The Monthly Top 20

Songs So Good You Don’t Want Them Out Of Your Head

1. Nobody Knows (What's Going On In My Mind But Me) - The Chiffons - I've always been a fan of this wild tune, but after rediscovering my Chiffons' Greatest Hits album recently, it's being played a lot more often.

2. Oh What A Fool I've Been - The Sweet Inspirations - This song wasn't a huge hit for Cissy Houston and her girls, but it certainly deserves a place in the hearts of Deep Soul fans.

3. A Boy Like You - Toni Wine - Another one of those songs you just can't believe never hit it big. Relentlessly catchy and upbeat, it's one of Toni's great early recordings. She went on to do a lot of back-up vocals and songwriting, but she should have been a star.

4. Will You Care What's Happen' To Me Baby - Bernadette Peters - One of three songs from Where The Girls Are Vol. 5 appearing on my chart this month. Bernadette was a star of the stage, and a cross-over pop hit might not have had a good chance, but she certainly cut a great record.

5. Maybe I Know - Lesley Gore - Like most people, I first heard Lesley on the ode to parties that end badly, "It's My Party." It was good, but over-played on oldies radio. This song, however, should be spun by deejays a lot more often. A little darker, but very danceable.

6. The House Where Love Died - First Choice - I finally got to listen to this record after picking up Simon White's Soul All-nighter. Paving the way for their big hits, this tune sets the stage nicely and will definitely get even tired Northern Soul fans to their feet.

7. I"ve Got My Heart Set On You - The Toys - Best known for their smash "A Lover's Concerto," the two Barbaras and June tried their hand at some groovier soul and I have to say I like this funked up piece even better than some of their earlier work, which, don't get me wrong, I still adore.

8. You're My Lovin' Baby - The Sweet Things - Tracks like these make me realise there's so much wonderful girl group music I've yet to discover. Found on Mick Patrick's and Malcolm Baumgart's excellent new Where The Girls Are collection, it's got to be one of the best records Phil Spector never made with the Crystals.

9. Let Me Get Close To You - Beverley Warren - Part-time Raindrop and solo artist, Beverley cut some wonderful songs during the mid-60s. This one in particular is the definition of yearning.

10. Please Stay - The Ivories - The instrumental riff that's played for the intro peaked my curiosity, but the great soulful lead and delicate harmony really got me hooked on this one. Very rare, but definitely worth searching for if you're a vinyl fanatic.

11. My Soul Concerto - The Apollas - One of the best soul acts never to make the big-time. This beauty is a great knock-off of the Toys' "A Lover's Concerto."

12. Big John - The Shirelles - A great piece by one of the world's foremost girl groups. Shirley wants to get married, but John just won't get his act together and come back home.

13. Gettin' Mighty Crowded - Betty Everett - This song is a little softer than my two favourite songs by Betty, "You're No Good," and "The Shoop Shoop Song," but it's really grown on me. Remember, two's company but three's a...

14. I'll Try Anything - Dusty Springfield - It's been several years since Dusty's untimely death at the hands of cancer, but her wealth of recordings stand up to anything out there past, present, and I do think future. I love this song because it sound so upbeat and happy, even if Dusty says she'll cheat and lie to make that man hers.

15. We've Got To Stay Together - Honey and the Bees- I'll really in a soulful mood this month it seems, because once again here's a great example of tight-knit harmonies pulling a slow, hypnotic piece of sweet soul together.

16. Solider Boy - The Exceptions - I heard this sensational track on Billy Spradlin's excellent Spectropop girl group station. Hard to believe these are the same little school girls who sang "When Love Hit Me" and the superb stomper "Oo-chang-a-lang." Should have been a smash.

17. Baby You're Mine - Sandi Sheldon - Speaking of Spectropop, that delightful gaggle of retro music at it's best, Sandi has been quite a topic of discussion. She apparently recorded all sorts of stuff with Van McCoy, and few as beautiful as this softy in the tradition of Barbara Lewis

18. Rainy Mourning - The Marvelettes - This song really creeps me out. Wanda's lead vocals are the saddest thing this side of the Shangri-las. Especially when she asks "Why did you leave me." Katherine, Anne and possibly some Andantes spook up the backing vocals for an even greater effect.

19. In The Morning - The Crystals - It's really too bad the Crystal's mid-60s post Phil Spector tunes didn't reach a bigger audience. They may have been an excellent pop band, but with La La's soulful lead, they could have had some big hits later on in the decade if they had just clicked with radio.

20. Jamaica Joe - The Angels - I love this fun bit of faux-ska. Why it was the B-side of "Dream Boy" which I really find much too sugary, I'll never know. This is a party anthem in the making around my house.

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