15 Best Girl Group Songs

On Monday night along with Tom Waits, Alice Cooper and Dr. John, Darlene Love (finally!) got inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Her most famous song is the Holiday Classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”, but Love added her vocal talents to other groups of the time as well including The Crystals, The Blossoms, and Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans.

So in honor of her induction, I present my list of the 15 Best Girl Group songs.

1.) The Ronettes – “Be My Baby”

Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” at its best.  The drum intro is probably responsible for a lot of drummers’ careers.

2.) The Shirelles – “A Thing of the Past”

The original female group.

3.) The Crystals – “Da Doo Ron Ron”

According to Darlene Love, she originally sang lead vocals for this track with her own band The Blossoms, only to have Phil Spector erase them and rerecord the lead with The Crystals’ Dolores “Lala” Brooks instead.  Love still ended up singing background vocals.

4.) The Dixie Cups – “I’m Gonna Get You Yet”

Slightly sinister (?) B-side of “Gee, The Moon Is Shining Bright”

5.) Martha & The Vandellas – “Dancing in the Street”

Forget the craptacular Bowie & Jagger version.  Brilliant song about how something as dancing in fire hydrants can be a rallying cry.  Co-written by Marvin Gaye.

6.) The Shangri-La’s:  “Give Him a Great Big Kiss”

The obvious choice would be “Leader of the Pack”, but I prefer this one.

7.) The Supremes – “Where Did Our Love Go?”

Best use of Footstomps ever in a song, which actually consisted of one person, a teenager named Mike Valvano, to create illusion that it was a group of footstomps.

8.) Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – “Heatwave”

Listen for Martha Reeves belting out “Yeah, yeah!” at the 2 minute mark.  Killer stuff.

9.) Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans – “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Da”

Disney, who?  With Darlene Love taking over, this is the definitive version of the song.

10.) The Ronettes – “The Best Part of Breaking Up”

11.) The Marvelettes – “Please Mr. Postman”

Probably the first song that I ever recognized as an “oldie”, so as such I’ve always had a soft spot for it.

12.) The Crystals – “He’s A Rebel

13.) Chantals – “Maybe”

14.) Shirelles – “Stop the Music”

15.) The Crystals -“Then He Kissed Me”

I always thought that the narrator was pretty forward in this song telling her potential beau that she loves him.  Luckily it all worked out.

 

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “15 Best Girl Group Songs

  1. Kevin

    I’m not sure the Shirelles are the first girl group; I think the Chantels came first, but only by a year or so. Either way, great list. I can’t really argue with any of your choices, but some of my favorites didn’t make your list:

    The Crystals: “He’s Sure the Boy I Love”, “All Grown Up”, “Heartbreaker”
    The Ronnetes: “Baby, I Love You”
    The Shangri-Las: “Remember (Walking in the Sand)
    The Chiffons: “He’s So Fine”, “One Fine Day”
    The Shirelles: “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, “Mama Said”

    I’d also add just about everything released under Darlene Love’s name in the 60s (since the Blossoms/Crystals are usually singing backup anyway), especially “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry”, “A Fine, Fine Boy” and her version of “Chapel of Love”. But I’m just a sucker for her voice.

    • Thanks man glad you liked it. I just checked – The Shirelles are the first major girl group of the rock era, so I suppose that counts. I can’t believe I forgot about “He’s So Fine” – great song. I figured you would say that I included off some of your favorites, but wasn’t that the point you were trying to make the other night at The Pogues show? I definitely tried not to go too “cookie cutter” or as you said “Rolling Stone” type of list. Really, there’s so many great songs from that era, that its kind of hard to pick and choose.

  2. Check out the Flirtations “Nothing but a Heartache.” Staggering.

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