Top critical review
16 people found this helpful
on 6 January 2014
There is a sizeable number of compilations available tracing mid-20th century girl group pop. This 60 song effort - which is comprised of A- and B-sides released between 1960 and 1962 - adds to that list. It boasts a few of the very best and most well-known examples of that oft-derided genre: The Crystals' 'He's A Rebel'; The Marvelettes' 'Beechwood 4-5789'; The Chiffons' 'He's So Fine'; The Shirelles' 'Soldier Boy'; The Chantels' 'Look In My Eyes', and The Cookies' 'Chains'. They offer compelling evidence that sweet harmonies, intelligent musical arrangements, and emotionally simplistic lyrics can sometimes be a winning combination. He's A Rebel is also graced with a smattering of half-forgotten gems as well, like The Ronettes' 'Silhouettes', The Donays' 'Devil In His Heart', and The Ikettes' 'Trouble On My Mind'.
But this cheap-looking, cheaply-priced compilation doesn't convince often enough. That is reflected in the fact that many artists aren't represented by their best material: The Paris Sisters, The Supremes and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas are better than 'You Bet I Would' 'Let Me Be The One', 'Time Changes Things', and 'I'll Have To Let Him Go'; as their big hits 'I Love How You Love Me'; 'Baby Love' and 'Dancing The Street' - which aren't included here - prove. Whilst the presence of so many indifferent B-sides - like 'No One Ever Tells You', 'Too Strong To Be Strung Along', 'The Things I Want To Hear (Pretty Words)' and 'You Should Have Told Me' - spread out across this unwieldy 3CD package also doesn't aid much matters either. Issues with playing the CD's through media player's, difficult-to-read liner notes and occasionally very poor mastering solidify the feeling of a brilliant opportunity maybe only half-realised.