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Nobody Knows What's Goin' On In My Mind (But Me)
In 1965, girl group The Chiffons released an unexpectedly experimental pop single called “Nobody Knows What's Goin' On In My Mind (But Me),” written by New York songwriter Brute Force. Destined for chart failure, the mind-boggling single was uncharted territory for a mainstream girl group with top ten hits under their belt. Dawn’s “I’m Afraid They’re All Talking About Me” from 1967 and Connie Steven’s “In My Room” from 1966 are similarly unconventional—turning traditional pop on its head with lyrics and music that evoke feelings of mania, disorientation, isolation, and paranoia. This is the sound of women in their heads, in isolation, separate from the world—excitedly viewed by the outside as a little bit nuts, or having lost one’s mind (oh how we love the crazy woman archetype!), but having finally found clarity, sanity, and time to tend to herself.
Sheila Burgel is a New York-based record collector, DJ, and music journalist. She has produced and written the liner notes for several compilations including Rhino Records’ Grammy nominated One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost & Found box set and Ace Records/ Big Beat’s ’60s Japanese girl-pop compilation series, Nippon Girls. She founded girl-pop web magazine, chachacharming.com, DJs her record collection all over the world, and currently hosts radio show “Sophisticated Boom Boom” every Friday from 3pm-6pm EST on WFMU.