Amazon.com A terrific sampler of greatest hits from the heyday of girl groups and the Brill Building--except that none of the songs are actually from that era. What we have here is an incredible simulation--from Allison Anders' unjustly overlooked 1996 movie about the tempestuous life and career of a Carole King- like singer-songwriter (the magnificent Illeana Douglas) who spends years writing for others before finding her own voice. But instead of just licensing the old Shirelles' recordings of Goffin-King hits, the filmmakers came up with the brilliant idea of doing original songs by combining the sensibilities of contemporary artists and their songwriting forebears. So, for example, Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach teamed up to write and perform the power- ballad "God Give Me Strength" (although I wish they'd also included Douglas's even more moving version from the picture); Leslie Gore teams with Larry Klein and David Baerwald for "My Secret Love" (performed by Miss Lily Banquette of Combustible Edison); Gerry and Louise Goffin team with Baerwald for "Between Two Worlds" (performed by Sean Colvin); J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. writes and sings some Brian Wilson/Beach Boys-type stuff ("Take a Run at the Sun," "Don't You Think It's Time"), and so on. Buy the record; see the movie. You won't be disappointed. --Jim Emerson
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