These dollies were the template for the too numerous to recount girl groups to follow. Check how Diana Ross and the Supremes named them as an influence, Ronnie Spector said seeing them make it gave her hope for the Ronettes, and so on. They have more than sixteen great songs in their discography, but this is a very pure, sweet distillation of their sound and aura. Shirley Owens was one of the greatest singers for her simplicity in delivery, vulnerability just under the surface, and filled with an emotional life that gave these pop confections an extra spice that made them really burst. Of course, having material from the likes of Goffin/King and Bacharach/David to perform would give just about anyone a leg up, but listen to how much sensuality she packs into “Welcome Home Baby,” yearning in “Don’t Say Goodnight and Mean Goodbye,” and sass in “Mama Said.” There are some things in life that you can’t quantify like vocal instinct and character. A more than serviceable collection honoring the original girl group superstars. Other collections may be better, but this one will absolutely serve you well in a pinch.
Download: “Everybody Loves a Lover,” “I Met Him on a Sunday,” “Boys”