In common with the other volumes in this series, this collection consists of rare tracks that didn't make any significant impression when they were released and have largely been forgotten. If you are a casual fan of sixties music just looking for hits, you should look elsewhere. You won't find them here. There are a few familiar names here, but their famous songs are not included. Of all the names here, Dolly Parton and Doris Day would seem to be the most unlikely inclusions, not just on this volume but in the entire series. In fact, these particular tracks sit comfortably here. The Dolly Parton recording, Don't drop out, is from 1966 and even I (a devoted Dolly fan) didn't know this track existed until I came across this collection. To be honest, you could play this collection and not realize who the singer is. Dolly has recorded in many different styles, but this is the only time I've heard her in girl-group style. The Doris Day track, Oo-wee-baby, is described in the liner notes as the best record Lesley Gore never made. I doubt that, but this track certainly sounds like something that Lesley might have recorded. More conventional girl-group recordings include rare tracks by Reparata and the Delrons, the Avons, Erma Franklin and Ruby and the Romantics as well as many excellent songs by obscure acts who never made the big time, even briefly. Some are so obscure that even the researchers who compiled the extensive liner notes failed to find any information. All that remains of the Geminis is their recordings and a photograph. Even their names are forgotten. The overall sound of this collection is early sixties girl-group. If you are already familiar with this type of music and you have a significant collection of such music, you may find this fascinating. If not, you are probably not ready for this.
In common with the other volumes in this series, this collection consists of rare tracks that didn't make any significant impression when they were released and have largely been forgotten. If you are a casual fan of sixties music just looking for hits, you should look elsewhere. You won't find them here. There are a few familiar names here, but their famous songs are not included. This volume is sub-titled Atlantic's feminine side, which tells us that these tracks were recorded for Atlantic records. Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles are represented by two tracks including A groovy kind of love. Patti was not the first to record this song (see my review of Volume 2), but her version was recorded before the Mindbenders - sadly, it was only released as a B-side. The A-side, a cover of Over the rainbow, is not included here. Patti's other track here, All or nothing, was an American hit (something of a rarity for tracks included in this series of compilations), peaking at 68. Doris Troy had a huge American hit with Just one look, which was covered by the Hollies who had the British hit. Doris had a minor British hit of her own with What'cha gonna do about it. Neither of those tracks are included here, but the two tracks here are brilliant and one can only wonder why Doris didn't have more hits. Goldie and the Gingerbreads are represented by Walking in different circles, while Carol Shaw is represented here by a solo track (Jimmy boy) recorded before she became a member of that group. The Cookies are represented by a very early track from 1955 (by far the oldest track here). The line-up was different then. Two of those Cookies later became backup singers for Ray Charles, while the third looked for replacements, eventually re-emerging in the early sixties with the line-up most people recognize. April Stevens, best known for her cover of Deep Purple (a duet with her brother Nino Tempo), had a minor American hit in 1959 with Teach me tiger. April is represented here by two rare mid-sixties tracks including a re-recording of Teach me tiger. The original recording can be found on one of the volumes of Early Girls, another excellent series of girl-group music. The overall sound of this collection is early sixties girl-group. If you are already familiar with this type of music and you have a significant collection of such music, you may find this fascinating. If not, you are probably not ready for this.
The first volume of 'Where the girls are' starts and ends with car crashes. There are lots of songs about boys and dancing and kissing. They range from bluesy to popsy, but they're all full of bubble, bounce and confidence. While you're listening, you can peruse the names of the bands on the sleeve - Ruby + The Romantics... Reparata + The Delrons...The Charmettes...and wonder at the group shots of the girls inside. These were times of matching suits, high hair and lips. Each of the tracks is a gem. Look out for 'How much is that doggie in the window'. Collect them all.
Buy this just for the April Stevens' track 'Teach me Tiger '65' which starts with a crash followed by a sleepy male voice saying 'What have we stopped on this lonely road for...' There are beautiful slow ballads here, such as 'A Groovy Kind of Love' and struttin' dancers like 'At the Party'. This completes the CD set, introducing more artists and sounds and leaving me just hoping for some more...