Listen: He Cried / The Shangri-Las ShangriLasHeCried.mp3
I remember when The Shangri-Las did a record hop at the Oneida Town Armory. I wasn’t old enough to get in. I’m still steaming. Not about the age thing, but that I allowed that to stop me. Dumb.
The lower their singles reached on the US charts, the more I liked them. I’m happy to say public taste for records in the US charts vs. Kevin’s taste are inversely proportionate.
‘He Cried’ peaked at #65, but to be fair, was a pretty big hit around the Northeast where I grew up.
Listen: The Sweet Sounds Of Summer / The Shangri-Las ShangriLasSummer.mp3
In ’67, when their original label Red Bird folded, the girls stuck with producer Shadow Morton (what a name, has there ever been a better one?) and moved to Mercury, and their back catalog, as with Shadow, went along. Mercury issued a GOLDEN HITS album including most, but not all the singles (an annoying and prevalent habit of the majors back then).
‘The Sweet Sounds Of Summer’, illogically released in November of ’66, oddly predated psychedelia by a good six months despite indeed capturing very much that sound. It wilted at a pathetic #123 in January of ’67 – again not an opportune time for a top-down-with-bad-girl Shangri-la in-back-seat single and hence not a surprise. But do check it out. Dark and eerie as usual, there were some great production and arrangement ideas lurking – way ahead of their time.
The Shangri-Las may have stuck with Shadow Morton, but his loyalty was not returned. Moving onto The Vanilla Fudge and The New York Dolls, seems the sound of ‘today’ beat out those hoodlum biker girls in the marketing department I’m guessing.