Various Artists

Girls with Guitars [Impact]

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Despite what the title might imply, this is not a compilation of self-contained female rock groups (which were a real rarity in the 1960s). It's a selection of 16 of the gutsier mid-'60s British tracks that were sung by U.K. women, usually in a girl-group type style. It's a good concept for a reissue compilation. The problem was that there isn't a great depth of material to choose from in this arena, most British girl group records being rather timid copies of the American prototypes. Certainly much of the songs here are energetically performed, but the material just isn't very arresting. Goldie & the Gingerbreads (actually an American group based in Britain) were one of the few all-woman bands from the era that played their own instruments, but the two cuts on offer here aren't that special. Lulu, as is often the case on British '60s female rock compilations, takes the honors with her soulful "I'll Come Running Over." A more unlikely highlight is the Vernons Girls' zany update of Bizet-Hammerstein's "Dat's Love."

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