Merry Clayton “Good Girls” (Ode 66003-B, 1970)
Okay, I guess most rock critics will go for the A-side, “Gimme Shelter.” But what do a bunch of white dudes know? Yeah I said it. There’s something more real to life for me to the flipside, “Good Girls.”
It is 1970, 10 years from The Shirelles “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” Although Merry herself was no a mother and a wife, she brings to life the interesting intersection between what is/was considered respectable (i.e. the Virginal Good Girl that doesn’t go all the way under the erotic sway of a handsome man) and throwing aside the chastity belt her mother taught her would insure her value in the dating sweepstakes.
I’m guessing I’m just partial, as a (rather aged) Good Catholic Queer Boy that’s faced this dilemma far too often to this B-side. Also, it shows how far Gene Page had come from arranging those overblown Wall of Sound singles that were his trademark during the 1960’s (He’s the man who arranged the huge string arrangement on The Supremes “Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone” for example). A kind of strutting “Will You Love Me” for the new decade, it could have been a good alternative to pursuing the better known A-side.