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Girl Groups Week No 4: the Chiffons - When the Boy's Happy (the Girl's Happy too) / Sweet Ta

I'm guessing you've heard ""He's so fine" and "One Fine Day" so in line with the idea of playing some gems which you are less likely to come across here's three offerings from the Chiffons.

After Spector did what he did with the Crystals, the Ronettes and Bob B Sox and the Blue Jeans, other rivals tried to imitate the wall of sound approach.

The first contenders amongst these were the Chiffons who also released singles as the Four Pennies at first, until the Chiffons hits proved to be the ones that were making it really big. These need to be played at maximo volumo!

So, listen to a dose of old fashioned early sixties sexism with the fabulous "When the Boy's Happy (the Girl's Happy too)", great drum roll start, then the dood do dodoot do dodoot do dodooda dooda, then the absolutely stonking piano. And there's that terrific middle eight with the doubled drumbeat and handclap and the sax solo that just takes off. By now they're almost all going so crazy they're nearly losing control, the piano's going bonkers, there's finger clicking and handclapping that's barely in time, and, bizarrely, someone seems to be playing the spoons. Such is post-Spector girl-groups - you get over the bar somehow.

Or you can concentrate on something different. Such as the golden voice of lead singer Sylvia Peterson. Ronald Mack, producer at Laurie records, did a sharp line in stealing songs from any source - he'd recently nicked the tune for the Tokens "Lions Sleeps Tonight" from an LP of South African songs he's got hold of, bizarrely getting the words in English absolutely right without knowing what any of them meant in Swahili except for "Lion". This time he repeated the format more consciously, translating a song sung by Zulu women as they all gossip about a man, the Sweet Talking Guy. This is what the Chiffons do for their hits, a kind of sedate energy as they converse with one another in well produced up tempo order that's good to dance to, even here with their almost camp warnings to "Stay away from him, stay away from him" - bliss.

But I prefer them when they go for it a bit more like they do with this B side "Tonight I Met Angel". Like the other two, this has to be played loud for best effect.



You'll be singing it all day, and clapping those hands, faking that piano entry..... And remembering that golden voice......

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