Purple Chick Music has just released “The Complete Shangri-Las”. And, boy, is it ever complete. On 2 CD’s and a DVD they’ve managed to present every burp hiccup sound smile and frown the Shangri-Las ever made in front of a microphone or camera.
If you feel that Mary Weiss is one of the greatest quixotic talents of all time this collection is already flowing through your blood and enraging your beleagured hormones. If you don’t feel that Mary Weiss and the twins are a devastating tour de force to be reckoned with and not merely enjoy then I don’t think I know you.
The DVD is exquisite. It starts with excerpts from the 80’s documentary “The Rock & Roll Era” and includes the cool snip where Cynthia Weill tries to explain her fear of and sexual attraction to the Shangri-Las.
“These were tough girls. The way they talked, the way they popped their gum. They were tough street girls. We’d never seen anything like them before.”
She didn’t understand that the Shangri-Las were girls you’d bust up a party for a chance to talk to alone for just a few minutes. Every song they sang, every dance move said that they understood and that it didn’t matter what you did for a living or if you were battered and bloody, it only mattered that you were true to yourself and true to them.
Back at the carnage of the party, even if you struck out with Mary their were still the twins who just broadcast fun and games. The Shangri-Las were all that. The kind of girls you’d scheme to just get them to notice you.
The video has the group on all the old rock shows, sharing the stage with The Bryds, Lloyd Thaxton, The Righteous Brothers, pop stars, TV stars and movie stars and the Shangri-Las always hold center stage, they commanded and ruled the stage.
Click images for desktop size: “Weird Tales 1933” by Brundage
The final oddity is a news clip from the 80’s when the Shangri’Las came out of retirement to sue some disco type chicks who were advertising themselves as the Shangri-Las! Mary Weiss used her married name on camera. The rumour I’d lived with was that she’d dumped raock and roll and married a truck driver that she stayed devoted to. I hope it’s true.
Mary looked pretty much like she does now, judging from the TV appearances promoting her solo album a few years ago. She’s still a heartbreaker who understands what an audience is and how to stop a show with a whisper or a scream.
The CD’s have all the hits, including odd little studio chatter and freaky little fragments of songs and operatic dialogue. It’s essential and it rocks. Not having this and “Myrmidons Of Melodrama” is to be masochistically nursing a hole in your heart.
I discovered my puppy can wake me just by staring at me . . . I have no idea what that really signifies.