A Phil Spector classic reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1962, today. The Crystals’ “He’s a Rebel” followed the predictable, but beloved, girl group formula: sickly-sweet names, infectious, unironic songs of love, longing, and disillusionment, and spellbinding women. Although the bands were usually divided between the “good girls” and “bad girls” (depending on the size of their false lashes and Priscilla Presley bouffant), the musical groups blurred social and racial barriers. The craze spread to Europe, with the advent of yé-yé — addictive female-fronted pop from France, Italy, and beyond. Feral House explores that phenomenon in their upcoming book, Yé Yé! Girls of 60’s French Pop, available on November 12. We wanted to take this opportunity to point out a few girl groups that deserve more mention. Feel free to add to our list in the comments, below.
One of the earliest rock girl groups to sign to a major label, Fanny was championed by David Bowie — who succinctly described their allure in a 1999 interview with Rolling Stone:
“One of the most important female bands in American rock has been buried without a trace. And that is Fanny. They were one of the finest fucking rock bands of their time, in about 1973. They were extraordinary: They wrote everything, they played like motherfuckers, they were just colossal and wonderful, and nobody’s ever mentioned them. They’re as important as anybody else who’s ever been, ever; it just wasn’t their time. Revivify Fanny. And I will feel that my work is done.”