Release Date: Apr 8, 2016
Record label: 429 Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Rock & Roll, British Invasion
Extraordinary collection of classic 60s covers. With a British tour and a decent compilation unfolding, Ronnie Spector, the best singer of her era, is sensibly releasing a collection of songs that – thank God – aren’t recent Morrissey solo efforts, but 1960s classics, reinterpreted in that extraordinary, hoarsely keening voice – a voice seemingly unaffected by time. ADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads .
Ronnie Spector already had two of the 60s’ defining pop masterpieces under her belt with Be My Baby and Baby I Love You when she first touched down in the UK in January 1964. Now 72, it’s deliciously reaffirming to find that remarkable voice still in fine fettle on this astutely-picked selection of lesser-known classics from that seminal decade (apart from her heartfelt take on the Bee Gees’ How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, from 1971). Although multi-instrumentalist Scott Jacoby’s production reduces the wall of sound to a digital prism, the starker backdrops provide an unobtrusive frame for that towering voice which, while displaying some Marianne Faithfull-style gritty life experience, still sends vintage shivers on her respectful renditions of Sandie Shaw’s Girl Don’t Come, The Beatles’ I’ll Follow The Sun, Ray Davies’ Tired Of Waiting, Gerry Marsden’s Don’t let the Sun Catch You Crying and Lulu’s Oh Me Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby).
Back in the early ‘60s, Phil Spector used to cloak the vocals of the Ronettes deep in his famous Wall of Sound. If you ever wondered how Ronnie (Spector) would sound without such overwhelming accompaniment, her latest disc would serve you well. Yes, there are backup singers and playing, but Ronnie’s vocals are front and center. There are many times when it is just her soloing, or just a few quiet instruments behind her.
Few if any artists of the girl group era were as iconic as Ronnie Spector. As the lead singer of the Ronettes, Ronnie was the crown jewel of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound (and also his wife for a while). But as iconic sounds of the '60s go, Ronnie and her peers had to play second fiddle to the Beatles and the many other British groups who invaded America in their wake.