardless, I'm a sucker for these 25 fab tracks.  Standouts are Alma Cogan's "Love Is a Word,"  Jean & The Statesides' "Mama Didn't Lie" and the toughest, grittiest cut here (or maybe anywhere), Beverley Jones' "Hear You Talking."  Wowsa x 2 on this latter.

Text.  26-page booklet detailing the acts.  Billie Davis appears on the booklet's front cover, Helen Shapiro on the reverse.  26 tracks.  64:07.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

50's American music: Girls Gonna Bop

Girls Gonna Bop

Women in rockabilly?  You bet—if you can find them!  Are there "names" on Girls Gonna Bop?  Yes, Janis Martin, Wanda Jackson, Jackie Dee (Jackie DeShannon) and The Collins Kids.  But even without them, the gals on this compilation are remarkable.  Check out Debbie Lynn's original "Fujiyama Mama" (Ms. Lynn proves more than equal to Wanda Jackson's hit version), Rose Maddox's high-octane "Movie It on Over,"  Laura Lee Perkins' rockin' "Don't Wait Up," and Joyce Green's absolutely killer "Black Cadillac."  Those tracks alone are worth the price of admission, but plenty of others get the blood pumpin' and the feet waggin'.

No text.  Brief liner notes.  25 tracks.  58:41.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Music: Leroy Van Dyke

27 Classic Tracks

From 1956 through 1977, Leroy Van Dyke enjoyed 19 country charters.  Of those, only 4 appear here:  "The Auctioneer" (#9), "Walk on By" (#1), "If a Man Answers (Hang Up the Phone)" (#3) and "Black Cloud" (#16).  Note that 12 of these 27 tracks come from Van Dyke's 1962 debut album, Walk on By, including the above hits.  So if you're looking for a comprehensive collection, 27 Classic Tracks isn't it.

Text.  Brief liner notes.  27 tracks.  60:32.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

60s music: Ann-Margret

The Very Best of Ann-Margret

Ann-Margret only enjoyed three charting singles:  "I Just Don't Understand" ((#17), "It Do Me So Good" (#97) and "What Am I Supposed to Do" (#82), all of which appear on The Very Best of.  Many of the songs here fit what you might expect from Ann-Margret, sultry vocals accompanied by lush orchestration.  But not all.  Songs like "Slowly," "Gimmie Love," "He's My Man," "You Sure Know How to Hurt Someone" and "My Last Date (With You)" show a delicious pop bent that is thoroughly engaging.

The duets with Elvis, "You're the Boss" and "The Lady Loves Me," (both cut for Viva Las Vegas though the former didn't make the film), are delightfully flirtatious.

No text.  Brief booklet.  14 tracks.  37:25.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

50s/60s music: The Fireballs

Clovis Classics:  The Definitive Collection

Because of songs like "Torquay" (#29), "Bulldog" (#34) and "Vaquero" (#99), I mistakenly believed that The Fireballs were an instrumental group.  I couldn't have been more mistaken.  Clovis Classics includes instrumentals, of course, but also offers an abundance of splendid vocals, such as "Sugar Shack" (#1), "Hungry, Hungry, Hungry," "Ain't That Rain," "Good Morning Shame" and "Bottle of Wine" (#9).  Frankly, I could list all the vocal tracks without reservation—they're that good.

The collection contains all 11 of the bands' top 100 charters.  Based on the cuts here,  however, there should have been a host of others.  In the end, The Fireballs far exceeded my expectations.  Thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end.  Recommended.

Take note that Ace offers two collections titled Clovis Classics:  The Definitive Collection.  Only the cover art is different.

Text.  Informative 15-page booklet.  30 tracks (1958-1969).  69:39.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

50s music: The Collins Kids

The Collins Kids:  Rockin' and Boppin'

This collection—from the under appreciated Collins Kids—provides an overview of their music from cutesy novelty songs, to fine country, to redhot rockabilly.  This later, with tracks such as "Hop, Skip and Jump," "Party," "Hoy Hoy," "Hot Rod," "Mercy" and "Whistle Bait" should make Janis Martin and Wanda Jackson scoot over a bit.  Rockin' and Boppin' is absolutely worthwhile.

No text.  Short booklet.  35 tracks (1955-1961).  79:20.

Friday, April 19, 2019

50s/60s music: The Fleetwoods

Come Softly to Me:  The Very Best of The Fleetwoods

The Fleetwoods will surely please if you enjoy striking harmonies and languid ballads—exemplified by, say, "Come Softly to Me" (#1), "Mr. Blue (#1) and "Tragedy" (#10), but of course there's plenty to appreciate on Come Softly to Me:  The Very Best of.  Take note of the a cappella versions of "Unchained Melody" as well as "Come Softly to Me" and "Mr. Blue."

No text.  Brief booklet.  28 tracks.  67:39.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

50s/60s music: Bobby Rydell

The Very Best of Bobby Rydell:  Cameo Parkway 1959-1964

"Kissin' Time" (#11), "We Got Love" (#6), "Swingin' School" (#5), "Wild One" (#2), "Volare" (#4) "Good Time Baby" (#11), "The Cha-Cha-Cha" (#10)  "Forget Him" (#4) and a host of other charters make The Very Best of Bobby Rydell an early 60s knockout.  Fan or not, you'll find much to like on this upbeat, good-time collection, though you'll probably wish to delete "A Message From Bobby" after a play or two.

No text.  Brief booklet.  25 tracks.  59:56.