26. The Shangri-Las, "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" (1964)
The Shangri-Las were one of the most ambitious girl groups of their era, with their big hits miniature melodramas that invited time-signature changes, seagull samples, and all sorts of gadgetry that Phil Spector and the Beatles would get the real credit for. “Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand)” was a spooky lament that went Top 5 in 1964, though, so brooding it attracted the decadent likes of Aerosmith to exorcise its demons again in 1979. Remember? -- D.W.
25. Spice Girls, "Say You'll Be There" (1997)
It's all about girl power, of course, with the Spice Girls donning action-film alter egos in the "Say You'll Be There" music video and kicking ass while forever having each other's backs. Underneath the bubblegum melodies, however, is a daring bit of almost Dr. Dre-like '90s G-pop production -- and hands up if you expected the harmonica solo disrupting the back half of this one the first time you heard it. -- J. Lipshutz
24. The Angels, "My Boyfriend's Back" (1963)
Originally intended for The Shirelles, the sparse, sneering demo from The Angels was strong enough to release as an official single and top the Hot 100. Like so many '60s girl group classics, half the fun of this one comes courtesy of the backup singers, whose taunting vocals inform a certain cad he's about to get his ass whooped for spreading lies about a girl -- now that, you know, her boyfriend's back. The deliciously braying "hey-la, hey-la"s take center stage, but shout-out to lead singer Linda Jansen for imbuing the lyric "He's kind of big, and he's awful strong" with enough pheromones to give the G-rated lyrics an NC17 subtext. -- J. Lynch
23. The Pointer Sisters, "I'm So Excited" (1982)
The best thing about the "I'm So Excited" music video, filmed and released in disco's waning moments in 1982, is the ending: the dance party that the Pointer Sisters are leading simply does not end, as the attendees dance away out of the shot, seemingly leaving the club to go wreak joyful havoc in the streets. That's the type of persistence that "I'm So Excited" still packs, 35 years later -- whenever its pristinely contained craziness is heard, it's hard to shake the giddiness even as the music fades out. -- J. Lipshutz