Friday, May 2, 2008

Happy birthday Lesley Gore!

Today (May 2) is Lesley Gore's birthday. She is pretty much an icon in popular music and one of the handful of definitive "girl group" performers (which demonstrates that 'girl group' isn't just about groups of 'girls' - there's just one Lesley). I hardly need mention her biggest hit - "It's My Party". If you have had any exposure to contemporary pop you already are probably familiar with it already.

"It's My Party" is certainly a fine song, but not her most important. I give that honor to "You Don't Own Me". But that song deserves a post of its own.

Although almost a spokesmodel for early-mid 60s pop, Lesley's career is not limited to that decade. After a pair of releases as a singer-songwriter in the early 70s we didn't get new material until 2005's Ever Since.

I'd like to be emphatically positive in my comments about Ever Since but the best I can muster is "probably good if you enjoy this style". The material is almost torch-song lounge jazz. Not my cuppa. Nice to see an established performer who could easily play it safe explore something new, but this just isn't anything I'll be listening to often. Not bad, just (like I said) not my cup of tea. I'll be sticking to the double-CD Mercury anthology of Lesley's material recorded for that label (including her major hits). Apparently this set is out of print, which is a pity.

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