“Be My Baby” is one of the greatest pop songs to come out of the ‘60s—no, one of the greatest pop songs of all time. You’re free to disagree with that assessment, but you should know that you’re wrong.
The Ronettes’ 1963 classic captured master-producer Phil Spector at the height of his powers, amplifying the gentle strength of lead singer Veronica Bennett (better known as Ronnie Spector) with the symphonic, reverb-laden excess of his famed Wall of Sound. It’s also emblematic of the youthful, arguably naive sincerity that defined many of the era’s most popular love songs.
“Be My Baby” has been covered by plenty of artists over the years, but the latest to put an interesting spin on the tune is New Orleans-based outfit Hurray for the Riff Raff. Led by consummate wordsmith Alynda Lee Segarra, the group’s music generally takes a more lyrically complex approach to matters of the heart, but there’s something perfectly natural about their rendition of The Ronettes’ number. As frequent OffBeat contributor Alison Fensterstock notes in her NPR piece on the cover, even Segarra’s standard “subdued beehive” hairdo is reminiscent of the ‘60s girl group’s style.
Hurray for the Riff Raff’s take on “Be My Baby” was originally released earlier this year as part of Amazon’s Love Me / Love Me Not Valentine’s Day compilation. However, the band has been covering the tune for years as part of their live set, and today marks the debut of their new music video. Directed by Joshua Shoemaker, it harkens back to the era that birthed this pop masterpiece in the most delightful way possible.
As previously reported, Hurray for the Riff Raff recently released their latest effort, The Navigator. The record marks stylistic departure for Segarra, who incorporated a variety of latin musical musical influences into the new concept album. We spoke with her for the April issue of OffBeat.