The Shangri Las were an American pop girl group of the 1960s. Between 1964 and 1966 they charted with teen melodramas, and remain especially known for their hits “Leader of the Pack”, “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” and “Give Him a Great Big Kiss.” The Shangri Las’ “tough girls” persona set them apart from other girl groups. Having grown up in a rough neighborhood of Queens, New York, they were less demure than their contemporaries. Rumours about supposed escapades have since become legend Whatever truth these stories held, they were believed by fans in the 1960s, and they helped cement the group’s bad-girl reputation.
The Shangri-Las continued to chart with fairly successful U.S. hit records, specialising in adolescent themes such as alienation, loneliness, abandonment and death. Singles included “Give Him a Great Big Kiss”, “Out in the Streets”, “Give Us Your Blessings”, the top ten hit “I Can Never Go Home Anymore”, “Long Live Our Love” (a rare example of a song dedicated to the men at the time fighting overseas in Vietnam), “He Cried” and the spoken-word “Past, Present and Future”, featuring a musical backdrop inspired by Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”. Noteworthy B-sides included “Heaven Only Knows”, “The Train from Kansas City”, “Dressed in Black” and “Paradise” (written by Harry Nilsson).