In the 1980s and 1990s, Gladys Knight frequently crossed over to adult contemporary audiences and attracted a lot of listeners in their 30s and 40s. But back in the early '60s, she appealed to a largely teenage audience. The same people who bought Knight's pre-Motown vinyl of 1961-1965 were also into the post-doo wop sounds of the Shirelles, the Crystals, the Dixie Cups, the Cookies, and the Angels -- and many of those record buyers were adolescents. Knight herself wasn't old enough to vote when she enjoyed her first major hit; she was only 16 when her classic version of Johnny Otis' "Every Beat of My Heart" burned up the charts in 1961. So she was a logical choice when, in the early '80s, England's Charly Records looked back on the teen sounds of the early '60s. After providing collections by the Dixie Cups and the Shangi-Las, Charly turned its attention to Gladys Knight & the Pips with Teen Anguish, Vol. 3. This 16-song LP contains most of their essential pre-Motown gems, including "Every Beat of My Heart," "Letter Full of Tears," "Giving Up," "Lovers Always Forgive," and "Queen of Tears." The essential single "Operator" is missing; nonetheless, Teen Anguish, Vol. 3 gave Brits a lot for their money back in 1981.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson