The Shangri-Las’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Classic “Leader Of The Pack”

“Leader of the Pack” is a classic pop song recorded by the American girl group The Shangri-Las. Released in 1964, the song was written by George “Shadow” Morton, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich. It quickly became one of the group’s most iconic and enduring hits.

“Leader of the Pack” tells the story of a young girl who falls in love with a motorcycle-riding rebel, despite her parents’ disapproval. Tragically, the story takes a dark turn when the girl’s parents forbid her from seeing the “leader of the pack.” Despite her defiance, the leader of the pack ends up in a fatal motorcycle accident, leaving the girl heartbroken.

The song’s melodramatic narrative, along with its catchy melody and spoken-word interludes, struck a chord with listeners and helped it climb the charts. The Shangri-Las’ dramatic delivery, combined with the song’s teen angst and rebellious spirit, made it a standout example of the “girl group” sound of the 1960s.

“Leader of the Pack” reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming one of The Shangri-Las’ most successful and enduring songs. Its influence can be heard in subsequent songs that incorporated storytelling and emotional drama, making it a significant contribution to the pop music landscape of the 1960s.

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