October 7, 2015
You know you’re good when the Rolling Stones open for you. When Beach Boy Brian Wilson is so inspired after hearing your voice on the radio, he writes a song called ‘Don’t Worry Baby’, you know you’re onto something. When Bruce Springsteen is onstage telling his fans that he wanted to marry you, then it’s official – you are something extraordinarily special.
Ronnie Spector is one of the true survivors. As leader of early 60s US girl-band The Ronettes, Ronnie and her sister Estelle, alongside cousin Nedra Talley, were the original bad-girl trio who the girls wanted to be and the boys wanted to get with. With the help of producer Phil Spector (who Ronnie would later marry in 1968), they took the charts by storm, releasing a wave of classic singles including ‘Be My Baby’, ‘Do I Love You?’ and ‘Walking In The Rain’ that remain timeless. After disbanding The Ronettes in 1967, Ronnie Spector triumphantly embarked on a 40+ year career as a solo artist.
“I want to be like Ronnie Spector. I want my hair up high like that. I want to dress like her.” Amy Winehouse
Ronnie first met John Lennon and the Beatles (the Beatles were fans of The Ronettes after seeing them on Sunday Night At The Palladium) in London, January 1964, and when the Beatles crossed the Atlantic, Ronnie would introduce Lennon and his band mates to American culture and Harlem cuisine. Her close association with the Beatles continued in 1971, when she made her first solo recordings for their Apple label. Her debut single under the name Ronnie Spector was ‘Try Some, Buy Some’, written and co-produced by George Harrison who, rumor has it, plays guitar on the track. It is of course, included here in the collection. The Keith Richards collaboration ‘All I Want’, from the 2006 album ‘The Last Of The Rock Stars’ is also present as are ‘Say Goodbye To Hollywood’ and ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’, two songs that were recorded with Springsteen’s E Street Band in 1977. Ronnie’s longtime connection to the Ramones surfaces with the inclusion of the track ‘You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory’ featuring Joey Ramone and taken from the Alan McGee-Creation Records 1999 EP release, ‘She Talks To Rainbows’. Included in The Very Best Of Ronnie Spector are extensive liner notes from Ronnie’s biographer Vince Waldron accompanied by some previously unseen photos.
Ronnie’s distinctive vibrato and sense of style has seen her become a continuous source of inspiration to her peers and emerging artists, including David Bowie, Patti Smith and Bobby Gillespie. Ronnie Spector is the original icon.
The Very Best Of Ronnie Spector is available now from Amazon.