Rhino is pleased to present the first-ever boxed set to celebrate the girl groups of the 1960s. From soul and garage to Brill Building pop and countrypolitan, every possible girl group style is represented on these four discs, which gather 120 remastered tracks from 107 artists including The Supremes, The Ronettes, Dusty Springfield, Carole King, Petula Clark, plus a slew of artists less known but every bit as vital. Landmark packaging replicates a mod-style hat box and includes a diary-style booklet with essays, rare photos, track notes, and artist quotes. 2005.
Girl groups have enchanted humankind since the era of the ancient Greeks, when legend has it the Sirens attempted to lure wayfarers Odysseus and Jason to their fates; Persephone's chanteuses would eventually even lose a battle of the bands to the Muses. A couple millennia later, female singers would become a dominant force in the pop and rock of the 60s, the era anthologized on this four-disc, 120-track collection from Rhino. If the "group" tag is something of a misnomer (many of the acts here are solo artists), the vibrant female pop spirit of the times gets showcased in rare fashion by a collection that eschews the obvious to revel in showcasing rarities and surprises at every turn: the bittersweet, life-is-over-when "I'm 28" musings of a two-decades-pre-"Mickey" Toni Basil
; a healthy sampling of gems by the Cookies
and their various alter-egos, including the Palisades' fervent ode to uber-necking, "Make the Night Just a Little Bit Longer"; the Shangri-Las'
mini-epic, "Out in the Streets"; hit songwriter Ellie Greenwich's solo turn on the haunting "You Don't Know." An impressive collection with an inclusive bent, its tracks range across the classic r&b of the Marvelettes
and Irma Thomas
, country-crossovers Skeeter Davis
and Wanda Jackson
, the blue-eyed soul of Jackie DeShannon
and Dusty Springfield
and wounded white-girl pop of Lesley Gore
and Connie Francis
. It's all contained in one of Rhino's most elaborately designed packages yet: each disc comes in a mock compact; its extensive liner notes and track info printed as a mini-diary; all housed in a smart replica of a vintage hat box--a treasure-packed delight for lovers of the genre and curious novices alike. -- Jerry McCulley