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25 All-Time Greatest Hits Extra tracks
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Apart from Will you love me tomorrow, their best known song is Dedicated to the one I love. Originally written by a member of the Five Royales and first recorded by that group, it was only a minor hit for them. The Shirelles popularised the song, taking it high up the American pop charts, though it failed to chart in Britain. The Mamas and Papas covered the song in the late sixties, when it became a huge UK hit. So Brits finally realized what a great song this is.
Two other Shirelles songs (Boys, Baby it's you) appeared on the debut album by the Beatles. Other great songs include Tonight's the night, Mama said, Soldier boy and Foolish little girl.
Of all the girl groups of the early sixties, the Shirelles were among the best and most important. This compilation shows just how brilliant they were, including all the essentials and many other wonderful songs.
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Though I Met Him On a Sunday was a hit in 1958 for Decca, later singles didn't chart and they went back to Scepter where they became the star act in 1960 with Tonight's the Night and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, followed quickly by Dedicated To the One I Love. Though they began with a doo-wop sound, The Shirelles became interpreters of the songs of New York's Brill Building, that center of composers behind many of the R&B hits of the day. Produced by Luther Dixon one of the few black producers in the business, their sound often included strings and a lightly Latin rhythm similar to The Drifters. The Hits kept coming with Bacharach's Baby, It's You and the number one hit, Soldier Boy, co-written by Dixon. Typical of the music business in those days, Soldier Boy was a last minute, end-of-the-session recording that was only intended as an album filler.It was the 10th biggest song of 1962.
The Shirelles were really on top now, and 1963 saw them back in the Top Five with Foolish Little Girl and even recording the theme song and a twist song for the movie, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Then one thing after another happened that pulled the rug out from under them. Luther Dixon left Scepter for an offer of his own label under Capitol. Then the trust fund allegedly set up for them turned out to be non-existent and lawsuits took up their time in 1964. By the end of '64 both the British Invasion and Motown had happened and The Shirelles were a memory.
But what a great memory they were. All of their unforgettable hits are here and the other tracks are really good as well, making this a very listenable disc. Highlights include the doo-wop of Looka Here Baby, their original version of Boys with King Curtis on the sax, the almost-Motown sound of Big John, and their original of Sha-La-La which almost has a Phil Spector style production. There are lots of good things here for any Shirelles fan and the disc is by the trustworthy Varese label, which does a great job with the sound. There's 25 songs and a great booklet too. What are you waiting for?
I like your album because it has the ORIGINAL songs. In their original versions - the ones which bring on the memories. (Some collections add 'stereo' effects, or additional instruments. Those are somewhat disappointing, because they are NOT the ones we enjoyed 'back in the day'.) In contrast, your version is a direct time machine to the early 1960's - the same way Shirley and her group sang O so beautifully on WINS and WMCA (New York). And on KQV (Pittsburgh, where I went to college. Go, Dukes !)
On today's modern music systems (such as the BOSE), the instrumental background, and the singers' gentle choral working solo and together, are particularly refreshing. Much artistry went into The Shirelles' music.
If you enjoyed the Shirelles during their era, you wil like this latest collection of their music. Welcome aboard !