While the previous four volumes series focused on individual labels, the sixth edition reverts to the more all-encompassing formula of Volume 1, with 26 tracks drawn from 18 different outlets. All but a handful are new to CD, five of them previously unissued in any form. At one extreme of the sound spectrum is the breathy-voiced Carol Connors, former lead singer of Phil Spector’s Teddy Bears, while at the other is future Ikette Pat Powdrill with a 100 mph version of a Goffin & King classic. Pat’s backing group was named the Powerdrills. Hear ‘I Can’t Hear You’ and understand why. The Darlettes open the CD with a flourish of sophistication, as you might expect from a track written and produced by Van McCoy. Zap to track 26 to find the Goodees, bold enough to tread where even the Shangri-Las dared not, with a slab of Southern Gothic titled ‘Jilted’. (Dumped at the altar is one thing. Up the duff too is another.) The lavish booklet features a 6,500-word track commentary, plus the customary array of rare photographs, some of which were supplied by the performers themselves.
By Mick Patrick