Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK

Various Artists - Boyd Rice presents Music For Pussycats

For the uninitiated for a number of years now Boyd Rice has been spinnin' forgotten gems from the likes of the Shaggs, Tiny Tim, and others. Boyd, like Anton LaVey, is well aware of the power to be reaped from listening to something no-one else is listening to.

I've been seeking Boyd Rice presents Music For Pussycats for quite some time now and thankfully I was finally able to snatch a copy from the Hinoemena stall at the Ostara show, where I was asked upon purchasing, "You know what that is, don't you?"

The girl group sound emanated from rhythm and blues and pop music. It was commercial and was often written by professional songwriters. In fact both Priscilla Paris (of the Paris Sisters) and Honey Ltd. had connections to Lee Hazlewood. Its main concerns, as Music For Pussycats amply demonstrates, is teenage love and teenage angst. Of course the girl group sound is synonymous with Phil Spector. His Wall of Sound production techniques on releases from The Ronnettes, the Crystals, and Darlene Love literally became the definitive girl group sound. Other notable girl group proponents included the Shangri-Las, Chiffons, Shirelles and even solo singers such as Lesley Gore and Dusty Springfield have dipped their toes into the girl group sound. There's plenty of mid-price compilation CDs to be found even if original copies are demanding collector prices.

Music For Pussycats gathers together a number of songs from Boyd's youth (and his collection - the sound is obviously taken straight from the 45s) and in doing so he "felt these songs deserve to survive, to be preserved." It's a worthwhile collection as it gathers together artists from the fringes of the girl group sound. It's unlikely that all but the diehard girl group fan would be aware of let alone own copies of releases from Bernadette Castro, and Susan Rafey.

Diane Ray's 'Please Don't Talk To The Lifeguard' about a teenage crush on a hunky lifeguard. Its infectious hook belies the sad fact that she'll have to swim way out in to the sea and risk drowning to grab his attention. Bernadette Caroll's 'Party Girl' (slightly reminiscent of Little Peggy March's 'I Will Follow Him') is a hedonistic tale of joyful abandon. Susan Rafey achieves a huge Spectoresque sound complete with fuzz guitar on 'The Big Hurt'. Priscilla Paris's warm sensuous voice is totally lovely, and there are two cuts here from her solo debut album. There's a certain perversity to be heard on Honey Ltd's 'The Warrior' utilising the girl group sound for a Vietnam protest song. 'Swallow The Sun' by The Love Exchange appears closer to something like psychedelic pop to a true representation of the girl group sound. Still its solar connections will resonate with NON fans.

It's perhaps not surprising that Boyd finds solace in girl group songs. Aside from evoking memories of his youth it fits his sensibilities perfectly as it relates to a time when things were simpler, honest and more pure.

Music For Pussycats is strictly limited and deleted too. There's a lot of great material to be here pick one up before it disappears once more. For more information go to