The Numero Group have outdone themselves here, assembling the sweetest unsung jams from dusty girl group 45 bins for this collection of highly rare and/or previously unreleased doo wop, femme soul and girly garage, all united under one beehive and rarely crossing that nefarious three minute threshold… it’s remarkable they’ve gone this long without doing one of these. If you’re like us, you probably sniffed this out after spotting that stunning cover photo, but copy and paste any one of these track titles into an eBay search at random and suddenly this release seems all the more essential. Some collectors might bemoan the supposed ‘inauthenticity’ of compilations, but this music lends itself to the comp format perfectly, as most of these gals only released one 45 and then vanished permanently back into supermarket-and-salon lyfe. The tracks are all incredibly short but incredibly sweet, and the energy level rides high for the duration, hitting you one after the next with nonstop sugary harmonies and punchy hooks. Hard to name favorites, but The Chantells’ “I’ll Never Know,” The Mellow Dawns’ “I Don’t Believe,” Judi & The Affections’ “Dum, Dum, De Dip,” The Belles’ “Melvin,” The Shades’ “I Won’t Cry” and The Monzas’ “Where Is Love” are all getting heavy rewinds in the Lab office. Not only does it sound great, it’s a truly gorgeous physical package, even by Numero standards: 28 tracks spread across four sides of vinyl, housed in deluxe Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket with 18 page booklet containing thorough artist bios, photos, and extensive liner notes. If nothing else it was a great excuse to do something with that cover photo shot by Bill Ray, taken from a 1965 Life magazine spread about the Hell’s Angels and their lady friends. Recommended.
- black double vinyl pressing
- housed in deluxe Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket
- includes 18 page booklet w/ extensive essays + liner notes
- original release year: 2018
- music label: Numero Group 2023
reviewed by military 2step 09/2018