When I Say I’m In Love, You Best Believe I’m In Love, L-U-V

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Because this day lends itself to ‘pairs,’ there are two songs for today:  The Shangri-Las’ “GIve Him a Great Big Kiss” and The New York Dolls’ “Looking for a Kiss.”  They may seem unrelated on first glance, but just wait.  Opposites attract music-wise, too.

Of course, they’re both New York City related, because, as you must be fully aware by now, NYC is my true Valentine.

The Shangri-Las were the tough, bad girls of the girl group era.  They were two sets of sisters, not at all demure,  and came from the rather rough neighborhood of Cambria Heights, Queens.  At the height of their popularity, they were touring with The Beatles and The Zombies and were doing ads for Revlon.   One of their touring backing bands, The Fabulous Iguanas,  included a really young Iggy Pop on drums.  Pretty cool.

They are a real link to the punk era.  They’ve been cited as influences by countless bands and covered by or referenced in songs by Blondie, The Go-Gos, The Damned, The Slits, Sonic Youth, Superchunk, Belle and Sebastian, Amy Winehouse and a ton of others.  It’s actually pretty amazing.  In the 70s, they reunited for brief stint, recording (but not releasing) songs for Seymour Stein’s Sire Records and even played CBGBs.

And of course they were dear to The New York Dolls.  I don’t need to tell you how influential a band they were.  “Looking for a Kiss,” is from their (amazing!) first album and that perfect opening line of “Give Him a Great Big Kiss” is lifted here, in equal perfection.

So, Happy Valentine’s Day.  Download them here and here.


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