Entertainment & Arts

Ronettes release new track 50 years on

Ronnie Spector
Image caption Ronnie was married to Phil Spector for seven years

Sixties girl group The Ronettes are releasing a new track for the first time in 50 years.

I'd Much Rather Be With the Girls was written by Keith Richards and Andrew Oldham, the former manager of The Rolling Stones, in the 1960s.

Originally called I'd Much Rather Be With The Boys, it previously appeared on The Stones' 1975 album Metamorphosis. The new song had its first play on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday morning.

When The Ronettes first toured in England in 1964, The Rolling Stones were their support act. The song was written while the groups were travelling together.

"They would write and do stuff on the bus", Ronnie Spector told the BBC "All bands back then they would write on napkins or anything they could get their hands on."

"I had no idea they had written this song," she continued. "Two months ago my managers brought it to my attention, but it was called, I'd Much Rather Be With the Boys. I just changed it to I'd Much Rather Be With the Girls."

Asked why she altered the title, Spector said: "You know my past life. I think everybody knows who I am singing about. There is a line in the song, 'I don't need you anymore'. By listening to the lyrics I think you'll understand why I'd much rather be with the girls."

The singer was famously married to the record producer Phil Spector, who was responsible for The Ronettes' greatest hits, including Be My Baby and Walking in the Rain. But after their wedding in 1968, Ronnie said Phil deprived her of the limelight and virtually imprisoned her in his Los Angeles mansion.

"The only time I was allowed out was once a month," she said. "I was so unhappy." They divorced after seven years.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Veronica 'Ronnie' Bennett, Nedra Talley and Estelle Bennett made up the original The Ronettes

Phil Spector is currently serving a prison sentence for murdering an actress in 2003.

Ronnie, now 72, formed The Ronettes with her sister and cousin in New York's Spanish Harlem in the 1950s. They scored five top 10 hits but broke up in 1966, after disappointing sales of their final single, I Can Hear Music.

The new song was recorded in New York with her late sister's daughter and another cousin. "I wanted to keep that blood sound in there," she said.

The recording will appear on a new CD, English Heart, described as the singer's tribute to the days when she worked and toured with British bands The Beatles and The Yardbirds, as well as The Rolling Stones.

Ronnie Spector also confirmed that a film about her life is currently in development. Asked who she would like to play her, she said: "I think Selena Gomez would be good."

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