Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Mary, Mary, Marge and Betty

I don't like bands ironically, if I like the songs then that's it. "Leader of the Pack" is one of those songs that I think everyone hears all over the place from an early age. I picked it up on 7" when I was at college and immediately preferred the song on the flip, "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)". Despite the fact that I loved the songs so much I didn't follow it up until a few years later when I got hold of the bizarrely, though excellently, named "Myrmidons of Melodrama" compilation.

Despite the supposedly tough girl image there seems to be a massive innocence about them. The way they deliver the spoken bits ("um..he's good bad, but he's not evil") just wouldn't work if it was any other way. One of the things that flash through my mind when I listen to them is the story "It's Like This, Cat". Like that book they're part of the way I think about New York (I've never been).

Sound-wise I find them much clearer and fresher than the Ronettes who in comparison I think sound stagey and cluttered and just generally less convincing. And image-wise, they're very cool. I think they're giving Francoise Hardy a good run for her money in the picture there.

Finally, I love the suggestion that the Jesus & Mary Chain's "The Living End" is the story of "Leader of the Pack" as told from the point of view of Jimmy.

The Shangri Las: Out in the Streets

Jesus & Mary Chain: The Living End

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