The Ronettes – Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes: #812 of best 1,000 albums ever!

The Ronettes - Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes

Why is The Ronettes’ Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

It makes you feel like you’ve walked into the world of a Martin Scorsese movie. There are much worse things.

What does The Ronettes’ Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

While doing research for this here best 1,000 albums ever project, I jotted down the following about Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes:

It makes you feel like you’ve walked into the world of a Martin Scorsese movie. There are much worse things.

Specifically, I was thinking about Goodfellas, a movie for which it’s completely fair to ask of me, “When are you not thinking about Goodfellas?”

Answer: rarely.

It turns out that there is one Ronettes song included in Goodfellas (“Henry arrives at the Christmas party; Jimmy chews out Johnny Roastbeef for the Cadillac”), a rendition of “Frosty the Snowman,” but it’s not included on Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes.

“It’s under my mother’s name!”  

“What did I tell you? You don’t buy anything!”  

Even so, the album conjures that feeling of being whisked away into the 1960s, thanks to the gorgeous voices of Veronica Bennett, Estelle Bennett, and Nedra Talley, and Phil Spector’s iconic “Wall of Sound” music production style.

“Be My Baby,” an iconic song in its own right. epitomizes this feeling and sense for me the most.

While writing this piece, I became convinced that “Be My Baby” simply had to be a part of a Martin Scorsese movie and, more specifically, a Scorsese gangster picture (we call ‘em pictures in the biz, baby).

And, bingo, I was right! “Be My Baby” is played during the opening credit sequence of a (these days) lesser know Scorsese masterpiece, 1973’s Mean Streets.

There are two other songs with the word “baby” in the title on Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes, and they’re both great: “You Baby” and “Baby, I Love You.” Here’s the latter.

It’s really interesting to hear what sounds like a live performance of The Ronettes performing a cover of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say.” The vocals sound fantastic, but the sound production isn’t great, and it’s a good comparison that emphasizes how powerful the Wall of Sound production style is. It’s missing in this recording, and it really shows.

Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to The Ronettes’ Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes

Now is as good a time as any to talk a little bit about the “What kind of musical stylings does this album represent?” question that’s listed on every album entry for the best 1,000 albums ever project.

I spend a lot of time thinking about and crafting these kinds of details for all kinds of reasons. One of them is that it helps me craft the “tags” that each entry falls under. What this does is to categorize each album entry in different ways on Pop Thruster. Over time, this becomes incredibly cool, because not only can we all look at not only what the top 1,000 albums are in order, but we can also look at what the top hard rock albums are, for example, all in one nice and tidy place. As of this writing, there are 26 hard rock albums of the close to 190 entries that have been published, and surely there will be many more by the time we get all the way to the #1 best album ever.

Sometimes, creating these little descriptors or stylings or tags, whatever you’d like to call them, is very easy and straight forward. Sometimes, it’s not each but in combination help to capture a genre bending kind of album (Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain, #813 of 1,000, is a great example of this).

And some are particularly tricky. Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes is an example of a tricky one. It’s a pop record, so that it’s easy. But it’s way more specific than that, right? All Music will sometimes use terms like “AM Radio,” which I’m a little wary of, and in any event they don’t use it with this album. They do use the term “Girl Groups.”

So I decided to go with “Girl Groups,” because, yep, it’s a musical act that is indeed comprised of a group of girls – or, well, women more accurately – and I think most people have a sense that Girl Groups broadly define a style of music that includes this album, performed by groups of women, that was popularized mainly in the 1950s through, let’s say, 1970s.

I went with Girl Groups, but I struggled with going with Girl Groups. Is it inappropriate or sexist to use the term Girl Groups in 2022, the time of this writing? If we’re going to use “Girl Groups,” shouldn’t we also use “Guy Groups,” too? Maybe? I’m not sure?

If you have any (serious) thoughts about this topic, I’d love to hear from you.

Some stats & info about The Ronettes – Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes

The Ronettes’ Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.