Various Artists

Dream Babes, Vol. 4: Go Girl

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Although volume four of RPM's Dream Babes series of 1960s British girl group sides gets further into obscure flops than its predecessors, there's barely any drop in the quality, which remains good, though hardly great. And as with most of the rest of the songs on this series, the production's better than the singers or the material. That's not to say there aren't some pretty good cuts on this 22-song anthology, some of them explicitly derivative of the American girl group sound (like the Chantelles' cracking "I Want That Boy," a cover of an obscure U.S. single by Sadina), others taking a pop-soul approach, others mixing in some British beat music. Some of these performers are famous, but not for their music: two sides of a 1967 Twiggy single are here, as are a couple of 1968 tracks by Linda Thorson (who played Tara King on The Avengers). Highlights include the Orchids' stomping, pining adolescent girl group "Mr. Scrooge" (produced and co-written by Who/Kinks producer Shel Talmy); the Chantelles' credible emulation of slickly lush American pop-soul on "I Think of You"; and the British Invasion-cum-Everly Brothers harmonies of the McKinley Sisters' pounding "When He Comes Along" (by Geoff Stephens, author of "The Crying Game"). Plenty of other names well-known to British Invasion fans were involved in some of these sides in some capacity, like John Carter and Ken Lewis (who wrote the McKinleys' nice ballad "That Lonely Feeling"); session guitar ace Big Jim Sullivan, who plays tone pedal guitar on that track, as he had on Dave Berry's "The Crying Game"; Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, who wrote Ross Hannaman's Marianne Faithfull-like 1967 single "Down Through Summer"; producer Mike Leander, who wrote the Breakaways' gloomy ballad "Sacred Love"; and Kenny Lynch, who wrote the Linda Thorson sides. Released for the first time here is Jacki Bond's 1967 recording of "Reviewing the Situation," cut a couple of years prior to Sandie Shaw's release of the same tune on her 1969 album of the same name.

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