We’re dipping into the Far Out Magazine vault to pay tribute to one very special singer, a vocal that typified an entire decade and the power of a truly powerful person. Of course, we’re talking about the iconic Ronnie Spector.
In particular, we’re taking a look back at Spector’s isolated vocal on The Ronettes classic song ‘Baby, I Love You’ from the aforementioned powerhouse. The track may act as a perfect example of infamous producer and Ronnie’s ex-husband, Phil Spector’s famous ‘wall of sound’ but isolated, it shows so much more.
The song is often seen as one of The Ronettes finest recordings. A track dripping in reverb and compiled all on one tape mean this song is a feat of how far music has come since these early moments of pop. But while those tidbits are all well and good to ignore, the one shining light on this song would be to forget Ronnie Spector.
Of course, Phil Spector’s composition of the track can’t be undone, and his position within music is a glaring if not annoyingly successful blemish on pop music for all to see. But on this version, the real star comes out to shine Ronnie takes to the mic and show their chops.
Arguably some of the most influential voices of their generation, The Ronettes receive all the acclaim they deserve today. Cited as the foundations of much of pop music’s finer moments, the group was able to belt out a tune better than almost anybody. On ‘Baby, I Love You’, they certainly prove it.
however, for the original recording of the song, two-thirds of the group were missing. After the success of ‘Be My Baby’ with Spector, the producer wanted to work with the group again in the autumn of 1963. The only issue was, The Ronettes had been booked to tour as part of Dick Clark’s ‘Caravan of Stars’, it was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed.
Instead, Spector decided to hold back Ronnie and just send Estelle Bennet and Nedra Talley to perform on the Dick Clark tour with Ronnie’s cousin Elian taking her place on the stage. Instead, Ronnie headed to Gold Star Studios to record ‘Baby, I Love You’. As the other members of the group were out of town, Darlene Love and the little-known Cher offered up the backing vocals.
The song remains one of The Ronettes lasting legacies to this day and is widely beloved by fans. When you strip away the rest of the song and just focus on Ronnie’s vocals you can see how she easily became a star.
Listen to Ronnie Spector’s isolated vocals on The Ronettes song ‘Baby, I Love You’, below.