grimmertown asked: Songs by Girl Groups (50s/60s)
OK, this is the last one in my inbox at the moment, and it’s a good one. it’s really a matter of picking through hundreds of singles to build a little personal girl group canon, isn’t it? Also, I am limiting this to groups and not including any singers credited as solo artists (apologies to Dusty Springfield, Brenda Holloway, et al).
1. The Shangri-las: “The Train from Kansas City” People often think of girl group pop as dumb, bouncy fun, but those people are wrong. The central emotions of this music are anguish, longing, regret, wistfulness, and anger. This song heaps a little bit of desperation on top of those first two—her old boyfriend is coming into town on the train, and she hasn’t been able to tell him why he shouldn’t come. She has a new lover, see, and now she has to meet him and break his heart as he gets off the train. Ouch. Bonus points for the arrangement that mimics the rhythms of the train.
2. Diana Ross & The Supremes: “Some Day We’ll Be Together” On to wistfulness and longing, then. This Diana Ross’ last single with the Supremes before Motown took her solo, and she left with a sweet parting note that seems to be as much a promise to the other members of the group as a song of longing for a distant lover.
3. The Flirtations: “Nothing But a Heartache” And the anger. This song’s righteously huge arrangement sets a great stage for for the girls’ pissed-off lament for their lack of luck in love.
4. The Crystals: “Then He Kissed Me” The little guitar figure that opens this song is small preparation for the surging wall of joy that this song transforms into. There are so many little details in the arrangement that’s it’s possible to notice something for the first time even after you’ll listened to the song over and over.