Leader of the Pack

The Shangri-Las

About Leader of the Pack

"Leader of the Pack" is a song written by George "Shadow" Morton, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich. It was a number one pop hit in 1964 for the American girl group The Shangri-Las. The single is one of the group's best known songs as well as a popular cultural example of a "teenage tragedy song". The song was covered in 1985 by the heavy metal band Twisted Sister who had a moderate hit with their version.


Year:
1996
2:52
95 
#2

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Mm--"Is she really going out with him?
"Well, there she is, Let's ask her"
"Betty, is that Jimmy's ring you're wearing?"
"Mm-hm" 
"Gee, it must be great riding with him"
"Is he picking you up after school today?"
"Mm-mm"
"By the way, where did you meet him?"
 
"I met him at the candy store
He turned around and smiled at me 
You get the picture
"Yes, we see"
That's when I fell for the leader of the pack
 
My folks were always putting him down
They said he came from the wrong side of town
They told me he was bad but I knew he was sad
That's why I fell for the leader of the pack
 
One day my dad said find someone new
I had to tell my Jimmy we're through
He stood there and asked me why, but all I could do was cry
I'm sorry I hurt you, the leader of the pack
 
Do do
He sort of smiled and kissed me good bye
The tears were beginning to show
As he drove away on that rainy night,
I begged him to go slow, whether he heard,
I'll never know  Look out! Look out! Look out!
 
I felt so helpless, what could I do
Remembering all the things we'd been through?
In school they all stop and stare
I can't hide the tears, but I don't care
I'll never forget him, the leader of the pack
 
Ooh, the leader of the pack now he's gone
the leader of the pack now he's gone
the leader of the pack now he's gone

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The Shangri-Las

The Shangri-Las were an American pop girl group of the 1960s. Between 1964 and 1966 they charted with often heartbreaking teen melodramas, and remain best known for "Leader of the Pack" and "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)". more »

2 fans

Written by: ELLIE GREENWICH, GEORGE MORTON, JEFF BARRY

Lyrics © CARLIN AMERICA INC, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


14 facts about this song

Band Creation
"Leader of the Pack" was recorded by The Shangri-Las, an American pop girl group formed in 1963.
Songwriters
The song was co-written by the trio of Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, and producer George "Shadow" Morton.
Chart Topper
The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 28, 1964.
Story Song
The song was unique at the time for its “teen tragedy” theme, telling a story of a high school girl in love with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks.
Engine Sounds
The song is notable for its sound effects: a revving motorcycle engine and crashing sounds, which were added for dramatic effect.
Engineer’s Involvement
The engineer for the recording was Brooks Arthur, who created the sounds using a toy motorcycle in the control room.
Theater Pop
The song is considered an example of 'theater pop', which used dramatic elements and sound effects to tell a story.
Controversy
Due to its tragic motorcycle crash theme, the song was banned by the BBC, fearing it glamorized reckless behavior.
Recognition
"Leader of the Pack" was named the 447th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine.
Cover Versions
Numerous artists, including Bette Midler and Twisted Sister, have recorded their own versions of the song over the years.
Broadway Musical
The song lent its title to a 1984 Broadway musical, which revolved around the music of Ellie Greenwich.
High School Setting
Since its release, the song has often been used in media to evoke high school or teenage nostalgia, seen in the film ‘Goodfellas’ and numerous TV shows.
Parodies
The song has also been subject to various parodies, making it quite a recognizable pop culture icon.
Grammy Hall of Fame
In 2019, "Leader of the Pack" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

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    Leader of the Pack

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    Top Hot 100 Songs 1964

    Billboard #1


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