Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Shangri-Las: Golden Hits of the Shangri-Las [Mercury, 1984]
Though their three top 10 hits--"Remember," "Leader of the Pack," and "I Can Never Go Home Anymore"--are usually classified as "melodrama," Greil Marcus's "teen morality plays" is closer to their dark, stylized romanticism. Down below is one great rock and roll song--"Give Him a Great Big Kiss"--and lotsa melodrama, most notably the lost Debussy rip "Past Present and Future." And way below that are two nonhits that attempt to cast them as the nice girls they never wanted to be--the nice girls who could never have made great music out of this stuff. A-