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More than anything else, it was Shadow Morton's dramatic production that elevated the music of girl group the Shangri-Las beyond pure teen pop. But lead singer Mary Weiss truly sold lines like "I met him at the candy store" with her mix of sadness, sex and New York attitude the Shangri-Las fell apart when Weiss was still a teenager, and she abandoned music completely. Now, releasing her solo debut in her late fifties, Weiss shows that she's no luckier with men than she was as a teenager. By Memphis garage rockers the Reigning Sound Weiss anguishes over a cheating lover, begging him to come back and finally deciding she's better off without him, in the course of fourteen songs. - Rollingstone
While Mary Weiss's name isn't familiar to the masses, her records with the Shangri-Las in the 1960s left an indelible mark on the cultural map. "Leader of the Pack," "Remember (Walking in the Sand)," and a string of other hits had her unmistakable voice blasting from radios and record players across the land. Just 18 when their last hit fell off the charts, Weiss, disillusioned from bad business deals, virtually disappeared. Now, 40 years later, comes her first solo album. Backed by Greg Cartwright and his band Reigning Sound, the songs (most of them penned by Cartwright) have their roots in the '60s, but eschew Spectorish sheen and density for a harder-edged sound. If the early-era Rolling Stones had been fronted by Debbie Harry, they'd have landed quite near this relentless 40-minute party. The few covers include an Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry chestnut, "Heaven Only Knows." Smartly paced, a few ballads offer some breathing room before the rhythm pumps up again. --David Greenberger
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Top customer reviews
I purchased this CD more out of curiosity than nostalgia. The early strong reviews are quite accurate. When initially listening to the first few selections I felt awkward. It was like meeting a valued friend after many years when you are not quite sure there is still any common ground between you. However, by the third song I was so overwhelmed by the quality of the material and "that voice"; I was just consumed with enjoyment.
This collection is a cohesive effort by the main songwriter, the musicians, the producer, as well as Ms. Weiss. It displays a level of intimacy among the performers that is rarely achieved in popular music. The Reigning Sound are excellent. The producer had a clear vision of what he hoped to create and accomplished it "big time". There are 14 songs on this disk and not one is a clunker! The ballads are all stand outs. "Cry About the Radio" and "Stitch in Time" may prove to be modern classics.
I hope this body of work gets the attention and success it so richly deserves. May it lead to a long collaboration. This CD is not an anachronism, instead it is vital contemporary music. I no longer view this performer in terms of what she did in the past but on what she will do in the future.
When I was 12, I did not appreciate the unique and expressive vocalist that Mary Weiss is. " But kids...kids don't know s--t".
Most recent customer reviews
From listening to this, I realized I'm not one of them.
So I returned to the Shangri-Las as always.
over the airwaves.Read more