Rave! Reviews 2: CDs, Soloists

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Bev, Efficient 1960s

Bang Bang: The Early Years
Who dares to challenge the ultimate of all divas? With her hit "Believe," Cher stands as the oldest woman to score a number one single. Her enduring voice is showcased even in her early hits, "Dream Baby" and "Bang Bang" not the least among them! Hear Cher's version of "The Girl from Ipanema," "Elusive Butterfly," "Needles and Pins," and "Alfie." You can't go wrong with this collection! Available at: Cher: Bang Bang, the Early Years
Greatest Hits of Petula Clark
Petula Clark
Her voice has a late-60s sultry quality, better than Marianne Faithfull and brassier than Cher, yet deeper than Lulu. Mellow out with "Downtown," "Sign of the Times," and "Don't Sleep in the Subway." This lass was bloody good with her renditions of, "Let It Be Me," "Colour My World," and "This Girl's in Love With You." Available at: Greatest Hits of Petula Clark
Shelley! The Things We Did Last Summer
Shelley Fabares
Be still my heart! Her classic "Johnny Angel" is included, along with her sweet, breathless "Love Letters," "True Love," and "The Things We Did Last Summer." But don't typecast her just yet. Shelley tests her mettle with covers like, Little Eva's "The Loco-Motion," Neil Sedaka's "Breaking Up is Hard to Do," and "Sealed with a Kiss." You'll feel like you're back on the beach with this solid CD. Available at: Shelley! The Things We Did Last Summer
20th Century Masters
Connie Francis
In the early 1960s, all the girl-group soundalike soloists wanted to be like Connie Francis: appealing to the teen market, yet serious and full-voiced enough to attract the adult market, too. Connie did it with "Where the Boys Are," "Stupid Cupid," "Who's Sorry Now" and the plethora of her other 1960s and late-50s hit. Available at: 20th Century Masters: Connie Francis
Lesley Gore: I'll Cry if I Want To/Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts
(Lesley Gore)
Sure, you can buy cheap CDs with a dozen Lesley hits, but don't miss these rare album tracks you won't find anywhere else. The big hits are here--"It's My Party," "Judy's Turn to Cry," "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows," etc. but there is a total of 25 tracks, all of two total albums. A bonus is different versions (single, album, mono) of "You Don't Own Me."
Available at: Lesley Gore: I'll Cry if I Want To

Lesley Gore: My Town, My Guy and Me/Sings All About Love
(Lesley Gore)
Even better than the previously-mentioned CD, because here are the 24 tracks you've probably never heard before. Want to hear Lesley singing "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"? How about "To Know Him is to Love Him"? One that should have been a number one hit is the good-as-It's-My-Party tune, "You Didn't Look 'Round." You won't want to skip a single song. Available at: Lesley Gore: My Town, My Guy and Me

Greatest Hits & Rare Classics
(Brenda Holloway)
Holloway should've been a bigger star, and here's the proof. She can handle You've Made Me So Very Happy and in the same album, take on a trying song like You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'. Other great songs here: Together Till the End of Time; Starting the Hurt All Over Again; Operator and Who's Lovin' You. Available at: Brenda Holloway
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The Locomotion
(Little Eva)
Little Eva Do the frakkin' LOCOMOTION already! Who can forget this classic and enduring girl-group hit? Yes, she was Carole King's babysitter and got famous on a lark, but who cares? She's sweet as a sweet potato pie here, with songs like her follow-up (a definite non-hit) "Let's Do the Turkey Trot," along with crazy-titled songs like "Please Hurt Me" (written by Carole King during her abuse-me phase), "Makin' With the Magilla," and the more understandable girl-group song, "The Trouble With Boys." Available at: Little Eva
The Very Best of Donna Loren
(Donna Loren)
The 'Dr Pepper Girl,' Donna Loren Get yer beach blankets out! Her hip-swingin' tunes of the 60s, including "Cycle Set," "Just a Little Girl" (a Goffin-King tune), and "It Only Hurts When I Cry" from the movie, "Beach Blanket Bingo." 19 songs total (all from 1964-1966), 10 of them from the movie! The icing on the cake: the CD includes an 8-page booklet with never-before-seen photos of Donna from her 60's career as a singer, actress and model. Available at: Donna Loren
The Best of Darlene Love
(Darlene Love)
The fab classics of the lady with the inimitable voice. The entire CD price is worth "He's Sure the Boy I Love" by Mann and Weil, but of course you get the whole enchilada--"Today I Met the Boy I'm Gonna Marry," her cover of the Raindrops' "Not Too Young to Get Married," her slower, interesting version of "Chapel of Love," the spunky, funky "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah," the classic hit, "He's a Rebel," and more--15 hits in all. If CDs can wear out, this one will put it to the test. Available at: Best of Darlene Love
The Very Best of Little Peggy March
(Peggy March)
Okay, we've all heard "I Will Follow Him." But "Little" Peggy March sounds pretty mature with many of her songs from the girl-group era. Two of them, "Can't Stop Thinkin' About Him," and "Watch What You Do With My Baby," deserved number-one status. These two are pure classics, songs you'll listen to over and over. You'll wonder why these two songs didn't put her on par with Lesley Gore, they're that good. Other great songs, such as "Boy Crazy," the hard-rockin' (but truly Sixties-ish) "He Couldn't Care Less" and sweeter "I Wish I Were a Princess" are here. She didn't "follow him": she followed no one. An incredible collection! Available at: The Very Best of Little Peggy March

Diane Renay Sings Some Things Old & Some Things New
(Diane Renay)
The 'Navy Blue' Girl

Diane Renay goes well beyond "Navy Blue" and this CD proves it. Sure, there are 60s-sounding tunes like "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" and the fabulous "Dynamite" (the only girl-group song using a marimba?), but this CD spans the decades. Don't miss Diane singing classics like "Yesterday," "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart" and Phoebe Snow's great "Teach Me Tonight." A special, surprising treat is Diane's disco-style song, "City Girl" and a remix, fast-paced version of "Navy Blue." Available at Official Diane Renay website.

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'
(Nancy Sinatra)

Okay, who can resist, "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"? It was a precursor to the woman's movement and a sassy song. But this CD contains more--listen to Nancy wade through songs like, "Day Tripper," "As Tears Go By," and It Ain't Me Babe. There are some originals here, too. All are classic end-of-girl-group-era songs, with Sinatra's sultry sounds. Available at: Nancy Sinatra

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Click here for  Reviews 1: CDs of Groups

Click here for  Reviews 3: CDs, compilations

Reviews 4: Books, DVDs     Click here

The Very Best of Dusty Springfield
Dusty Springfield

What can be said? There is no voice more sultry, more sad, more distinct than of Dusty's, found inThe Very Best of Dusty Springfield. This sultry CD gives you 20 solid song songs from Dusty, including the inimitable "Wishin' and Hopin'," "Stay Awhile," "I Don't Know What to Do With Myself," and "The Look of Love."

Her later (bigger) hit, "Son of a Preacher Man" is here, too, along with "I Only Want to Be With You" (later immortalized by the late great Nicolette Larson) and many other memorable tunes. This is one CD you won't want to miss, and the best of the Dusty compilations.
Available at: The Very Best of Dusty Springfield
The Essential Collection
Tammi Terrell
The photogs for her album cover decided to make her look like Diana Ross, and why not? This classic chick had some smooth grooves: That's What Boys Are Made For; He's the One; Can't Stop Now; and others. Too mad she wasn't linked with high-end songwriters or a label that really pushed her, or she would've gone farther. She has a nice voice. Available at: Tammi Terrell
Mary Wells: The Ultimate Collection
Mary Wells
Who can ever forget her incredible hit, "My Guy"? This CD shows the many talents of Mary Wells that were robbed from us when her young life ended. Mary sings the wonderful "You Beat Me to the Punch," "Strange Love," and "Operator" (not the later Manhattan Transfer version--this one is better!). You won't soon forget "Whisper You Love Me" and many of these romantic songs. Available at: Mary Wells: The Ultimate Collection
20th Century Collection: Millennium Masters
(Kim Weston)
Another songbird who should have made it bigger, and had the talent if only she'd had the chance. Super-duper tracks include It Takes Two Helpless and Take Me In Your Arms. Available at: Kim Weston

About your reviewer...

Chuck Mallory is a former book reviewer for the Kansas City Star and has been published in several magazines. He lives in Chicago. Don't see your favorite girl-group CD here? Want to hear about a book? Send your review suggestions: Please review...

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