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Wall of Sound: The Very Best of Phil Spector 1961-1966

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Despite all his late-in-life struggles, there was a time when Phil Spector’s control-freak excesses made for exciting pop music. He is one of very few producers who can sell a set of music on his own name and sound recognition. He lined up the best session musicians in Los Angeles for his Wall of Sound on his own Philles Records label, grabbed the best songwriters and then found the perfect singers to deliver his message alongside his “little symphonies for the kids.” This collection is a 50-year Anniversary Celebration. The songs still sound every bit as fun as the day they were released, whether it’s the Crystals working out “Da Doo Ron Ron,” the Ronettes pumping through “Be My Baby” or Ike & Tina Turner blazing through the dynamic “River Deep, Mountain High.” Between 1961 and 1966, Spector was an important part of the music industry. He gave the world the momentous Righteous Brothers recording of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and kept the competition — from the Beatles to the emerging psychedelic scene in Los Angeles — constantly exploring new ways to record sound.

Customer Reviews

Crazy? Perhaps. Genius? Undoubtedly.

Yes, he's quite possibly insane. Does that make the music he was involved with less amazing? Absolutely not! Phil's output during the 60's is truly essential listening and his 'Wall of Sound' one of 20th century pop culture's high points!

Fresh mono transfer and remaster of Spector’s best

In the lull between the primordial spark of ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll and the ‘60s echo brought by the British Invasion, Phil Spector reinvented the pop single. He broke into the music industry in the late ‘50s with his group, The Teddy Bears, and subsequently elevated the stature of “record producer” with his unique Wall of Sound methods. Starting in New York, and eventually decamping to Los Angeles, Spector’s fame eclipsed that of his artists. Though the Ronettes and Crystals got star billing, and the A-list studio players got their historic due as the Wrecking Crew, these singles have collectively become known as “Phil Spector records.” And given Spector’s reclusive lifestyle and his 2009 incarceration, the records are more than ever his public legacy.

This 19-track collection samples the key years, 1962-66, during which Spector produced for his own Philles label. With the Philles catalog now in the licensing hands of Sony Legacy and EMI, the fiftieth anniversary of the label’s 1961 founding is being celebrated with a new round of reissues. Alongside this remastered collection of Spector’s hits are collections for the Ronettes, Crystals and Darlene Love. This set stretches from the Crystals’ and Philles’ first single, 1961’s “There’s No Other (Like My Baby),” through the 1966 release whose chart failure is reported to have broken Spector’s heart, Ike & Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High.” In between are key sides from the Ronettes, Darlene Love, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, Righteous Brothers and more from the Crystals, gathering together all of the label’s Top 40 singles except for three mid-60s releases by the Righteous Brothers.

This is a great look at the peaks, both commercial and artistic, of Spector’s run at Philles. It’s missing the warm-up act of pre-Philles sides with Ray Peterson, Gene Pitney, Curtis Lee and the Paris Sisters, as well as Spector’s comeback work in the ‘70s and 80s, but as a single disc overview of the Wall of Sound, and given the per-track royalty model for U.S. releases, it’s hard to argue with the choices. To reach deeper into the Phil Spector and Philles catalogs, to hear B-sides, album tracks and the few non-charting Philles singles, seek out the individual artist collections being issued in parallel, dig up a copy of the out-of-print box set Back to Mono, or spring for the imported Phil Spector Masters. This isn’t the vault archaeology that fans seek, and many will complain about the mono line-up (all except “River Deep”), but it is a welcome overview of one of pop music’s greatest auteurs. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]


Forget all the whining...just let this be exactly what it is...GREAT! I hope Phil Spectre gets the money from this music. So his estate can keep this really great music alive.
To the ones that say ..."duh...didn't he just kill someone"? Yes, he did...however...THAT IS A DIFFERENT FORUM! OH and to the ones that say...."why would anyone want to support a murderer"?...same to you....THAT IS ANOTHER FORUM!!!
This is the place where we appreciate the good things that someone has done. If you don't want to post something nice, THEN KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT, didn't your mama teach you that if you can't say something nice, to not say anything at all?
PHIL SPECTRE created so much really great music. Geez, Darlene Love can still be watched every Christmas week live one night only to sing her traditional Phil Spectre Christmas song! It's was amazing then, it's still amazing now, even more so because it's 50 years later, and people are still listening to this really great music.


Born: December 26, 1940 in New York, NY [The Bronx]

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '00s

Strictly speaking, Phil Spector wasn't even a performer -- he's a musician, but he very rarely released records under his name. However, as a producer -- and, to a significant extent, songwriter, label owner, and session player -- he has influenced the course of rock & roll for more than all but a handful of performers. The Wall of Sound that he perfected in the early '60s opened unlimited possibilities for arrangements and sound construction in rock and pop, and his brilliant talents imprinted the...
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Wall of Sound: The Very Best of Phil Spector 1961-1966, Phil Spector
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