phil spector

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Detroit Cobras: Tied and True (Shock)

Detroit Cobras: Tied and True (Shock)

This rough'n'raw outfit from the Motor City have perfected the art of lo-fi covers of Motown r'n'b and old rock'n'roll hits, and strip them right back to the elements which I suspect are in this order; a good time, leopard skin pants, high heels and getting people up dancing. In one sense there isn't anything to get too excited about --...

Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True, Deluxe Edition (Universal)

Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True, Deluxe Edition (Universal)

Elvis had a fair run here on Elsewhere when the recent reissue of his first 11 albums prompted a consideration of his quite remarkable career (see tag). But this Deluxe double disc edition of his debut album adds extra texture to that exceptional album with its touchstones in Phil Spector, country-rock, beat pop, Chuck Berry-meets-Dylan and...

Jason Isbell: Sirens of the Ditch (New West/Elite)

Jason Isbell: Sirens of the Ditch (New West/Elite)

True story: an advance CD copy of this album arrived at my place about six months ago and I lost it down the back of the bookcase. A fortnight ago I watched the new Drive-By Truckers album (see tag) slide through the same gap and in the course of rescuing it came upon this -- the debut solo album by a former Trucker who quit last year....

Mink De Ville: Return to Magenta (1978)

Mink De Ville: Return to Magenta (1978)

The curious things about the life of Willy De Ville was not that he succumbed to pancreatic cancer in early August 2009, but that he had lived so long. He was 58 when he died -- but from the time he appeared on the post-punk New Wave scene in New York in the early Eighties he seemed to be destined for a short but bright flight. He was...

Ronnie Spector: Girl from the Ghetto (2006)

Ronnie Spector: Girl from the Ghetto (2006)

Revenge is a dish best served cold -- and with a pointed, fuckin' still-angry-at-you-bastardfucker lyric. And Ronnie got her chance when her former husband Phil Spector was facing a murder charge. Ronnie Spector, the voice of the classic girl group the Ronettes of the Sixties which Phil produced, married the mad boss and spent years as a...

Bill Elliot and the Elastic Oz Band: God Save Us (1971)

Bill Elliot and the Elastic Oz Band: God Save Us (1971)

The problem with political songs is that so often they are merely sloganeering and headlines. Fine print and nuance can't make it into a three minute song. Still, there's nothing quite like a chant such as "power to the people" -- even if we are never quite sure which people should have the power. For a few years from the late...

Damien Jurado: Saint Bartlett (Secretly Canadian/Rhythmethod)

Damien Jurado: Saint Bartlett (Secretly Canadian/Rhythmethod)

With a lovely, sympathetic production by Richard Swift -- sort of budget-priced Phil Spector -- and melodies which swell with Fifties and Sixties pop-romanticism, this is one of those album (like Swift's) which will be taken to heart with a passion by those who discover it. Previously Jurado out of Seattle came at you from the...

The Checkmates: Love is All I Have to Give (1969)

The Checkmates: Love is All I Have to Give (1969)

It is widely believed that crazy Phil Spector "retired" from pop production in '66 because he had been broken by Ike and Tina Turner's River Deep Mountain High -- what he considered his finest "wall of sound" production -- not going to the top of the charts. Certainly after it failed to be embraced by DJs and the American...

Gene Pitney: A Town Without Pity (1961)

Gene Pitney: A Town Without Pity (1961)

Because many of us used to read album covers with something approaching an obsession when we were first buying records, we got to know the names of songwriters (Charles and Inez Foxx always sounded so mysterious when I found them on the first Downliners Sect album) and even producers. So imagine my confusion when I saw the name "Gene...

PHIL SPECTOR'S RISE AND FALL . . . AND FALL AGAIN (2003): The high and low life

PHIL SPECTOR'S RISE AND FALL . . . AND FALL AGAIN (2003): The high and low life

So Phil Spector has been charged with murder, huh? Well, no surprises there then - because Spector has been one of the more disturbed individuals in rock, right up there with the eccentric and once reclusive Beach Boy Brian Wilson, the Pink Floyd founder Floyd Syd Barrett, and the just plain weird Michael Jackson. When it came to crazy...

Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents: Keeping Time (Fuse/Border)

Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents: Keeping Time (Fuse/Border)

Retro seems to be the way of the future if your current CD collection is made up of albums by Pete Molinari, Kittie Daisy and Lewis, Sonny and the Sunsets, the Young Veins etc. Most of these artists are fun but you suspect there's not much longevity in being quite so referential (Molinari is getting by on the skin of his teeth) and while I...

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

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...

THE BEATLES' LET IT BE NAKED REVIEWED (2003): Get back . . . at Phil

THE BEATLES' LET IT BE NAKED REVIEWED (2003): Get back . . . at Phil

The story behind the making of the Beatles' 1970 album Let It Be is well known, but to recap: The "White Album" of 68 was aural proof each was going his own way; however, late in the year, McCartney suggested they do a back-to-basics recording, ostensibly for an album to be called Get Back -- and get a film crew to make a doco to go...

GEORGE HARRISON REVISITED, PART TWO (2014): The dark horse at a canter to the end

GEORGE HARRISON REVISITED, PART TWO (2014): The dark horse at a canter to the end

The 2004 Oscars were unusual in how lacking in sentiment they were. Usually you'd expect a veteran favourite like Clint Eastwood to be recognised, or some time-server to get best supporting something. But no, what Lord of the Rings didn't win went to choices seemingly unmotivated by heart-tugging or vote-rigging. The Grammys that year...

JOHN LENNON, IMAGINE RECONSIDERED (2000): Peace in our time?

JOHN LENNON, IMAGINE RECONSIDERED (2000): Peace in our time?

Some people just don't get it, do they? Wouldn't you love to meet those gearing up to pay an expected $4.5 million at on-line auction for the piano on which John Lennon wrote Imagine? Imagine no possessions, huh? Of course, the Famous White Piano will command top dollar because Imagine was recently voted the best song ever written or...

Dion: Born To Be With You (1975)

Dion: Born To Be With You (1975)

In the world outside the US, most people seem to only know Dion for a couple of classic hits like Runaround Sue and The Wanderer in '61. It appeared Dion and his kind had been washed away by the British Invasion -- but Dion made a return with the ballad Abraham, Martin and John in the late Sixties. American fans knew him for much more --...

RONNIE SPECTOR INTERVIEWED: Time has come today (2006)

RONNIE SPECTOR INTERVIEWED: Time has come today (2006)

Steven Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band said it best: " 'Everybody love Ronnie.' It's the first bylaw of rock'n'roll." Ronnie Spector, lead singer of the archetypal 60s girl-group the Ronettes, defined the exuberant spirit of pre-Beatles American rock'n'roll through the alchemy of a street-wise image adopted from...

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