#531 ‘Give Him a Great Big Kiss’ by the Shangri-Las (23 Aug)

Album: Leader of the Pack, 1965

Justification: Oh sure, I knew who the Shangri-Las were. ‘Leader of the Pack’ was one of those songs embedded in my DNA thanks to my parents singing it around the house for as long as I can remember (and it being used for a Choc Shake commercial in the 80s, which didn’t endear it to me any), but for some reason it took until this week for me to go from “oh yeah, they had some singles” to “this band were demented and brilliant!”


Before you ask: yeah, there were technically four Shangri-Las, but most of the time it was Mary and Betty Weiss and either Mary Anne or Marge Ganser, depending on the time. Yes, the band had identical twins who subbed for each other. That’s freakin’ awesome.

Specifically, until I was watching GoodFellas and ‘Remember (Walking in the Sand)’ came on and I went “Wow, that’s a weirder song than I remember, I should get a best-of – hey, here’s one on iTunes for ten bucks.”

Thus are minds blown.

The only disappointing thing about the version in the video is that it lacks the magnificent spoken word intro “When I say I’m in love you best believe I’m in love: L-U-V,” which I recognised immediately: it’s David Johansen’s introduction to the New York Dolls‘ ‘Looking For A Kiss’  from 1973. I didn’t realise that he was paying tribute to these fellow Brookynites from a decade earlier, but goddamn,  it makes sense: just watch these two sets of teenage Noo Yawk sisters freakin’ belting this out. Sassier teens are hard to imagine outside of a terrible sitcom.

Also, why don’t more songs have a little chat in the middle? “What colour are his eyes?” “I don’t know, he’s always wearing shades.” COOLEST BAND EVER.

So yeah, sometimes it takes me several decades, but I get there eventually.

SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010: Regurgitator’s mighty ode to the joys of video gaming, ‘Black Bugs’.

SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2011: Throwing Muses’ Kristin Hersh has the biggest hit of her life by stepping out solo for ‘Your Ghost’.


526. The Pogues: If I Should Fall from Grace with God (15 Mar)

527. Hefner: The Day that Thatcher Dies (9 Apr)

528. Black: Wonderful Life (16 Apr)

529. Bruce Springbean and the S-Street Band: Born to Add (17 May)

530. The Lightning Seeds: Ready or Not (11 July)



2 thoughts on “#531 ‘Give Him a Great Big Kiss’ by the Shangri-Las (23 Aug)

  1. Pingback: #532 ‘Teenage FBI’ by Guided by Voices (27 Aug) | Andrew P Street is the Internet

  2. Pingback: #536 ‘Election Day’ by Arcadia (7 March) | Songs You Should Rediscover Today Because They Are Awesome

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