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Early Girls Vol.3 2000 (2008)

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Early Girls Vol.3 2000 (2008)

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Volume 3: 2000

01. Girlfriends – My One And Only Jimmy Boy
02. Little Peggy March – I Will Follow Him
03. Alice Wonder Land – He’s Mine			play
04. Shelly Fabares – Johnny Angel
05. Ginny Arnell – Dumb Head
06. Cathy Jean And Roommates – Please Love Me Forever
07. Etta James – At Last
08. Percells – What Are Boys Made Of
09. Della Reese – Don’t You Know
10. Lillian Briggs – I Want You To Be My Baby
11. Jodie Sands – With All My Heart
12. Margie Rayburn – I’m Available
13. Patti Page – Old Cape Cod
14. Shelby Flint – Angel On My Shoulder
15. Timi Yuro – Hurt
16. Joanie Sommers – Johnny Get Angry
17. Diane Ray – Please Don’t Talk To The Lifeguard	play
18. The Pixies Three – Birthday Party
19. Carla Thomas – Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)
20. Faye Adams – Shake A Hand
21. Etta Jones – Don’t Go To Strangers
22. Bernadette Carroll – Party Girl
23. The Starlets – Better Tell Him No
24. The Charmaines – What Kind Of Girl (Do You Think I Am )
25. Esther Phillips – Release Me
26. Debbie Dovale – Hey Lover
27. The Chantels – Look In My Eyes
28. Suzie Clark – Ain’t Gonna Kiss Ya

 

England's ACE Records has become the premiere reissue label in the world. They have done everything Rhino has done for years. Used top grade source tapes, excellent sound, well written and informative liner notes and top-notch song selection. And for my money, they've upped the ante. The booklet is a 20-page, full-color collection of publicity stills, handbills and notes on each artist and song. And you get 28 songs! No other label is this generous.

And these are all wonderfully chosen songs. All but one of these (Suzie Clark's "Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya") made the pop or R&B charts. There are No. 1 hits like Shelley Fabares' "Johnny Angel" and Little Peggy March's "I Will Follow Him." Faye Adams topped the R&B charts with the rousing "Shake a Hand," and Etta James' hit No. 2 with "At Last." And then there are other forgotten pop gems sprinkled throughout this collection, like the Chantels' highest charting hit "Look In My Eyes," and Cathy Jean and the Roommates' hit version of "Please Love Me Forever" (six years before Bobby Vinton returned it to the charts).

Unlike Rhino's Girl Group series, which focused on the early Sixties, the ACE series spans the years 1953 to 1964. So there is very little overlap between the two. In fact, only Joanie Sommer's "Johnny Get Angry" is duplicated from the Rhino series, so these two series complement each other very nicely. If you already own the two earlier volumes (or even the two volumes of the Rhino series), this latest installment is a welcome addition. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

 

The third installment in Ace's series of female-sung pop/rock from the pre-British Invasion era is an erratic combination of well-known classics with more obscure items that are sometimes decent, and more often forgettable. Mostly it's from 1960-1964, with a few odd inclusions of solo female performances from 1953-1959, several of them pop with little or no rock influence. The best cuts are usually the most famous ones: Etta James' "At Last," Little Peggy March's "I Will Follow Him," Carla Thomas' "Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)," Esther Phillips' "Release Me," Timi Yuro's "Hurt," and the Chantels' "Look in My Eyes." The thing is, none of these have been very hard to find on reissues. The majority of the disc is in fact comprised of songs that have escaped oldies radio rotation, whether because they only made it to around the middle of the Top 100, or because (as in Patti Page's "Old Cape Cod" or Jodie Sands' "With All My Heart") there was no rock & roll in their soul. However, with the exception of the Girlfriends' dynamite 1963 mid-charter "My One and Only, Jimmy Boy" -- one of the best Phil Spector soundalike productions ever, and a should-have-been Top Ten hit -- none of the rarer items are great. In fact most are inconsequential, and some are downright bad: there ought to be a law against licensing Ginny Arnell's 1963 single "Dumb Head," one of the most idiotic records ever to crack the Top 50. Some of the more interesting also-rans are Lillian Briggs' 1955 hit "I Want You to Be My Baby," which in fact is far more like jazzy Tin Alley pop than rock; Faye Adams' 1953 crossover R&B/pop hit "Shake a Hand"; and Suzie Clark's "Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya," a non-charting cover of a song on an obscure girl-group single by the Ribbons that was later covered by the Searchers. --- Richie Unterberger, AMG

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