Review: The Best of the Teardrops
(Saxony Records, July 2001, #101)

The unique formula-breaking style of the Teardrops comes out fully in this long-awaited CD. Their magic came from many elements.

First, songwriter Paul Trefzger specifically wrote songs to show off their singing talents, not to fit a "girl group" mold. Second, all of the group members could sing lead, and truly had talent--some of the alto sequences and blended harmonies equal the perfect-pitch tones of the late Karen Carpenter. Third, they performed fast and slow songs equally well. Fourth, and perhaps most important to many fans, they are the queens of the minor-key melody.

Of course, "Tears Come Tumbling," their biggest hit, is included here, with all its sweet vocals. The CD cover could say that if Linda Schroeder's lead doesn't give you delightful chills, you'll get your money back. Two versions of the previously-unreleased "Here Comes Loneliness" appear, and both are delightful. The fun and spunky "Bubblegummer" shines, as does the fast, man-hungry, doo-woppy "I'm Gonna Steal Your Boyfriend."

My biggest surprise was finding, "You Won't Be There," a melody infused with minor keys that sounds akin to the Four Seasons' "Bermuda," which was a national hit at about the same time. The remaining tracks on the CD, "Call Me and I'll Be Happy," "Tonight I'm Gonna Fall in Love Again," "That's Why I'll Get By," and "Walking Down Main Street," make this a don't-skip-a-track CD.

Like many girl-group tunes, these catchy songs are so classically constructed that they'll pleasantly burn themselves into your memory. But what's different is the great variety of the Teardrops' sound and their incredible musical diversity.

Popular in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Boston and Philadelphia, the Teardrops never received the national recognition they deserved. Had they crossed paths with the Brill Building, they would have been as big as the Blossoms, Crystals or Dixie Cups. Maybe their latter-day recognition, through this CD, can show the world the true talents called the Teardrops. --Chuck Mallory

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