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Various Artists: Boys Can Be Mean

Track List

>Gettin' Mighty Crowded - Betty Everett
>Ain't That Love - Bouquets
>Take Me for a Little While - Evie Sands
>On the Corner - The Ad Libs
>Spanish Boy, A - The Rubies
>Backfield in Motion - The Angelos
>Sophisticated Boom Boom - Goodies
>Money (That's What I Want) - The Fabylettes
>I Should Have Treated You Right - Barbara Green
>Operator - Gladys Knight & the Pips
>My Heartbreak - Cathy Saint
>Nobody's Girl - Karen Kelly
>Puppet - The Clinger Sisters
>Little Bell - The Dixie-Cups
>I Wonder - The Butterflys
>Love You More Than Yesterday - The Shangri-Las
>I Know You'll Be There - Shelley Fabares
>Second Best - Barbara Jackson
>Welcome to My Heart - Bouquets
>Memory Lane Without You - Chi Chi McCauley
>Do Wah Diddy - The Jelly Beans
>People Say - The Dixie-Cups
>Another Boy Like Mine - Ellie Greenwich
>No Guy - The Honeybees
>Stop - Roddie Joy
>Things I Do for You, The - Linda Martell & the Angelos
>Sing a Song - Sunbeams
>That's What You Gotta Do - The Sensations
>Bad Motorcycle - The Angelos
>Boys Can Be Mean - Sugar & Spices
>S.P.C.L.G. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Little Girls) - The Society Girls
>I Can't Hear You - Betty Everett
>Deeper - The Rubies
>Just Like Taking Candy from a Baby - The Angelos
>Gee Baby Gee - The Butterflys
>Here She Comes - The Jelly Beans
>I'm Just a Down Home Girl - The Ad Libs
>Letter Full of Tears - Gladys Knight & the Pips
>Payin' for the Wrong I've Done - The Lovejoys
>He Passes By - Karen Kelly
>How I Wish You Came - Melinda Marx
>Jealous Eyes - Tracey Dey
>You've Got Me Uptight - Evie Sands
>Right Now and Not Later - The Shangri-Las
>I'm Gonna Get You Yet - The Dixie-Cups
>Duchess of Earl - The Pearlettes
>Wait 'Round the Corner - Leola & The Lovejoys
>Happy Town - Kelli & the Kittens
>Kind of Boy You Can't Forget, The - The Jelly Beans
>Lost Summer Love - Shelley Fabares
>Dum Dum Ditty, The - Goodies
>Try the Worryin' Way - The Fabulettes
>It Sounds Like My Baby - Bessie Banks
>If There's Anything Else You Want (Let Me Know) - Roddie Joy
>Just as Long as I Live - The Avons
>What Am I Gonna Do with You, Hey Baby - The Inspirations
>You Hit Me Like TNT - Linda Jones
>Please Don't Go - Yvonne Carroll
>Lover's Plea, A - Barbara Green
>Golden Records - Judy Thomas

Album Notes

Liner Note Author: Sam Szczepanski.

Plucked almost entirely from the pinnacle years of the girl group era, 1963-1965, the fantastic two-disc collection Boys Can Be Mean assembles more than 30 gems into one nonstop haven of lovestruck harmonies, teenage lament, and melodramatic melodies. Red Bird/Blue Cat Records artists like Evie Sands, the Shangri-Las, and the Jelly Beans offer the most easily recognizable submissions here, though even their selections aren't the most well-known hits they have to offer. The true strength of this collection comes from the deeper cuts, many having seen their widest distribution before this comp on the original 45s. Right out of the gate, Betty Everett sets the tone with her Northern soul-tinged groover "Gettin' Mighty Crowded," followed later by her equally crushing "I Can't Hear You." Bessie Banks, known primarily for her original hit with "Go Now," shows up with the slinky B-side "It Sounds Like My Baby," while the Dixie-Cups' "Little Bell" serves as a ghostly tangential afterthought to their mega-hit "Chapel of Love." Different sides to groups that made names for themselves on the strength of two or three hits are mixed up with oddball forgotten amazements like the barely cognizant "Bad Motorcycle" by the Angelos or buried gems like the antagonistically cheery "Happy Town" by Kelli & the Kittens. The inclusion of a few one-off wonders such as Leola & the Lovejoys reconfiguring "Wade in the Water" into a wrong-side-of-the-tracks heartbreak story and the Society Girls' completely dumbfounding anthem against doin' your lady wrong entitled "S.P.C.L.G. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Little Girls)" makes Boys Can Be Mean a fully rounded necessity for any girl group enthusiast. Never sacrificing the quality of the material for obscurity, this compilation hits the mark on almost every track, and shines brightly as a consistently interesting and revisitable collection. ~ Fred Thomas


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