Various Artists

Here Come the Girls, Vol. 10: Girls Don't Come

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Fifty-six songs by British female solo singers and girl groups, ranging from the Vernons Girls to Tammy St. John. The emphasis is on U.K. female soul singers (some with a kind of garage punk edge, check out Dee King and Jackie Trent), with a few digressions such as Petula Clark's French-language version of "Needles & Pins"; the producers have really beaten the bushes for good stuff all through this collection, offering unique-to-CD selections such as the Satin Bells' (aka the Three Bells) hot "Baby You're So Right for Me" and oddities like South African soul belter Sharon Tandy (who was later signed to Atlantic, no less, and cut at Stax), and one-shots like Dee King, doing "Sally Go 'Round the Roses," who managed to make their mark with but a single visit to the recording studio. Some of what's here is painfully conventional, such as the whiny adolescent lament "He's So Near" by Donna Douglas, and some of it is less soul-oriented than just plain romantic pop/rock (Shirley Abicair's "Am I Losing You"); and certain tracks, such as the Petula Clark numbers and "Some People" by Valerie Mountain and the Eagles, have appeared elsewhere. But where else can one find diamonds-in-the-rough like the Breakaways' "Your Kind of Love" and smooth early '70s pop-soul like "Then It Will Be" by Pickettywitch (one of the few acts here other than Petula Clark and Sandie Shaw to actually chart in America) The sound is excellent throughout and the annotation is reasonably thorough if not always as detailed as one might wish, and the price (around 20 dollars for a double CD) is perfect, for this is one of those collections that truly would cost thousands of dollars to assemble -- and an astonishing percentage of it is worth the effort.

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