13 January 2022

Ronnie Spector: 11 songs that are essential listening

Ronnie Spector — the frontwoman of The Ronettes, who redefined the sound and image of a generation of girl groups — passed away at 78 last night, after a brief battle with cancer.

Spector, and her Ronettes, her sister, Estelle, and their cousin, Nedra Talley, came to encapsulate the 60’s aesthetic; what with their beehives, heavy mascara, and Studio 54-esque sartorialism.

Her hits in the vocal trio include the likes of Be My Baby and Baby, I Love You. Their ubiquity — nearly 60 years after their release — cannot be overstated.

Spector formed The Ronettes in 1957, and after a string of early failures the group was signed by Phil Spector. Be My Baby became their first hit, reaching No 2 in the US and No 4 in the UK.

The singer famously married the producer and went on to survive an abusive marriage. Phil Spector, of course, was imprisoned for murder in 2009 over the murder of actress, Lana Clarkson.

When inducting The Ronettes into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards described the band as an enduring tour de force. “They could sing all their way right through a wall of sound,” he said. “They didn’t need anything.”

“Our beloved earth angel, Ronnie, peacefully left this world today after a brief battle with cancer,” read a statement posted to her website on Wednesday, announcing her death. “She was with family and in the arms of her husband, Jonathan. Her joyful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in all who knew, heard or saw her.”

Here, we take a look through Ronnie Spector’s iconic cannon. 

The Ronettes — Be My Baby (1963)

Ronnie Spector — Try Some, Buy Some (1971) 

The Ronettes — Baby, I Love You (1963)

The Ronettes – Walking in the Rain (1964)

Ronnie Spector – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (1980)

The Ronettes – What’d I Say (1964)

Ronnie Spector and the E Street Band – Say Goodbye to Hollywood (1977) 

Ronnie Spector — Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree (1992)

The Ronettes – You Came, You Saw, You Conquered (1969)

Ronnie Spector – This Magic Moment (2003)

Ronnie Spector – I’d Much Rather Be With the Girls (2016)

  • Writer Nessa Humayun
  • Banner Credit The Ronettes/Philles Records

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