Personnel: Jim Horn (flute, saxophone); Larry Knechtel (piano); James M. "Jimmy" Troxel (drums).
Audio Mixer: Tom Moulton.
Liner Note Author: Jim Grant .
Recording information: Nashville, TN; Phoenix, AZ.
Duane Eddy's 1961 release Girls! Girls! Girls! was something of a concept album, but you might not have guessed if you hadn't read the song titles first. All 12 tunes are named after women, though the opening cut, "Brenda," stretches this a bit, since it's actually a medley of three numbers that had been hits for Brenda Lee (who posed with Eddy for one of the cover photos, as did fellow honoree Annette Funicello). Girls! Girls! Girls! was fairly typical of Eddy's albums of the period, as it tended to focus on pop songs and standards rather than the tougher, twangy numbers that earned Eddy his first string of hits, but there's no arguing that he was as good as ever at what he did. Eddy's single-note leads and subtle, well-modulated use of the whammy bar are uniformly impressive, and among the originals penned by Duane, "Tuesday" sounds nearly as provocative as the gal who inspired it (Tuesday Weld), while "Connie" is just as fresh and likable as Ms. Stevens. The accompaniment is spare and subtle for the most part, and it's hard not to wish pianist Larry Knetchel and rhythm guitarist Al Casey had been given a bit more to do considering their abilities, though Jim Horn's raucous sax work livens up several numbers and he adds an atmospheric flute solo to "Annette." (The album could also have done without some of the string and vocal overdubs that add a sticky sweetness to several tracks.) And Eddy admirably gives these sessions some variety, with both "Big 'Liza" and "Sweet Cindy" showing a strong country accent, and "Patricia" adding some smooth cha-cha rhythms alongside the other more pop-leaning numbers. Girls! Girls! Girls! isn't one of Duane Eddy's great albums of the era, but it's good enough to confirm he put more thought and effort into his LPs than most acts catering to the teen market in the early '60s. ~ Mark Deming