One of the first really successful “answer” records was Damita Jo’s I’ll Be There. It almost got as high on the US charts as its predecessor, Stand By Me, and solidified the era of trying to get hits on the back of others’. The 28 examples here are almost all girls answering male hits, and they have been carefully chosen to show those who stuck very closely to the sound and structure of the original, but also those who were prepared to wander a bit. Together they work as a comprehensive trip through the hit sounds of 1961-65(ish), and are generally very strong fare. Standouts include Tracey Dey’s Jerry (I’m Your Sherry), The Pearlettes’ Duchess Of Earl, Carla Thomas’s I’ll Bring It On Home To You, and Marilyn Michaels’ suitably melodramatic Tell Tommy I Miss Him, which was one of the few of these to get an original UK issue at the time. Every track has something to commend it, and the whole thing is well ordered, from the distinctive NY feel of Leiber & Stoller’s answer to themselves (Gerri Granger’s Just Tell Him Jane Said Hello), right through to the genuinely funny I’m Happy They Took You Away, Ha Haaa!! from Josephine XV.
Various Artists - The Answer To Everything
Cheeky, opportunistic and great fun all the way
Ace | CDCHD 1166
Reviewed by Kingsley Abbott
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