"Groups like the Chiffons have had it rough in the CD era. They were, to most people anyway, a nameless, faceless outfit with a couple of well worn hits but no enduring personality or legacy. While they had three huge smashes over a four year period, often those songs overwhelm the rest of their output and as a result cheap CD compilers often license only those three songs for their generic "Hits of the 60's" collections. Naturally that makes those cuts badly overexposed and the rest of their work sadly underexposed. Add to it the general dismissal of "girl groups" as anything more than a sweet concoction dreamt up by male producers to churn out conveyor belt hits in the early to mid 60's and you can see why history hasn't been kind to them.Yet girl groups were no mere footnote to rock 'n' roll history and the Chiffons in particular deserve more credit than they received, for they were longer lasting and more reliable than most in that genre, beginning with a small breakthrough covering the Shirelles "Tonight's The Night" in 1960 (not included since it was cut for another label) and then really breaking through in 1963 at the height of the girl group craze and remaining a force until late '66, long after the expiration date on that style supposedly ran out. While they, like their contemporaries in the field, were aided immensely by top notch producers and songwriters, the Chiffons brought a unique blend of toughness ("Nobody Knows What's Goin' On In My Mind But Me" - a real overlooked gem) and sweetness ("When The Boy's Happy The Girls' Happy Too") that separated them from one-note competitors. In addition their R&B roots were much more evident than most girl groups of the day who were weighed down with ornate strings and pop stylings.So here's the good news - this CD has all their hits for the Laurie and Rust labels, including two released as the Four Pennies, plus a few B-sides (including the great Ashford-Simpson penned rocker "The Real Thing"), all sounding fine with basic discographical information. But the buyer must still beware, for there are numerous similiarly titled collections on the market, but as of this writing none surpass this for sheer number of songs, which is obviously the first consideration when buying a greatest hits collection.Now for the bad news, and the reason for getting just 3 stars (which come to think of it should be the average, but anything less than 5 is generally thought to be a slap in the face). The producer of this release, other than licensing the requisite songs, put absolutely no effort whatsoever in issuing this CD. The packaging is cheap looking, with song titles floating next to the lone photo of the girls on the cover, the writing credits on the back cover are incomplete and often say "Unknown", the six page booklet included has nothing but advertisements for other albums in this series and the one page of liner notes on the back of that booklet are possibly the worst, most degrading and cluelessly written I've ever seen, managing to inadvertently disparage the group, the era and the music all while awkwardly trying to praise it. Truthfully it looks as if this was slapped together five minutes before lunch and never thought of before or after.That disgraceful lack of effort shouldn't prevent somebody who is seeking the most Chiffons songs on one disc from getting this. The songs are great, the girls can sing and you'll get a full hour of listening enjoyment out of it each time you put in the CD player. So if the music itself is the biggest requirement (as it usually is) then this collection is the way to go since it is the most thorough overview of their career currently available. Hopefully though in the near future someone will come along with class and issue a truly comprehensive and intelligent set for this group, with insightful notes, interviews with the surviving members, writers and producers, lots of pictures, along with all the B-sides, unissued material from the vaults, and songs from other labels (it'd take up a double-CD but there'd be enough buyers to make it worthwhile) and in the process push this, along with the other bargain basement CD's looking to exploit the lingering interest in the Chiffons to the trash. Musically this set will suffice, but the Chiffons still deserve better."
Perhaps the Quintessential Girl Group
A. M. Smith | RICHMOND, VA United States | 03/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While The Chiffons never achieved superstar status, they nonetheless refined the girl group sound into a very polished entity. Their producers and arrangers took the best elements of Brill Building, Spector, and Motown and created a sound that, while many would term it "generic," was actually state-of-the-art. (The use of overdubbing on lead vocals surpasses anything that Spector ever did!) Their sharp-edged harmonies were unmistakable - even when presented as "The Four Pennies." The group, like The Marvelettes, boasted two lead singers. Most sides were led by the incomparable Judy Craig, while others (especially those released under the "Four Pennies" name) used Sylvia Peterson's less distinctive but equally lovely voice. The background harmonies were never miked down, as happened with so many girl groups. Instead they were almost pushed in front, giving a rich, full sound. One listen to this collection and you'll wonder why the group never made a bigger splash. Inadequate promotion, perhaps? Certainly not because of a lack of talent!"
Classic early sixties girl group
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 06/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Chiffons were one of the most successful girl groups of their era and comprised Judy Craig, Barbara Lee, Patricia Bennett and Sylvia Peterson. They are remembered primarily for three hits. He's so fine topped the American charts and made the UK top twenty, but gained notoriety when George Harrison had a major international hit with My sweet Lord in 1971. Unfortunately for George, the melody of My sweet Lord was remarkably similar to He's so fine and he lost a court case over the royalties.One fine day was a top five American hit and top thirty UK hit. Sweet-talking guy also charted on both sides of the Atlantic. It was only a minor UK hit when first released but made the top five when re-issued in 1972, possibly to capitalize on the court case.Those were their only British hits but they had other American hits including Tonight's the night (not included here), Love so fine and I have a boyfriend, both of which can be found on this excellent collection.If you enjoy music by such groups as the Shirelles, Shangri-las, Crystals and Ronettes, give the Chiffons a listen."
Fine single CD compilation--even if it does omit a song or t
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 03/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One Fine Day by The Chiffons is as strong a single CD retrospective that you're ever gonna get for this group! The hits are here and although some people could discuss placing a song here instead of another song there, it's all really rather good material. The sound quality is strong and I like the artwork!
"He's So Fine" starts off the CD track set with The Chiffons singing their hearts out as they sing of the men they long to make their own. The percussion and drums carry the melody along nicely and The Chiffons harmonize very well; they are a prime example of an excellent `60s girl group. "One Fine Day" has a distinctly upbeat tone as The Chiffons harmonize and sing this straight out of the ballpark! The guitars and percussion work wonders for "One Fine Day" and The Chiffons deliver this flawlessly. I'm very impressed! Listen also for "A Love So Fine;" this has that early `60s flavor to it and The Chiffons so this up right! There's more great percussion and brass on "A Love So Fine," too.
"I Have A Boyfriend" features The Chiffons front and center as they sing so sweetly of the men that call their own; they deliver this while harmonizing and singing other lines so perfectly. They never miss a beat on relatively complicated arrangements, either. Wow.
"Sweet Talkin' Guy" is another favorite of mine from the `60s; The Chiffons sing of a man who tricks young ladies into thinking he'll always be there for them--even when he knows he's lying to them. The musical interlude is stunningly beautiful and "Sweet Talkin' Guy" is a major highlight of this album. "My Boyfriend's Back" shines every bit as much and the percussion works very well for this tune. In addition, "Keep The Boy Happy;" this zesty little number has The Chiffons front and center as they sing of how to keep a man; and the brass works so well to embellish this tune.
"I'm Gonna Dry My Eyes" has a fine beat while The Chiffons again sing this beyond perfection; and I really like "Teach Me How." "Teach Me How" has a melody that tugs at my heartstrings; this torch song features the young ladies singing of how they will have trouble coping now that their men are leaving them.
The album ends nicely with "Tonight I Met An Angel." This ballad ends the album on an upbeat note (pardon the pun); The Chiffons sing and harmonize about finding new young men to be their one true love. "Tonight I Met An Angel" gets some pretty royal treatment from this girl group with its percussion, guitar, handclapping and more!
Overall, The Chiffons get the respect they deserve with this unusually solid single CD retrospective. Sure, diehard fans will always want more; and there are box sets of CDs by The Chiffons for them to buy. However, this is also very good for fans of this excellent girl group; and the more casual fan will appreciate all that you get on just one CD.