#soon! Part Un - The 60s-00s Girl Band Debut Breakthrough Rate

Marginally missing the top 20 is:



The Exciters – Tell Him
Average Score: 7.678
Highest Score: 10 x 4 (@Filippa, @ohnostalgia, @unnameable, @DJHazey)
Lowest Score: 4 x 2 (@Zar-Unity, @GhettoPrincess)

And a very controversial number leaves us just before the top 20! This sweet seamless song has indeed caused me some grief due to the fact there was a male in The Exciters mix, so they were not technically a girl group at the time of Tell Him’s release! Controversy galore! Fortunately I wasn’t the only one fooled as Billboard did rank Tell Him among the greatest girl groups songs of all time at #95. Thankfully also, there are also minimal male vocals here, so it’s not a total cheat having them on the list!

Let’s start by just pointing out the obvious – Tell Him is an absolute classic! Whether you became familiar with it through knowing it at the time of release, through All McBeal or discovering it in this rate – there is something magical, constant and classic about Tell Him. The instrumental and intense repetition really takes you into the inner turmoil of the protagonist and their struggle to confess. Originally written as Tell Her by Bert Berns, it became the classic it is in the Exciters’ hands as Tell Him. The track would be released a few times as Tell Her, two notable versions in 1966 by Dean Parrish, and by Kenny Loggins in 1989 – neither being as iconic or timeless as the Exciters’ version.

Tell Him was actually quite a constant and consistent top 30 entry during the rate’s voting period, eventually breaking into the top 20 until the last couple of voters caused it to drop a few spots for this finish. Looking at it in the context of the remaining 60s entries we’ve got, I can understand it leaving now as the other four 60s cuts have some extra oomph to them (though I would personally have gotten rid of another first). As discussed, Tell Him is a classic for all the right reasons, it was quite successful when released too, making it to #4 on the US charts and the top 5 in Australia. Much like the Go-Go’s this struggled in the UK, only reaching #46 and another version by Billie Davis reaching the top 10 instead. France stanned hard and took it to #1 (with Claude Francois doing a French version of the track later on too).

A piece of trivia you may not know is that legend Dusty Springfield was inspired to embark on a solo career with a Pop/Soul sound due to hearing Tell Him on a late night walk in New York City, singling out the opening line ‘I know something about love’ and its delivery as her influential highlight. Now, going back a bit to that controversial male in the band – The Exciters did start out as a girl with founding members Brenda Reid, Carolyn Johnson, Lillian Walker and Sylvia Wilbur coming together in high school as the Masterettes, a sister group to the Masters. Their first release was Follow The Leader. With a line-up change, they auditioned for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stroller for a recording contract. When Penny Carter (replacement for Sylvia Wilbur) left she was replaced by Herb Rooney (our mystery male), explaining the confusion over their legacy a bit. This was where their name changed to The Exciters. Jason Ankeny credits Tell Him boasting ‘an intensity that signified a sea change in the presentation and perception of feminist in popular music, paving the way for such tough sexy acts as the Shangri-Las and the Ronettes.

What did PopJustice have to say?

Zar-Unity (4) has nice comments for the acidic score - Well performed, very entergetic pop! Though not my style. Tech: 3 Taste: 1 = 4 points. Kermit_The_Frog (9) has Julia Roberts on the mind - Forever associated with My Best Friend’s Wedding (but not spoiled by that). Giddy, manic and lots of fun. ComeOnGloria (8.7) is all about Danny Crane - First heard this through Ally McBeal and Vonda Shepherd's album. Saviodxl (4.5) must be ready to go at a moment’s notice - They excite me, but not much

Spillett (8.5) shows you how many versions are around too! - (Think the first time I heard this was the Caroline Quentin/Lesley Ash version LMAO. Filippa (10) sees the light - This was the original? Know the song from Ally McBeal and always loved it. But this version is wonderful! Trouble In Paradise (9) have only nice things to say - I adore the chorus of this song and think it’s pop genius. It’s such a perfect little ear worm and it’s such a sweet sentiment.

Empty Shoebox (6) clocks the lead and the inspiration - Solid vocal performance from the lead here (Brenda?). Obviously I'm going to rate this higher than other similar songs because apparently it inspired Dusty Springfield to have a solo career, and I love Dusty Springfield. Londonrain (7.5) is also all over William Shatner as Calista was not available - A classic. I confess I only heard this for the first time when it was prominently featured in Ally McBeal, but the original stands up so well in 2018 (barring the “women were created to make love their destiny” bit). Some of the ad libs, though... yikes.

Baby Clyde (9) goes into her rants that make me love her - (Not a girl group???) DominoDancing (8) points out the technique that makes Tell Him a standout - For once a song that breaks away from the standard chord progressions at least a bit - the verses and the glockenspiel in the intro turn it into a bit of a stand out. Iheartpoptarts (5) was marking using the link provided, excellent! - This one always bordered on annoying for me, so let me not be swayed by the cute zoo animals.

Ufint (8) shows that Ally McBeal truly wins the reference battle - Oh, this brings back memories of Ally McBeal! Unnameable (10) is taken – this has such an infectious beat. DJHazey (10) has lots to love - The doo-wop backing vocals of the prechorus is a big yaaas. Also, the verses have always had this, well it's hard to place a finger on it, but they give me this contemplative feeling, almost a meditative state of "you tell me about love" and I'll just listen. The words aren't asked of you, they are delivered to you without hesitation.​

I would have liked it to go further too, at least it isn't your 11, hey? Very happy for both yourself and @Sprockrooster as you both feared your 11's demise prior to the top 20! That recap shortly too!

Yes, trust me I'm so grateful my 11 made the Top 20. I don't want to give anything away but based on how they are often spoken about around here I honestly felt like they wouldn't make it through the first half. Against this kind of competition I'm already considering this a huge victory for them and will never forget.
Top 20 Recap

The Shirelles –
Will You Love Me Tomorrow
The Marvelettes -
Please Mr Postman
The Ronettes -
Be My Baby
Martha & The Vandellas - Heatwave

The Three Degrees – When Will I See You Again
The Nolans – I’m In The Mood For Dancing
Baccara - Yes Sir, I Can Boogie
The Emotions – Best Of My Love

The Bangles - Manic Monday
Salt-N-Pepa - Push It

Wilson Phillips - Hold On
Spice Girls - Wannabe
All Saints - I Know Where It's At
B*Witched - C'est La Vie
Atomic Kitten - Right Now

Sugababes - Overload
Girls Aloud - Sound of the Underground
t.A.T.u. - All The Things She Said
The Veronicas - 4ever
The Saturdays - If This Is Love

And here is the top 20 you all selected, PopJustice!

The 80s are hanging on by a thread but the two tracks left are incredibly solid!
Do you think they have what it takes to go top 10 or will they be the first decade to be completely wiped out?

Next best are the 60s and 70s, both with a respectable 4 entries each.
There is an obvious one I would eliminate for a flawless top 3 of each decade but will PopJustice agree with me?

@soratami will be pleased to see the voters are still spellbound by B*Witched, with the 90s securing 5 entries into the top 20. The R&B flavour is well and truly gone although its influence in at least two entries from the decade can be felt.

The 00s list is equal with the 90s in securing 5 entries here but were the iconic bands given enough support? Did enough stans show up for their faves?

The next cut is due to be one of the most painful for me, I am not even sure I can handle it! It is a song I wish I had given an 11 to in an iconic rate, and to see it depart so soon here also is just too too much!


Make your top 20 ranking and/or top 10 predictions, lovelies!

That’s a pretty decent Top 20 with a few glaring exceptions.

The whole of the 60’s should easily make the Top 10 but obviously won’t.

Most of the 70’s should be sticking around as well but that’s a lost cause.

Surprisingly as the 80’s are obviously the greatest musical decade ever the songs in this rate were incredibly weak. At least the 2 remaining ones deserve to stay a good while longer.

Pretty much the whole of the 90’s could go now and I wouldn’t mind at all.

The 00’s include 2 of the greatest pop records of all time and a load of complete cobblers. I have some faith that you will get this bit right at least although from some of the previous comments. My faith may be totally misplaced.
My guesses for the survivors of every decade, going by observations in this thread and general PJK (PopJustice Knowledge):

60s - The Ronettes - Be My Baby
70s - The Emotions - Best Of My Love
80s - Salt-N-Pepa - Push It
90s - Spice Girls - Wannabe
00s - Sugababes - Overload


Staff member
My guesses for the survivors of every decade, going by observations in this thread and general PJK (PopJustice Knowledge):

60s - The Ronettes - Be My Baby
70s - The Emotions - Best Of My Love
80s - Salt-N-Pepa - Push It
90s - Spice Girls - Wannabe
00s - Sugababes - Overload
Seems about right.

Is Overload more loved around here than Sound of the Underground, though?