The Shangri-Las - I Can Never Go Home Any More
The Shangri-Las - I Can Never Go Home Any More

The Shangri-Las - I Can Never Go Home Any More

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AllMusic Review by  

After their fourth hit single cracked the Top 30 in the summer of 1965 with Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich's "Give Us Your Blessings," the Shangri-Las came back around Christmas with one of their three Top Ten hits and arguably their most potent, "I Can Never Go Home Anymore." This led Red Bird Records to publish an album entitled I Can Never Go Home Anymore, which is actually Shangri-Las '65 minus track four, Martire/Venet/Boyce/Hart's "The Dum Dum Ditty," with the title tune the leadoff song on side two. But the label on the vinyl still read Shangri-Las '65 with the new catalog number, LSLP 5011/5012, under the original catalog number, RB 20-104. "I Can Never Go Home Anymore" is one of the most brilliant songs from the Red Bird archives with a neat and rare live version on a Murray the K Presents sampler. This essay of teen rebellion and running away -- written by eventual producer of the New York Dolls, George "Shadow" Morton -- is the ultimate in despondency; just listen to the gorgeous backing vocals of "Hush little baby" which lead up to the solitary cry of "mama" and the spoken-word verses; it's totally brilliant pop music that is sadly absent on oldies radio in the new millennium. This album is chock-full of consummate power pop, sublime confections with lots of minor keys sprinkled throughout. "The Train From Kansas City" is one of the five solid Barry/Greenwich tunes that make up almost half of the album -- those five produced by Jeff Barry and Morton. There are three different production credits on the 12 tracks and each is as compelling as "What's a Girl Supposed to Do" or Ike Turner's "I'm Blue." A cover of the Shields' 1958 hit "You Cheated, You Lied" is a perfect selection; though credited to Levon Helm, the song was actually written by Don Burch, according to an excellent website for the Band. The girl group connoisseurs know that the Shangri-Las are among the greatest of the genre; this version of the album with the two hits is as listenable as the classic Phil Spector/Ronettes LP and just as underrated as this female quartet. Opening with the deliciously exquisite "Right Now and Not Later," which is produced by two of that song's composers, Ronald Moseley and Robert Bateman, the album just keeps generating catchy melodies with songs about boys from the '60s, their street gangs, and the constant dilemma these four gals face when dating them. Notoriously wonderful.