"England's greatest band!" declared New Yorker writer Sasha Frere-Jones about the glammed-up girl pop behemoth, Girls Aloud, and Tangled Up confirms it. Before turning to metal, Japanese-American beauty Carmen Maki sang folk ballads and stroked lambs on her single sleeves. Santa surprised with Brit girl Mary McCarthy's rare Hollies cover. Reading the cocaine-filled tales of Fleetwood Mac in Storms spawned another Stevie Nicks craving, satisfied with her latest greatest hits. The Bee Gees' Odessa adds to the argument for ditching double albums (because as a single album it'd be perfection). Spent the hols road-tripping 'round Florida, where I picked up Cathy Rich's Kim Fowley-produced "Wild Thing." Disney darling Annette later admitted to a massive crush on Paul Anka (not Frankie Avalon), who penned one of my all-time faves, "Train Of Love." Another flawless soul-pop single from the still mysterious Lydia Marcelle.

Girls Aloud
Tangled Up
(Fascination)
UK, 2007

Carmen Maki
Far Away Country
(CBS/Sony)
Japan, 1969

Mary McCarthy
You Know He Did
(CBS)
UK, 1967

Stevie Nicks
Crystal Visions
(Reprise)
USA, 2007

Bee Gees
Odessa
(Polydor)
UK, 1969

Lydia Marcelle
Imitation Love
(Manhattan)
USA, 1967

Annette
Train Of Love
(Buena Vista)
USA, 1960

Cathy Rich
Wild Thing
(World Pacific)
USA, 1969