The greatest white soul singer? Dusty's performance here made her a contender. John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins' song was first offered to Aretha Franklin, who turned it down. Recorded by Dusty as part of her Dusty In Memphis sessions, it proved an unbeatable synthesis of a fragile vocal allied to the tough, brassy sound that stood for Memphis at its best. When Aretha eventually recorded the song, Dusty claimed that, "She did it the way I wish I'd done it." Yet Dusty's rendition remains definitive.
Availability: Dusty In Memphis Philips CD
49. THE RONETTES: Be My Baby/ Tedesco And Pitman (1963)
"BOOM-BA-BOOM-CHA". The symphonic hurricane starts simply enough. Then in come the bone-rattling castanets, swooping strings, crunching snare, boisterous tympani. Then the final thundercrack-- "whoa-oh-oh-oh." Suddenly, you're drenched in 15 orchestras and 43 voices. Brian Wilson calls it the most perfect pop record of all time. Not so much a record to dance to-- despite its air of violence-- as to dream to. After all, when The Ronettes toured with The Rolling Stones in 1964 the screams from the aggro boys for them matched the girls' hysteria for Jagger, Jones and co. The flip, however, is a contender for the least-played tune in jukebox history, Tedesco And Pitman is the action of a paranoid and eccentric Spector. He regularly placed dodgy instrumentals on B-sides to ensure no mistake could be made about which was the plug(he'd been outraged when DJs flipped The Crystals' Oh Yeah Maybe Baby to make There's No Other (Like My Baby) a hit in '61). It was also an excuse to vent in-jokes like the notorious Do The Screw Parts 1 and 2.
Availability: Best Of The Ronettes Uni/Abco CD