About a month ago or so I got my hands on the newly released compilation ‘Goodbye, Boys, Goodbye: Girl Pop Gems: Obscure & Unreleased (1963-1967)’ and wanted to to post a review of it here. ‘Goodbye, Boys, Goodbye’ was issued by Australian label Teensville Records, – a label that caters to both collectors and pop connoisseurs with a frantic release schedule. Through the years they’ve issued interesting compilations of both soft pop & sunshine pop, male or female 60s pop as well as interesting discs of the ‘spotlight-on-overlooked artists’-type. My guess is that since you’ve found your way to this blog, your musical taste should match many a Teensville release.
As for ‘Goodbye, Boys, Goodbye’, the compilation lives up to its subtitle by offering a true smorgasbord of girl pop goodies. With a whopping 35 tracks(!) you really get a bang for your buck. Sure, some of the songs are forgettable but there are plenty of stand-out tracks to keep your feet tappin’ and your hands a-clappin’. I like the fact that the selections aren’t restricted to typical girl group tracks of the Chiffons or Crystals type, however good they are, but that the realm of 60s girl pop is further explored. To these ears, some of the high points include two unreleased demos sung by none other than girl group-goddess Ellie Greenwich. Her characteristic, raspy voice really suits these two great songs both written by John Madara and David White. ‘Oh, What a Night’ could truly have become a girl group classic with a fully fledged production and ‘I Gotta Go Now’ is fast-paced romp similar to ‘Not too Young to Get Married’ by Bobby Soxx & the Blue Jeans.
The compilation has a perfect opener by way of the title track by Aussie-moving-to-America Margie Mills. From its stomping intro to its riveting chorus, this track is very cool. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear Anders-Poncia’s lovely ‘It’s Not Gonna Take too Long’ get the female touch by the Loved Ones. I had not heard this version before and it is every bit as good as the Tradewinds version. Tasty use of glockenspiel and that characteristic jangly sunshine pop sound Anders & Poncia mastered during the mid-to-late 60s.
Then there’s ‘Watch What You Do with my Baby’ by Cindy Malone fronting a rumbling track that would probably have had Spector nod in approval. Plenty of good stuff here then, including mystery track ‘That Boy There’ from a publishing acetate. The singer is unknown and probably a session vocalist but she steps forward and sings this gem perfectly. Very cool track with interesting production touches. You are definitely in hand clap-heaven when you listen to this one and it has a snappy beat and glockenspiel galore. What’s not to like?
As previously mentioned, tracks point in different directions, revealing a wealth of obvious influences. Spector’s shadow looms large over some of the tracks while others will make you think of Shadow Morton & the Shangri-Las (Pam Dickenson and ‘Say Cheese’), Burt Bacharach (Peanut and the lovely, yet unreleased ‘Two Four Six Eight’) and northern soul (Lady Lee’s ‘Girl’)
35 tracks of female fronted 60s girl pop – that’s a lot of music to digest! But luckily, most on here are hits, not misses by the misses. ;-) Plenty to like about this lovely compilation which also has very informative liner notes to boot.
***** / 5 stars our of 6