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Over the last few years ACE RECORDS have curated an excellent series of compilations that turned the spotlight on UK girl singers/groups of the 60s… the “beat era”, if you would! The collections were issued and organized by original label groupings. In the 60s the UK pop business was dominated by four major label groups – EMI, Pye, Philips and Decca and it’s from the Decca archive that Ace’s newest “girl compilation”, ‘Don’t Blow Your Cool!’ comes, following on from an earlier and successful collection from the same label.

Collectors of soul will be delighted to have Lulu’s version of Van McCoy’s ‘Take Me As I Am’ while there are two Jackie De Shannon songs amongst the 24 includees. They are Marianne Faithfull’s version of ‘With You In Mind’ and Adrienne Poster’s take on ‘Backstreet Girl’. In the main though the songs come courtesy of UK tunesmiths – the journey men of Tin Pan Alley – people like Tony Macaulay, Chris Andrews and Wally Gold. Interestingly there’s a trio of songs written by quasi Dylan folk/pop troubadour Donovan Leitch and each has its own 60s charm , though for an almost perfect snapshot of the late 60s UK girl sound try Kathe Green’s winsome self-penned ‘Primrose Hill’. It’s a very different sound to that of the Caravelles’ 1963 outing ‘Don’t Blow Your Cool’ for which the collection is named. The sleeve notes, as with all Ace/Kent products, are exemplary, turning up gems like the fact that popstress Twinkle (pictured on the sleeve, above) was a class mate of a young Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in some posh, private ladies academy!

‘Don’t Blow Your Cool! More 60s Girls From UK Decca’ is out now on Ace.