Ronnie Spector – The Last Of The Rock Stars

In 1999, Joey Ramone produced an ep – She Talks to Rainbows – by legendary Ronettes vocalist Ronnie Spector. His understanding of the power of her voice and her musical background (which the Ramones had been assimilating – let’s not say ‘pilfering’ – from day one) produced something that seemed to herald the end of the century (ahem) and open endless opportunities for the future.

But, Joey’s gone, and it’s taken seven years for Ronnie to finally come up with this hyperbolically titled long player. And, there’s a huge chasm at the heart of it where his presence and guidance should be. The voice is astounding, that’s a taken. Some of the songs are pretty fine. But, all in, it’s that horrendous MOR you only get from artists of a certain age and stature. There’s a horrible showbiz moment on Work Out Fine where she has a ‘dialogue’ with the guitarist. Christ it’s naff, and unjustifiable. A quick squint at he sleevenotes reveal that said strummer is Keith Richards. Now, who gets Richards onto a record and let’s him open his mouth? Actually, who gets him on for this kind of lame-o funk workout?

There is one outstanding highlight, her cover of Johnny ThundersYou Can’t Put Your Arms around A Memory. But, this is taken from the …Rainbows ep, and is given an unnecessary remix here.

The samba tinged Girl From The Ghetto (despite it’s J-Lo undertones) has something that’s kinda lacking from the rest of the stuff. Mind you, were it all like this I’d be bemoaning the pedestrian coffee table nature of he record and wondering why she didn’t try and bring Keef, or someone, in to lend a hand.

Maybe next time…

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Written by Tony Kiernan

09 June 2006 at 11:46 am

Posted in Records

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