Ronnie Spector She Talks to Rainbows

Ronnie Spector will always be remembered for her commanding, piercing lead vocal on the Ronnettes’ “Be My Baby” and other early ’60s hits produced by her now-ex-husband, the musical genius and sociopathic creep Phil Spector. Joey Ramone will always be remembered for being, well, Joey Ramone: punk progenitor, bubblegum aficionado and songwriter responsible for countless two-minute miracles. Now that The Ramones decided to bury their legend instead of mocking it, Joey has turned his eye to more creative pursuits, beginning with this remarkable collaboration with Ms. Spector. This five-song EP features two Ramone compositions, a cover of Johnny Thunders’ “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” and Spector’s own “I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine,” the latter also recently covered by Beth Orton. But the kicker is Brian Wilson’s “Don’t Worry Baby,” a Beach Boys song he wrote for her over 30 years ago, but which Phil forbade her to sing. It all sounds quite exciting, and the only disappointing thing about this EP is that it doesn’t offer anything particularly surprising beyond the initial concept. But it’s silly, of course, to knock something for merely living up to your expectations. Instead we should be celebrating the return of the greatest — and criminally under-utilised — voices in the history of rock. (Kill Rock Stars)