February 17, 2015

Lesley Gore: An Appreciation

I have an almost gleeful appreciation of the pop song. I am not ashamed to admit this.

Much of it came from listening to my mother's Beatles/Stones/Kinks records as a child; another was the prevalence of "oldies" radio in Chicago. (Not as prevalent as St. Louis, which has at least two....as well as three or four country stations....and three or four classic rock stations....I think you get the idea). So hearing that Lesley Gore recently passed away brought back some pleasant memories.

First, I'm going to say this out loud: "You Don't Own Me" is one of the greatest pop songs ever written and recorded. Never mind the proto-feminist sentiment - the initial bars of the song, the shift into the chorus, Gore's vocal - sell the emotional complexity of what should have been a simple piece of teen melodrama.

In addition, there's also "It's My Party", famously arranged by Quincy Jones....well, it's just a darn good song.

Don't believe me? Listen for yourself....

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