There are many extraordinary things about Ronnie Spector’s Siren album. It was conceived and produced by the legendary Genya Ravan (aka Goldie Zelcowicz) of one of the first all-girl bands, Goldie & the Gingerbreads. It has a street feel much like Ronnie Spector’s solo concerts over the years. And it has pretty much a cast of thousands. Well, if not thousands, more session people scattered over one album than Phil Spector would put on one song.
It is an important piece of Ronnie’s musical legacy which bridges the gap between The Ronettes Sing Their Greatest Hits to the 1995 collection of her ’70s/’80s material on Sony, the “Dangerous” re-release on Australia’s Raven Records. One of the Ramones biggest selling albums, if not their biggest, was the one produced by Phil Spector. Genya Ravan’s choice of the Ramones song “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” is brilliant. They may have been headbangers, but they were Ronnie Spector fans.
Members of Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers, the Dead Boys, and Mink DeVille must have been honored to appear on this, and the musical integrity and heart is there, for sure. Here’s the classic ’60s voice which ruled on Top 40 for five hit records in 1963 and 1964 rocking out with the best of them on songs like “Settin’ the Woods on Fire” with backing by the Diamond Dupree Band, or singing to the reggae beat of the Bahama Mama Band on Roger Cook’s “Let Your Feelings Show.”
This is a dynamic and diverse album with even Janis Joplin/Merrilee Rush/Troggs songwriter Chip Taylor weighing in on “Any Way That You Want Me.” If Phil Spector overproduced to good effect, Genya Ravan purposely underproduced, choosing instead to let flavors of different musicians paint the fabric behind Ronnie Spector. In her book ‘Be My Baby’ on page 248, Ronnie says “Genya was a strong producer who knew what she wanted, just like Phil.” High praise indeed! [Allmusic]