The New RS 500: #494 The Ronettes — Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica

Release Date: November 1964

Label: Philles Records

Have I heard this album before? Nope

2003 List Ranking: 427; 2012 List Ranking: 422; Does the move feel appropriate?: I think the current placement is probably more “correct,” but it’s pretty baffling to drop this album 72 spots apropos of nothing.

Is This Album One of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time? It feels a little dated, but the production styles and vocal performances alone lead me to say yes, it is.

Review: For a dude who maybe sucks harder than any dude in music has ever sucked, Phil Spector could do one thing and do it really, really well. This album is from 1964, pre-dating the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Led Zeppelin, etc. etc. etc. and it feels like it could have come out today. The “Wall of Sound” doesn’t always work for me, but Spector’s technique is utilized perhaps to its best results on this album. The drums from Hal Blaine crack like a rocket taking off in your ears. Timeless doesn’t begin to describe how this album feels. Ronnie Spector (at the time Veronica Bennett) also has one of the most entrancing voices I’ve ever heard, and I can only imagine what effect that would have had on listeners in the 1960s, without the entire history of music at their fingertips. Not all of the songs work for me, but when they work, they really fucking work. See: “Be My Baby,” a perfect 10/10 song. Have you heard this song? Probably. If not, hear this fucking song. What the hell.



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