ARTIST: The Shangri-Las
TITLE: The Complete Collection
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Charting: Remember (Walking in the Sand) (#5 US, #14 UK), Leader of the Pack (#1 US, #11 UK), Give Him a Great Big Kiss (#18 US), Maybe (#91 US), Out in the Streets (#53 US), Give Us Your Blessings (#29 US), Right Now and Not Later (#99 US), I Can Never Go Home Anymore (#6 US), Long Live Our Love (#33 US), He Cried (#65 US), Past Present & Future (#59 US), The Sweet Sounds of Summer (#123 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The Train from Kansas City
LINEUP: Mary Weiss, Mary Ann Gasner, Marge Gasner, Betty Weiss
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Most of the catalog of the premier “bad girl” group, full of teen angst and love gone wrong. This shows a lot of depth to their work besides the usual singles.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Oldies radio does a band like the Shangri-Las a great disservice. Very rarely do you hear anything but “Leader of the Pack”, even though most of their work is just as evocative and emotional.
Cuts like “Give Him a Great Big Kiss”, with its great intro (‘When I say I’m in love you best believe I’m in love L-U-V’), “The Train from Kansas City” (unfairly put on a B-side) and the pathos of “Give Us Your Blessings” and “I Can Never Go Home Anymore” are classic slices from the girl group era.
They deserve a lot of kudos just for the line “he’s good / bad, but he’s not evil.” *MWAH*
This collection isn’t ‘complete’ as some album tracks are missing. Also they use live tracks instead of other songs where they couldn’t get the rights, and because it’s comprehensive, there’s some shaky material, especially as they moved through 1965 and 1966. But this shows the depth of the group more than a smaller compendium.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Betty Weiss left the group for a little bit in 1964, but then came back in mid-1965, then one or the other of the Gasner twins left after 1966 (they switched on and off) until the late 60’s
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B+: The end of this has too much fluff, but better that you have the A-sides and B-sides and exile the extraneous, than not have a complete overview.