Phil Spector: Wall of Sound; The Very Best of Phil Spector 1961-1966 (Sony Legacy)

 |   |  1 min read

The Ronettes: Walking in the Rain
Phil Spector: Wall of Sound; The Very Best of Phil Spector 1961-1966 (Sony Legacy)

This judiciously selected, 19-song collection arrives half a century after Spector's distinctive "wall of sound" started to make an impact on the charts and his "little symphonies for the kids" changed the way people thought about how to use a recording studio.

And what talent Phil Spector had on his hands at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood and later in New York: Gene Pitney wrote He's a Rebel (the '62 hit for the Crystals); arranger Jack Nitzsche; songwriters Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry; the great -- and often interchangeable girls groups like the Ronettes and the Crystals; the Righteous Brothers (yes, You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling is here, written by Spector with Barry Mann and Cynthia Wells), Ike and Tina Turner (ditto, River Deep Mountain High) . . .

Books have been written about Spector, "the first tycoon of teen" as Tom Wolfe called him, during these years . . . and not a few about his gun obsession, imprisonment of Ronnie of the Ronettes when she became his wife, and of course the murder for which he now serving 19 years.

And many of these songs have been previously compiled, most notably on the essential Back to Mono four-CD box set which includes (among many other tracks) his overlooked classic Love is All I Have to Give by Checkmates.

This collection doesn't include that (or He Hit Me And It Felt Like A Kiss) but scoops up key hit tracks by the Crystals and Ronettes, Darlene Love (The Boy I'm Gonna Marry, Wait Til My Bobby Gets Home, A Fine Fine Boy) and Bob B Sox and the Blue Jeans (the lame Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, Why do Lovers Break Each Others Hearts? and Not Too Young to Be Married).

Echoes, handclaps, castanets, strings, massive drums, stack-up vocals, high drama . . .

This was the first phase of Phil Spector's remarkable professional life.

Afterwards came the Beatles, Ramones . . . and gunshots.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

Gavin Hancock - Dec 8, 2011

About bloody time Phil Spector's Greatest Creations were made widely and cheaply available...the "Back To Mono" box set is too expansive and too expensive for the casual fan so this does the trick. Everyone who has the "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost" soundtracks should complement them with this.

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Ruby Suns: Sea Lion (Lil'Chief/Rhythmethod)

The Ruby Suns: Sea Lion (Lil'Chief/Rhythmethod)

My theory goes like this: there is a unique sound emerging from Auckland -- and specifically from a house just around the corner from me, actually. The sound is quirky pop which isn't ashamed to... > Read more

David Dallas: Falling into Place (Dirty/Universal)

David Dallas: Falling into Place (Dirty/Universal)

In times to come when collections of contemporary New Zealand poetry are written (if not published in the form we have been used to), you'd like to think recent lyrics by Miriam Clancy, Moana... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

TAR, a film by 12 DIRECTORS

TAR, a film by 12 DIRECTORS

A visual ode to memory, love, loss of innocence and the spectre of impending death because of the events at Three Mile Island, this film is an elusive construction drawing on the poems of the... > Read more

Up where I belong? Luxury accommodation in Cairns (2007)

Up where I belong? Luxury accommodation in Cairns (2007)

To the best of my knowledge the words “upgrade” and “Mr Reid” have never appeared in the same sentence. Certainly I have stayed in some luxurious hotels -- Sorrento’s... > Read more