Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Born to Be Together

In the late '80s, producer, writer and girl-group aficionado Alan Betrock had a dream come true. He got studio time at Record Plant Studios in New York with the legendary Ronnie Spector. Betrock showed Spector several songs she might want to record, and the singer really took to the work of Marshall Crenshaw. Betrock and Crenshaw went way back. The former had even produced the latter's first single, "Something's Gonna Happen," in 1982. Her backing band would be Crenshaw on guitar, Graham Maby of Joe Jackson Band fame on bass and, just like the early days of Marshall's career, Crenshaw's brother Robert on drums. The nouveau girl group the Pussywillows provided backing vocals.

Due to the assets of the Record Plant being seized in a bankruptcy, these songs sat on a shelf until the turn of the century. Ronnie and her husband/manager finally gained control of the tapes and put them out themselves in 2003. By then, sadly, Betrock had died of cancer at age 49, breaking the hearts of Crenshaw and the other participants. Crenshaw loves these versions of some of his best-known songs, calling them in one interview "by far the best covers of my songs that anybody has ever done." In another interview he said, "I think they're just beautiful. I was really into everything on the Philles label, so it was exciting to cross paths with her." This really was a match made in heaven. Here are a couple that originally came from Crenshaw's second album and my personal favorite, 'Field Day.'

For His Love
Whenever You're on My Mind


Charity Chic said...

Always good to hear Ronnie Spector Brian

Rol said...

Ditto CC. I loved her later collaboration with the E Street Band too.

drew said...

Why didn't I know anything about this album until now? Thanks Brian for filling a gap. It is now on the list

Brian said...

CC, Very tempted to pull out the classic stuff for a few days of posts.
Rol, Say Goodbye to Hollywood never sounded so good.
Drew, Easy to miss. This was a very quiet release. What a band, though. Huge fan of every person she played with here. I listened to Robert Crenshaw's first solo album before bed last night. So good.