Shel Talmy was the American maverick known for shepherding the visceral sound of groups like the Who, the Kinks and the Easybeats to the top of the British charts. Yet his production resume includes a brace of spirited female artists and some fabulous, state-of-the-art Brit girl sounds.
“Shel’s Girls” gathers together the best moments from Talmy’s girl recordings of the mid-60s, and adds several unheard gems from a recent extended foray into his remarkable archive.
Some of the featured acts were contracted with the producer’s short-lived label Planet Records, while others were leased to outside labels or made while Talmy was working as a staffer for Decca during his early days in the British music industry.
Artists such as schoolgirl trio the Orchids, big-voiced Belfast teen Perpetual Langley or Bond girl Dani Sheridan (mother of actress Nicolette Sheridan) will be familiar to aficionados. They are joined by the more obscure but no less worthy sounds of Liz Shelley, Van Lenton and Stevie Holly. The beat chick contingent is ably represented by Colette & the Bandits, Margo & the Marvettes and imported American stars Goldie & the Gingerbreads.
Most of the contents of “Shel’s Girls” derives from the golden Brit-girl era of 1964-1966, but the Motown-esque ‘Shoulder to Cry On’, from former Family Dogg-er Christine Holmes, dates from 1969. At the other end of the spectrum, Debbie Sharron’s teen weepie ‘Cruel Way To Be’ is a rare Hollywood production from 1962, just before Talmy departed for the UK.
“Shel’s Girls” comes with detailed notes and some eye-popping visuals on these fabulous females. File alongside “Love Hit Me”, “Scratch My Back” and other recent Ace explorations of the beat chick world.