The Shangri-Las – Leader of the Pack
label: BR Music
side a: Leader of the Pack
side b: Past Present and Future
Speaking of girl groups, The Shangri-Las are my favourite one. There’s a melancholy and dreaminess to their songs and voices that I find irresistible, weird as that may sound. Maybe it’s comparable to what brother Guuz feels about his sighing girls. Check “Past, Present and Future”, originally released in 1966 – so much teenage pain so dramatically and so poetically expressed, beautiful. And what about my favourite Shangri-Las track, “Remember (Walking in the Sand)”? And yes, I know the girls didn’t write those songs and that they didn’t date any leaders of whatever packs, but I don’t care. It still sounds brill like the building where the songs were penned.
The Shangri-Las more or less split in 1968. Mary Ann Ganser died from a seizure in 1970, after which the remaining three members, her sister Margie and the sisters Betty and (lead singer) Mary Weiss, performed a couple of times. The last time they did was in 1989. Margie passed away in 1994.
In 2007, Mary Weiss released a pretty good album on Norton with Reigning Sound called Dangerous Game.
Here’s a couple of bonus tracks of The Shangri-Las doing ads for Revlon and giving the ladies tips on dating etiquette. I guess they were serious at the time, but now they sound funny:
Check the excellent complete story of The Shangri-Las on the Red Bird Website.