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.