Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Girl Group Greats [Rhino, 2001]
No news here, especially if you were conscious in 1962, and of course the Shirelles and the Shangri-Las, the Marvelettes and the Supremes, Martha Reeves and Mary Wells sustain their own albums. But girl-group was bigger than its biggest stars, and never before has it sounded this wondrous. When my daughter and I made a genre tape for her 16th birthday, we just filled the first half of the C-90 with tracks one through 17, in order, the only question Little Peggy March's "I Will Follow Him," a perkier record than I remembered. Every great one-shot is recalled--Exciters, Angels, Cookies, Ad Libs, Essex, Little Eva, Betty Everett, holy Jaynetts. So's Motown, as indicated, although not spoilsport Phil Spector, who didn't make many records that can stand up to these anyway. The selection is so perfect that when Joanie Sommers parades by with "Johnny Get Angry" she's marked with the Sign of the Beast. Bless the Toys and Claudine Clark for relegating her to the perdition she deserves. A+