Soundtrack of my Life: “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes

Dirty Dancing. That monster hit film with an even bigger soundtrack. For girls my age, it was a somewhat scandalous thing to watch. I mean- PREMARITAL SEX! NAUGHTY ROCK N’ ROLL! ABORTION! It was my parents worse nightmare, and it starred Patrick Swayze, who was one of my first crushes. A guy who could really dance. Yummy.

I took dance as a kid- loved it, but knew I wasn’t going to be spectacular at it. My body was all wrong as I matured- I went from stick thin with legs and arms to boobtastically top-heavy with legs and arms. But to this day I am in love with all things dance. Dirty Dancing remains one of my favourite films. You know, the real favourite films, the ones I actually watch over and over, not the favourite films that are prestige and nerdy. I was ten, it didn’t take much.

But a killer soundtrack helped in my case, and Phil Spector may be a crazy murderer with a gun fetish, but “Be My Baby” remains the pinnacle of all girl group songs. Ronnie Spector’s voice is so recognizable, so unique, and the sheer volume of the orchestrations. And of course, there is Hal Blaine’s opening drum sequence, a legend of its own right, one of the most borrowed drum beats in all of human history ( the AV Club, the all-knowing, all-awesome Onion sister site, once titled their look at the phenomenon with the appropriate kick kick kick snare, and rightly put the blatant rip off of the Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Just Like Honey” at the top of the list). When Brian Wilson, who knows a thing about melody and production, says that “Be My Baby” is sheer perfection, you know it is.


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