Various Artists

It's So Fine: Pye Girls Are Go!

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For connoisseurs of obscure girl group pop, the ten-volume Here Come the Girls series remains a landmark. Focusing largely on the oft-overlooked work of British producer Tony Hatch, best known for his hits with singer Petula Clark, the series unearthed a staggering number of lost classics from otherwise forgotten acts like the Breakaways, Lorraine Silver, and Anita Harris, proving the London girl-pop scene just as fertile, breathlessly romantic, and enduring as the American classics created under the supervision of Phil Spector and Shadow Morton. As of this writing, most if not all of the original Here Come the Girls discs are out of print, but series compilers Mick Patrick and Malcolm Baumgart have revived some of their favorite cuts for It's So Fine: Pye Girls Are Go!, a two-disc, 51-track extravaganza that also picks up where HCTG left off, with dozens of singles making their CD debut. It's So Fine is best likened to a gallon of ice cream: sweet and refreshing, but best enjoyed one or two scoops at a time -- because the sheer abundance and similarity of the material makes it difficult to plow through both discs in one sitting, the set is recommended solely for the hardiest girl group collectors. But those with a sweet tooth will find much to savor here, including long-lost efforts from Nita Rossi ("Untrue, Unfaithful [That Was You]"), Maxine Darren ("That Was You"), and Tina Tott ("Take Away the Emptiness Too").

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