THE REBEL KIND: GIRLS WITH GUITARS.
THE REBEL KIND: GIRLS WITH GUITARS.
It was back in 2004 that Ace Records released Girls With Guitars. Featuring twenty-four tracks, Girls With Guitars it brought back memories of the golden age of the girl group. Record buyers were reminded of the sound of The Angels, The Beattle-Ettes, The Tomboys, The Daughters Of Eve and The 2 Of Clubs. Released to critical acclaim, Girls With Guitars struck a chord with many record buyers. Many people felt a followup was inevitable and would follow a year later. It did, but fans of Girls With Guitars had to be patient.
Another five years passed before Destroy That Boy! More Girls With Guitars was released in 2009. Picking up where Girls With Guitars left off, Destroy That Boy! More Girls With Guitars featured The Debutantes, What Four, Pivots, Feminine Complex, Canada’s She Trinity and Liverpool’s The Liverbirds. They strutted their way throughout twenty-four tracks mixing sass, attitude and emotion. Destroy That Boy! More Girls With Guitars and critics wondered when the next instalment in the Girls With Guitars would be released? Little did they realise it would be another five years.
Recently, Ace Records released the long awaited and highly anticipated followup to Destroy That Boy! More Girls With Guitars, The Rebel Kind: More Girls With Guitars. It features another twenty-four tracks from Colette and The Bandits, The Girls, Dana Gillespie, Brenda Lee, Honeybeats, The Debutantes, Jackie DeShannon, Pinky Chicks and The Chantels. Just like the two previous instalments in the Girls With Guitars compilation series, Mick Patrick has compiled The Rebel Kind: More Girls With Guitars. It’s a combination of familiar faces and hidden gems, which I’ll pick the highlights of.
Colette and The Bandits open The Rebel Kind: More Girls With Guitars with A Ladies’ Man. It features a feisty, strutting vocal and machine gun guitars. You’re hooked from the open bars. Released in 1965 on Stateside, A Ladies; Man was penned by John Adkins and Bobby Buie. It was produced by none other than Shel Talmy, who worked with The Kinks and The Who. This is the definitive version of A Ladies Man. No ifs, no buts.
The Girls will be familiar faces for veterans of the Girls With Guitars’ series. Their single My Baby featured on Girls With Guitars. Chico’s Girl is their contribution The Rebel Kind: More Girls With Guitars. Dramatic, with a feisty vocal, it was written by Cynthia Weil and Barry Man. Originally, Cynthia thought this was perfect for The Crystals. They recorded the song, but it was never released. Susan Barrett then covered the song in 1963. Three years later, The Girls released Chico’s Girl in 1966, on Capitol. Their dramatic and feisty version is perceived as the best version of this song.
I’ll Let You Hold My Hand was written by Chet De Milo and Mark Wiley, and is best described as The Bootles’ homage to The Beatles’ I Wanna Hold Your Hand. This was one of 200 Beatles’ inspired tracks released in 1964. Joyous and full of slick poppy hooks, it’s one of the best of the 200 Beatles’ inspired tracks released during 1964.
Only The Debutantes feature three times on The Rebel Kind: More Girls With Guitars. The Debutantes were formed by fourteen year old Jan McClellan, after seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. They released a quartet of singles. This included Love Is Strange, which was written by Mickey Baker, Ellas McDaniel and Sylvia Robinson. Previously, it had been hit for Mickey and Sylvia a hit in 1957. Later, The Debutantes covered it. They also covered Albert Hamilton and Richard Morris’ Strong Foundation. It was produced by Andre Williams and released on Standout. However, Jan’s composition A New Love Today, which was released on the Lucky Eleven label in 1967, is their finest moment. It’s a fusion of pop, rock and psychedelia. Featuring a vocal full of sadness and regret, it’s a reminder why The Debutantes are remembered as one of the great girl groups of the sixties.
You Just Gotta Know My Mind shows another side to Dana Gillespie’s music. Nowadays, she best known for singing the blues. Back in 1968, Dana had just signed a new recording contract with Decca. Her first release was You Just Gotta Know My Mind. Penned by Donavon Leitch and produced by Wayne Bickerton, it’s a bright, breezy fusion of pop, rock and psychedelia. This is very different from Dana’s early folk-tinged singles and is a glorious slice of upbeat sixties pop.
Brenda Lee unleashes a vocal powerhouse on her cover of Ray Charles’ What’d I Say. Produced by Mickie Most and released in 1964, this was one of the only times Brenda recorded outside of Nashville. Her reason for recording in London was to record a single with the “British sound.” Although very different from much of Brenda’s music, it’s one of her finest moments. Sadly, it proved too rocky for her American fans.
Jackie DeShannon is another of the familiar faces on The Rebel Kind-Girls With Guitars 3. Dream Boy features a hopeful, needy vocal. It’s delivered against a rocky backdrop. Written by Jackie and produced by Charles Blackwell, it wasn’t released on Liberty until 1967. Belatedly, the world got to hear this slice of perfect pop.
The Delmonas’ Peter Gunn Locomotion is a cover of Sammy Cahn and Henri Mancini’s track. Unlike most of the tracks, this isn’t a song from the sixties. No. It featured on an E.P. released on Big Beat in 1984. Having said that, The Delmonas’ has an authentic sixties sound. For lovers of sixties girl groups, this will be a welcome reminder of another era
Some groups have all the talent in the world, but never get the chance to release an album. That’s the story of San Francisco’s The Ace Of Cups, who Jimi Hendrix was a fan of. Sadly, they never released an album until 2003s It’s Bad For You But Buy It. This was an album of rarities, demos and rehearsals. It featured Stones, which features some blistering, screaming guitar solos. Along with a pro to punk vocal, this is a heady brew from one of music’s best kept secrets The Ace Of Cups.
The Chantels’ Peruvian Wedding Song closes The Rebel Kind: Girls With Guitars 3. It was recorded in 1959, but wasn’t released until 1987. Driven along by guitars and the rhythm section this is a track that puts to bed the myth that The Chantels could sing, but not play their instruments. That’s far from the truth. They’re hugely talented musicians, who can kick out the jams with the best of them.
Although there’s been a five year wait between Destroy That Boy! More Girls With Guitars and The Rebel Kind: More Girls With Guitars it’s been well worth the wait. Compiler Mick Patrick has dug deep and come up with a combination of familiar faces and hidden gems. The twenty-four tracks ooze quality. Especially tracks from Colette and The Bandits, The Girls, Dana Gillespie, The Debutantes, Brenda Lee, Jackie DeShannon, The Ace Of Cups and The Chantels. These groups combine pop with rock and sometimes, psychedelia. It’s a potent and tantalising combination that shows another side to girl groups.
The music on The Rebel Kind: More Girls With Guitars has a much more tougher, edgier sound. This is very different to the girl groups of the early sixties. Similarly, it’s very different to the girl groups favoured by labels like Motown. This was Girl Groups With Attitude. The twenty-one artists and groups strut their way through the twenty-four songs. Feisty, full of confidence, sass, emotion and attitude, The Rebel Kind: More Girls With Guitars is a welcome addition to Ace Records’ critically acclaimed Girls With Guitars compilation series.
THE REBEL KIND: GIRLS WITH GUITARS.