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Friday 14 January 2022

Ronnie Spector

Ronnie Spector RIP. A genuine legend, the led singer of The Ronettes with that voice, tough and with a street edge but with a softness too and capable of taking you by surprise. There aren't many records that can compete with Be My Baby, a song that is one of the foundation stones of rock 'n' roll/ pop music, a song that raises the hairs on the back of your neck from the moment that kick drum and snare thump into earshot. I've said it before when I posted Be My Baby back in 2014 but you can put it on any playlist, any compilation tape or CD with any other song either side of it and it works. 

Be My Baby

As a bonus here's the vocals from Baby I Love You, on their own. 

Baby I Love You (Isolated Vocals)

I have a real soft spot for The Ramones cover of Baby I Love You from their 1980 album End Of The Century, a record I used to play to close sets back when I did that kind of thing. The Ramones hated it, all refusing to play on it except Joey who was forced to sing on it by Phil Spector, allegedly at gunpoint. Joey loathed the song saying it didn't sound anything like The Ramones but I love it despite it all. 

Baby I Love You 

Ronnie survived her brief marriage to Phil, a marriage that was abusive and controlling on every level. She fled Phil's mansion in 1972, barefoot and without a penny to her name, fearing for her life. Ronnie was further tormented by Phil in the years following their marriage and then divorce as her tried to prevent her recording, singing and receiving any royalties until the late 90s when he was ordered to pay her over $1 million in royalties. She stuck it all out, outdid him (eventually) and outlived him. 

RIP Ronnie Spector. 


Charity Chic said...

The Ramones song was the first dance at my brother's wedding

Jase said...

Be My Baby has for as long as I can remember been my favourite song. I had the good fortune to see Ronnie Spector performing in London in December 2019 and her voice was as strong as ever. She started up Be My Baby and a whole bunch of people, including me, got up out of their seats and went to the stage. She was reaching out to people, shaking their hands, blowing kisses etc and towards the end of the song I managed to hold her hand and keep hold for a good while. I'll never forget that, holding Ronnie Spector's hand while she sang the best song ever.

C said...

What an incredible woman. RIP Ronnie. Love your choice of pics here too.

Swiss Adam said...

Brilliant Jase, that sounds amazing.

CC- these are the personal details that knit these songs into our lives.

Thanks C. No shortage of good pics of Ronnie.

The Swede said...

I saw The Ramones twice in early 1980, on January 19th in Norwich and then again on February 8th in Colchester. By the time of the Colchester show they'd been on TOTP with Baby I Love You and put it in that night's set. I've no idea how many times they played it live, not many I would've thought. It didn't really work to be honest, though I do like the record.