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Myrmidons of Melodrama: Definitive Collection Import

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 26, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Few back catalogs have been treated with such little respect as that of the wonderful SHANGRI-LAS. Despite the quality of their material - which remains highly collectable - they've suffered a history of badly compiled albums with shoddy packaging and more to the point appalling sound reproduction. RPM have produced a vastly improved sound quality collection before but are now able to go even one better by introducing the true stereo versions of their key recordings. In addition RPM are adding both sides of the hideously rare debut single from the group in turn making it's debut on CD. The packaging is in digipack format as part of RPMs Special edition series containing a dynamic new front cover, new photographs and liner notes.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Remember (Walkin' In The Sand) - Stereo
  2. It's Easier To Cry
  3. Leader Of The Pack - Stereo
  4. What Is Love
  5. Give Him A Great Big Kiss - Stereo
  6. Out In The Streets
  7. The Boy
  8. Give Us Your Blessing
  9. Heaven Only Knows - Stereo
  10. Right Now And Not Later
  11. The Train From Kansas City - Stereo
  12. Never Again
  13. I'm Blue
  14. What's A Girl Supposed To Do
  15. The Dum Dum Ditty
  16. You Cheated, You Lied
  17. I Can Never Go Home Anymore - Stereo
  18. Bull Dog
  19. Long Live Our Love
  20. Sophisticated Boom Boom
  21. He Cried
  22. Dressed In Black
  23. Past, Present And Future
  24. Paradise
  25. Love You More Than Yesterday
  26. Simon Says
  27. Simon Speaks
  28. Give Him A Great Big Kiss (Version) - Stereo
  29. Radio Spot #1 Revlon
  30. Radio Spot #2 Revlon
  31. Radio Spot #3 Good Taste Tip
  32. Radio Spot #4 Good Taste Tip


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 26, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Rpm Records UK
  • ASIN: B0000632M3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,751 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As most buyers of Shangri-Las music have already discovered, there are two versions of the group's greatest hits collecton "Myrmidons of Melodrama," one released in 1995 that sports a color, pop art-inspired cover and one released in 2002 that sports a black-and-white cover with a photo of the group. Although both versions have essentially the same tracks on them, there are some minor differences that could influence a customer's decision to purchase one over the other. These differences are listed below:

Original version with color artwork released in 1995: This version includes the singles "Maybe," "Wishing Well," and "Hate To Say I Told You So," which are NOT included on the 2002 re-release. This version, however, lacks any stereo mixes of the songs and does not include the single "Simon Says/Simon Speaks."

2002 re-release with the black-and-white cover: This version includes stereo mixes of some of the group's singles and includes the single "Simon Says/Simon Speaks." Excluding the three songs mentioned above, the track listing is identical to the original version (taking into account the fact that the tracks are listed out of order on the back of the CD). This is a minor, albeit irritating, clerical error.

So the question really becomes one of importance. If it is more important to you to have the three songs that are included on the 1995 version, then that is the one you should buy. If having stereo mixes of the songs is what you're after, then the 2002 re-release is for you. Personally, I would rather have the stereo mixes of some of the group's classic hits than have three songs that I have never heard before, but that it merely my preference. Collectors will probably want to buy both versions.
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Format: Audio CD
You probably already realize from other reviews that Myrmidons is the best single source for Shangri-Las, and that both versions are perfectly great. You also realize that there are differences between the two issues of that title. One reviewer was unhappy with the later (b&w cover) issue because he felt that the three biggest hits, Remember, Give Him A Great Big Kiss and Leader Of The Pack,didn't sound right. Another reviewer said she preferred the later version because those three, along with an additional three major tracks, were in stereo instead of mono. I'd like to offer additional information about the differences between the two versions of Myrmidons.

One of the reviewers has listed the differences in track selection. Here it's a toss up. Both have all of the essential tracks. On the other hand it's all worth having. I personally am glad I got both, but you really only need one from the standpoint of essential tracks.

The mono tracks sound the same on both Myrmidons issues (with one exception and in that case it's arguable which is better and they are very close) So now we are down to the six tracks that appear in mono on the first issue (color cover) and in stereo on the second issue (b&w cover).

These are all major tracks so this bears some consideration:

Remember (Walking In The Sand)- The stereo version has better fidelity. That is to say, there is less distortion, there is less apparent wear on the source tape. The mix is a little different than the mono version that was the single release. But most significantly, the mono mix was tweaked before release. A dramatic layer of echo was added to the single master.
This is not present on the stereo mix. Clearly the mono mix is the authentic single and the stereo mix is not.
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Format: Audio CD
I adore the Shangri-Las, and was anxious to upgrade my budget CD to something more complete. I wanted to get the original version of "Myrmidons of Melodrama," the one with the color cover, which also includes the songs "Maybe," "Wishing Well" and "I Hate to Say I Told You So," not found on this edition. However, when I found the black-and-white cover in a local record store, I decided to spring for it instead. MISTAKE.

I have no idea what these people did to "Remember," "Leader of the Pack" and "Great Big Kiss," but they sound very different from what I've heard in the past. "Leader of the Pack" sounds very hollow and devoid of the sharp rhythm I always heard in the recording. The same can be said of "Remember," which sounds unusually flat besides. As for "Kiss," something about this mix seems rhythmically wonky, as though the tambourine isn't matching up with the drums; there are also parts of the song which are unusually quiet, such as that great "MWAH!" which now virtually disappears. Maybe I'll get used to the differences with time; it's probably just me. I doubt these would bother the casual listener.

The rest of the tracks are all very well-remastered, and sound very clear. I've got some particular gripes about the packaging, however. A paper case, guys? Gimme a break. Before I got the shrink-wrap off, the case was already ripped. And the CD is also mislabeled. It reads:
24. Paradise
25. Love You More Than Yesterday
26. Simon Says
27. Simon Speaks
28. Give Him a Great Big Kiss (alternate version)
In actuality, the tracks go thusly:
24. Love You More Than Yesterday
25. Paradise
26. Give Him a Great Big Kiss (alternate version)
27. Simon Says
28.
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