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Be My Baby: The Very Best of the Ronettes

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Editors’ Notes

Upon forming his own label, Philles Records in 1961, Phil Spector needed a roster to record his “little symphonies for the kids.” He had the back-up group in place, building his Wall of Sound with an army of piano, guitars, drums and string arrangements by Jack Nitzsche. The top session players in Los Angeles were brought together to make it happen. With Ronnie Bennett (soon his wife, Ronnie Spector) as the human face and voice on this girl group of street toughness and delicate hearts. The hits are legendary and enduring. “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You” are untouchable, as perfect as pop singles can be. However, there were many more hits and they all hit that rarified sweet spot where the songs’ simplicity is matched with an eternal flame that can’t be extinguished. “(The Best Part of) Breakin’ Up,” “Do I Love You,” “You Baby,” “Is This What I Get For Loving You?,” “I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine,” they’re all here and they sound like the group looked: beautiful.

Customer Reviews

Fresh mono transfer and remaster of Ronettes’ best

With the Philles catalog now in the licensing hands of Sony Legacy and EMI, the fiftieth anniversary of the label’s 1961 founding is being celebrated with a new round of reissues. First out of the gate are remastered best-of collections for the Ronettes, Crystals, Darlene Love and Phil Spector. This 18-track set includes all eight of the group’s Philles singles (all of which charted, but amazingly flew under the Top 10 except “Be My Baby”), Veronica’s “Why Don’t They Let Us Fall in Love” and “So Young,” the album tracks “I Wonder” and “You Baby,” the B-side “When I Saw You,” the 1969 A&M single “You Came, You Saw, You Conquered,” and a few tracks that went unreleased at the time of their recording. The latter includes a terrific pair (“Paradise” and “Here I Sit”) co-written by a young Harry Nilsson, and previously released on The Phil Spector Masters. This collection duplicates the track line-up of ABKCO’s out-of-print Best of the Ronettes with one exception: the 1964 B-side “How Does it Feel” is replaced here by the group’s last charting single, 1966’s “I Can Hear Music.” The track ordering is mostly chronological to the songs’ recording dates, and Lenny Kaye offers touchingly personal liner notes alongside detailed recording data. This isn’t the vault discovery that fans are waiting for, and many will complain about the all-mono line-up, but with ABKCO’s set itself a collectors’ item, this is a welcome overview of the group’s biggest hits. Now, where are the rarities and stereo mixes? [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]

The Ronettes

What a time to be alive. What a sound to take you through that time. Lyrics that were clear and understandable, situations of love between boy and girl never colored over with the macho crap and profanity allowed in the music industry today. Great memories of another time when music was real and life was simpler. I was transported listening to these songs; remembering hearing them on a transister radio. And, if you lived in the NYC area, every guys wish then was to meet and spend some time with Ronnie Spector. Oh boy...

Finally the real "Wall of Sound"

Great collection, A must for everyone. All original tracks. "Be My Baby" is still the perfect pop song.

Biography

Formed: 1959 in New York, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s

The Ronettes weren't the most commercially successful girl group, but their music was some of the most groundbreaking in the field, thanks to their association with the legendary Wall of Sound producer Phil Spector. Their biggest hit, "Be My Baby," is widely regarded as one of the crowning achievements of Spector's oeuvre, and of girl-group pop in general. In fact, many critics have deemed it one of the most supremely romantic records of the rock & roll era; Spector's production frames the song's...
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Be My Baby: The Very Best of the Ronettes, The Ronettes
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