Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Boyfriend's Back - The Angels

My Boyfriend's Back
The Angels
Smash MGS 27039

I'm a fan of 60s girl groups and this is one of my favorite records in that genre.  It is the second album by the Angels and has their most famous song, "My Boyfriend's Back."  Like that hit single, most of the songs were written by the album's producers: Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer who would later achieve garage band immortality as the Strangeloves.  Many of the songs are blatantly imitative of the title song like "Has Anybody Seen My Boyfriend," "Why Don't the Boy Leave Me Alone" and the sequel "The Guy With The Black Eye."  They are decent enough, but not particularly compelling although the latter does reprise the indignant persona that helps make the title song so memorable.  My favorite songs are the romantic ballads "Someday My Prince Will Come" (from the Disney film "Snow White") and "Till" where the yearning in the vocals is almost palpable.  I believe that "Till" features the group's original lead vocalist, Linda Jansen, but the rest of the album features Peggy Santiglia as the lead singer.  Santiglia is far from the best girl group lead singer, but she does have an emotional quality to her voice that I find very effective.  The catch in her voice when she sings "World Without Love" really sends me.  "Thank You and Good Night" is a dreamy slice of teenage romance with another fine emotional vocal from Santiglia.  Among the uptempo numbers I like "The Hurdy-Gurdy Man," "A Night Has A Thousand Eyes" and especially the rocking "Love Me Now."   The only real loser on the record is a cover of the Chiffons' "He's So Fine" that is so close to the original as to be essentially useless.  Like most early 60s pop albums, this is too inconsistent and derivative to be essential, but it is definitely fun and very worthwhile if you are into girl groups.  Recommended for fans of the Shangri-Las who wish that Mary Weiss hadn't been such a bad girl.

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