One of Ace Records’ most enduring and long-running compilation series is their ‘Where The Girls Are’ collections. The reissue label has just released the eighth volume in this wonderful series and the 25 tracker is stuffed with all kinds of pop and soul gems from that magical girl group era.

No real big names here, but soul collectors will recognize Dee Dee Sharp (with a 1963 version of Mel Torm√©’s ‘Coming Home Baby’) Little Eva (featuring her version of ‘Stand By Me’) and groups like The Orlons, The Darlenes, The Blossoms and the Sapphires.

One of the big standouts is the totally infectious ‘(Whoa, Whoa) I Love Him So’ from ex-Orlon Nikki Blue. From 1964, writing and production credits are down to a young Thom Bell assisted by one Ernest Evans … then, of course, riding high as Chubby Checker. The cut’s a wonderful two and a half minutes worth of soul/pop, combining elements of early Philly soul, Spector style production and Brill Building influenced song writing…. but then we could say that for almost anything here.

‘Where The Are 8’is out now on Ace Records.