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Leader of the Pack
Leader of the Pack
Leader of the Pack
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
First time on CD for the complete two record soundtrack to the Broadway play, available on one CD. In 1985, Ellie Greenwich and Michael Peters put on the Broadway show Leader Of The Pack. That same year Elektra Records iss...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Leader of the Pack
Title: Leader of the Pack
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Wounded Bird Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/1985
Re-Release Date: 8/11/2009
Album Type: Cast Recording
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Style: Musicals
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 075596040914, 664140040922


Album Description
First time on CD for the complete two record soundtrack to the Broadway play, available on one CD. In 1985, Ellie Greenwich and Michael Peters put on the Broadway show Leader Of The Pack. That same year Elektra Records issued a two album set featuring the Original Broadway Cast. They also issued a single disc "greatest hits" from that play. We now issue on CD for the first time anywhere, the complete two record set on one CD. The album features Dinah Manoff, Darlene Love, Jasmine Guy and, of course, Ellie Greenwich.

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CD Reviews

John L. Williams | Exton Pa | 08/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"LEADER OF THE PACK was one of those great guilty pleasures that you think you have to hide from your friends. An off-broadway revue which moved to Broadway and added a book (totally unnecassarily) then somewhat jutisoned it, what remained often harmed this otherwise fun recreation of the sounds that dominated the radio prior to the English invasion.
Barry-Greewich were a husband & wife team who wrote some of the most loved and enjoyable POP music of the early to mid-60s music scene. While their success was most associated with the Red Bird Label, they presented music that captured the times and sounds of the day.
This is a feast of the music that Pop Lovers of the period enjoyed endlessly. What is most delightful with the show & this album is how faithfully they have recreated the sounds of the these million selling songs. While Darlene Love, an authentic star of the early sixties is present, the rest of the cast consistents of young Broadway actors & actress, who show their talents in taking these Pop gems & not only recreating the sound, but the feel of the original artists. And who could believe that Patrick Cassidy would bring such a hot sexuality to HANKY PANKY. But for me, the one who deserves much credit for achieving just the right touch of recreation of the sound with just a touch of satire is the delightful Annie Golden. Her version of LEADER OF THE PACK finds just the right touch of tongue in cheek loving approach to this camp classic. At no time does the show or album condescent to the material but instead lifts it to all it's vocal/theatrical glory. And when you want showstopping authenticity, Darlene Love sings RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH to the zenith of its grandeur. While the Supremes had the biggest selling version of this number, and TINA TURNER the most respected, it is DARLENE LOVE that elevates this to classic POP/R&B/EARLY ROCK status.
My favorite number though was a newer song that was cut during the run: KEEP IT COFIDENTIAL performed mightily by Gina Taylor. I understand why they cut the number was cut as it is out of sync with the feel & style of the rest of the show, but it was remains an outstanding performance of an outstanding song. Thank God Elektra saw fit to keep it on the Cast Album when it was released!
Ellie Greenwich herself was a bit of a mistake. While her talent in writing is undeniable, and her performance level ok, her acting was less than stellar. And the phony talk back question/answer session does remain one of the most embarrassing moments in a Broadway musical of the last few decades. Instead of laughing with, you laughed at the scene. That said, the remainder of the show was lots of fun. Anyone who does not recognize this catalogue 0f 60s classics as some of the best loved, fun songs of the the times doesn't know how to simply sit back and enjoy fun top-notch Pop Music. Lennon-McCartney/Dylan/Simon it's not. But it certainly defines the BRILL BUILDING SOUNDS and many of these are the numbers that defined that glorious sound and moment in time. Thank you Wounded Bird for restoring was of the most fun, most delightful shows of the 80s to disc. Simply look at the songs on the cd and know they are lovingly recreated & enjoyed...and you will know if this is ths show album for you. Just look at this gravy boat of delights on one cd: LOOK OF LOVE, CHAPEL OF LOVE, MAYBE I KNOW, AND THEN HE KISSED ME, BY MY BABY, WHY DO LOVERS BREAK EACH OTHERS HEART, CHRISTMAS BABY PLEASE COME HOME, NOT TOO YOUNG TO GET MARRIED, DA DOO RON RON, PLUS The outstanding songs mentioned earlier and you have a 60s party to enjoy any time you'd like. And without Ellie Greenwich's intimate involvement, I doubt they would have been so loving recreated. THANK FOR TO ALL INVOLVED!
I was lucky enough to see this show over 30 times during it's Broadway 3 month run. And I regret only not being able to see it again. What a delight it was and remains."
A Tribute to the Life and Music of Ellie Greenwich
Laura Pinto | St. Petersburg, FL United States | 09/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"LEADER OF THE PACK, a musical covering the life and career of songwriter/producer Ellie Greenwich, had its origins at New York's Bottom Line Cabaret a year before making its Broadway debut in 1985. Originally conceived by Bottom Line owner Allan Pepper as a revue, the play was revamped for the Big White Way with an expanded cast and a new production choreographed and directed by Michael Peters. A two-disc cast recording was subsequently released. Now, twenty-four years later, this cast recording is finally available on CD, and the songs sound as fresh and vibrant as they did almost a quarter of a century ago - and as they had more than twenty years before that.

The name Ellie Greenwich may not be known to a lot of people, but the majority of the songs written by the lady with that name are as familiar to most folks as their own reflections in the mirror. Ms. Greenwich, along with her then-husband, Jeff Barry, was one of the major forces of the Girl Group sound in the early-to-mid 1960s. Greenwich and Barry composed songs for The Crystals, The Ronettes, Darlene Love, Lesley Gore,and The Dixie Cups among others. LEADER OF THE PACK, which to this day is still being performed by theatre groups around the world, tells the story of Ellie's life, marriage to (and divorce from) Jeff, and their shared musical career at Manhattan's famous Brill Building in a series of clever musical vignettes. In fact, the play's full name is actually LEADER OF THE PACK: THE ELLIE GREENWICH MUSICAL, and if the first part of the title rings a bell, it's because "Leader of the Pack," originally recorded by the Shangri-Las, is one of many hit tunes co-composed by Ms. Greenwich. Others are "Da Do Ron Ron," "Be My Baby," "Baby, I Love You," "Do Wah Diddy," and "River Deep - Mountain High" to name only a few. All of these songs, performed by cast members Dinah Manoff (who portrayed the young Ellie Greenwich), Patrick Cassidy (Jeff Barry), Annie Golden, Darlene Love, and Ellie Greenwich herself, can be heard on this album, excellently produced by Greenwich and Bob Crewe. None of the magic and vitality of the performances was lost; it all sounds fresh and exciting, and instantly transports one back to the days of sock hops and beehive hairdos and malt shops and lovers' lanes.

Although a bit of poetic license was taken in the stage production (the chronology of some events in Ms. Greenwich's life was slightly altered for the sake of flow, and at least one character, Gus Sharkey, is actually a composite of several people who influenced Ms. Greenwich's career), the songs of Ellie Greenwich are ordered in an ingenious way as to unfold the plot with a minimum of dialogue, as with "(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry," "And Then He Kissed Me, "Hanky Panky," "Chapel of Love," and "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)." Other songs include the charming "A ... My Name is Ellie" (performed by the young Ellie as she practices her accordion), the inspirational "We're Gonna Make It (After All)" (sung at the finale), and the heartwrenching "Rock of Rages," which chronicles Ellie's nervous breakdown after her mother's passing and her former husband Jeff's remarriage and subsequent relocation to California. It was immediately after this number, in the original Broadway play, when the real Ellie Greenwich made her triumphant entrance, showing the world that she may have been defeated, but she was far from destroyed. As heard on this album, Ms. Greenwich sang a few songs, answered a few questions, kidded around with the cast members, and generally showed the world that she'd been to heaven and she'd been to hell, but she was made of strong stuff, indeed - and loaded with heaps of talent, which nobody could take away from her.

Ellie Greenwich passed away on August 26, 2009, just a couple of weeks after the release of this CD. I heartily recommend this album to anyone who has been touched by Ellie's music over the years. LEADER OF THE PACK: THE ELLIE GREENWICH MUSICAL is a fitting tribute to the legacy of this talented lady and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee. Ellie's voice has been stilled forever, but her work will live on."