CD Review: The Paper Dolls – Something Here In My Heart – The Complete Recordings 1968-1970

Its 50 years since The Paper Dolls entered the charts with their irresistible hit, Something In My Heart (Keeps A Tellin’ Me No). Predating the Spice Girls by some 30 years, the Northampton based trio, Susie ‘Tiger’ Mathis, Pauline ‘Spyder’ Bennett and Sue ‘Copper’ Marshall were the first British girl band to be known by their respective nicknames.

Touring the UK Club circuit extensively in the mid to late 60s, the Paper Dolls rise to fame certainly wasn’t overnight. However, following their signing to Pye records their own brand of girl power was embraced by the public through appearances on a multitude of TV shows including Top of the Pops, The Golden Shot and The Morecambe & Wise Show.

RPM Records new compilation Something Here In My Heart – The Complete Recordings 1968-1970, celebrates The Paper Dolls complete output. For the first time all their recordings for both Pye Records and RCA are brought together, along with all the tracks featured on their album Paper Dolls House and six further tracks covering solo releases by Tiger Sue.

The album kicks off with The Paper Dolls debut single Something Here in My Heart (Keeps A Telling Me No), penned by Tony Macauley and John McLeod who had previously written The Foundations No.1, Baby Now That I’ve Found You.

Something.. is still irresistible 60s pop, as is the later b side, There’s Nobody I’d Sooner Love, (also written by Macauley & MacLeod) a Northern Soul soaked gem with irresistible vocals from all three girls.

The release then leads straight into recordings from the girls only album, 1968s Paper Dolls House, made up largely of songs from the then hit parade.

When choosing songs for Paper Dolls House, it was clear the producers chose carefully, Compositions from popular composers Bacharach & David (Do You Know The Way To San Jose?) Brian Wilson (Darlin) and Lennon & McCartney (Step Inside Love) are all given a fabulous girl group twist.

Elsewhere, the Paper Dolls fun and energy oozes through on their cover of The Showstoppers Ain’t Nothing but a House Party (listen out for Spyder and Copper’s Ooo’s while Tiger delivers one of her most outstanding vocals- its pure 60s and absolute magic!)

There’s also international pop with renditions of Jefferson’s Baby Take Me in Your Arms and Reparata and The Del Rons Captain of Your Ship, while there’s further upbeat treatments of Lulu’s Boy and 1910 Fruitgum Co’s bubble-gum hit Simon Says.

After such a strong single debut and a well-constructed album release, it’s confusing why The Paper Dolls didn’t manage to follow up their chart success with further hits. the dramatic My Life Is in Your Hands and the bright and breezy Someday are both strong releases. Even the girl’s flipsides All the Time In The World and Any Old Time (Your Lonely and sad) (also recorded by The Foundations) show an ability to deliver strong vocals. Sadly however these would be the last recordings for Pye Records.

Clearly, RCA still had faith in the Paper Dolls as the 70s beckoned, putting out two further singles, a cover of The Angels’  My Boyfriends Back and another release Remember December. Sadly, the girls chart heyday had gone, and they split up shortly afterwards.

Tiger Sue had three further solo singles in the 70s, and all make up the final chapter of this album along with their respective B-Sides.

While Burn, Burn, Burn is a cheeky song about Children laughing as a school burns down, Tiger’s next release Kick Away My Lonesome Blues, combines breathy vocals with a 70s style guitar lick. Her final single is a throwback to the 60s and a cover version of Jackie de Shannon’s When You Walk in The Room, a 1964 hit for The Paper Doll’s one-time Pye label mates, The Searchers.

This neat and joyous RPM compilation is finished off with detailed sleeve notes and an introduction from Tiger Sue herself. What better way to commemorate The Paper Dolls 50th anniversary,than by celebrating with a timely release of feelgood pop. Treat yourself to some original girl power!

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