The Chantels


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One of the best of the early girl groups, the Chantels were led by singer and songwriter Arlene Smith, who penned most of the group's hits, including 1957's "Maybe," their high-water point. This 20-track collection features "Maybe" and other singles from the group's stay with George Goldner's End Records, including "He's Gone," "The Plea," and "Memories of You," a remake of the Harptones' classic. Producer Richard Barrett wisely kept the arrangements simple on these tracks (usually just piano, drums, and bass), which allowed the Chantels' gorgeous choir-like harmonies plenty of room to shine. Since Smith left the group after they were dropped from End in 1959, this disc functions pretty close to a career overview, and all of the absolute essentials are here.

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