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To know him was not to love him-- Phil Spector dead at 81


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Phil Spector was one of the most unique and legendary figures in the history of rock and roll.

He was responsible for creating and producing hit records for The Ronettes, the Righteous Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, and The Beatles

His so-called wall of sound was instrumental in influencing Brian Wilson's groundbreaking "Pet Sounds".

Unfortunately Phil's personal life and volatile personality and behavior adversely affected his career to the point that he spent his last years in prison from murder.

His former wife, Ronnie Spector, lead singer of The Ronettes, said that her marriage was plagued with his hateful abuse and physical threats.

Phil Spector burst upon the scene in the late 1950s with the Teddy Bears hit

"To know him is to love him"

Spector sang lead and wrote the song.

He would go on to write music for and to produce top rock and pop Acts like The Ronettes, the Crystals and the Righteous Brothers.

He mentored Sonny Bono in the music business, he was the musical Idol of Brian Wilson, leader of the Beach Boys and he produced The Beatles' last album, "Let It Be".

During John Lennon's lost weekend time in Hollywood Spectre was  in the process of producing an album  for Lennon which was infamously never completed amid a recording studio fractured with violence and drugs.

Phil Spector died at 81 in a prison hospital in Stockton California.

Some sources state he died of natural causes, while others said it was covid-19 related.

California prison authorities say they're waiting for the medical examiner's report before stating an exact cause of death.

Sources, CNN, The Hollywood Reporter, TMZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Princess of Tap changed the title to To know him was not to love him-- Phil Spector dead at 81

Princess,

Great write-up of Phil Spector.   I’d just like to quibble with one point: Spector took the Crystals, the Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers, and MADE them top acts.  

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20 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

 

His so-called wall of sound was instrumental in influencing Brian Wilson's groundbreaking "Pet Sounds".

 

Wonder was he the influence behind that bizarre Beach Boys piece "Fall Breaks and Back To Winter"? :blink:

 

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8 hours ago, hamradio said:

Wonder was he the influence behind that bizarre Beach Boys piece "Fall Breaks and Back To Winter"? :blink:

 

I don't know how familiar you are with Brian Wilson's music.

But the song that had the most influence on Brian's career was Phil Spector's "Be My Baby", a hit for The Ronettes.

It directly influenced one of The Beach Boys biggest hits "Don't Worry Baby".

You can listen to "Pet Sounds" for the direct influence of Spector. His favorite Studio musicians, The Wrecking Crew were featured on that groundbreaking album directed, written and produced by Brian Wilson.

The instrumental that you  referenced above doesn't sound so bizarre to me; it's quite ordinary.

Brian wrote another instrumental on "Pet Sounds" that he just called "Pet Sounds".

It was an audition piece to be a theme for a James Bond movie but was rejected.

 If you're not familiar with that you might take a listen to it. It's quite good.

 

 

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As iconic to music in the '60's as Spector was, I noticed how much improved The Beatles' Lp   LET IT BE  is , released as LET IT BE....NAKED ,is with all the "Spectorisms" removed. 

It was tragic how his life ended up considering all he was able to accomplish  leading up to his conviction and prison term.  A great mind gone sideways.

Sepiatone

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Actually the album Spector was producing for Lennon in '73 was completed later by Lennon and

others and released in '75 with the title Rock 'n' Roll. It was a collection of rock and roll oldies.

Lennon also had a devil of a time with Morris Levy suing him multiple times over the album. It

seems McCartney was especially disappointed by Spector's additions to The Long and Winding

Road. Spector upped the sap content of the tune from 50% to 100%. 

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19 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

I don't know how familiar you are with Brian Wilson's music.

But the song that had the most influence on Brian's career was Phil Spector's "Be My Baby", a hit for The Ronettes.

It directly influenced one of The Beach Boys biggest hits "Don't Worry Baby".

You can listen to "Pet Sounds" for the direct influence of Spector. His favorite Studio musicians, The Wrecking Crew were featured on that groundbreaking album directed, written and produced by Brian Wilson.

The instrumental that you  referenced above doesn't sound so bizarre to me; it's quite ordinary.

Brian wrote another instrumental on "Pet Sounds" that he just called "Pet Sounds".

It was an audition piece to be a theme for a James Bond movie but was rejected.

 If you're not familiar with that you might take a listen to it. It's quite good.

 

 

There was quite a bit of friendly rivalry among some of the creative forces in mid-60s pop music.  Besides Spector/ Brian Wilson, the arrival of the Beatles and the rise of Motown also contributed to this.  Supposedly, the Motown writing/production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, whose 1964-66 hits with The Supremes, Four Tops, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, etc had basically defined the Motown Sound of “The Sound of Young America”.  It also relegated the Wall of Sound as last year’s thing.  And it inspired Spector to work with The Righteous Brothers to try to top HDH’s production of “Baby I Need Your Loving” with the Four Tops.  And when Spector did, this spurred HDH to come up with the Tops’ “Reach Out I’ll Be There”, which in turn had Spector do “River Deep Mountain High”  with Ike and Tina Turner.  The relative failure of this last record, along with those of similar productions with the Ronettes, had Phil go into a funk, and retreat from the frontlines of the Pop world, only occasionally and usually half-heartedly  entering back.

While the Lennon-McCartney/ Brian Wilson rivalry has been discussed at length, with each trying to outdo the other with successive albums Rubber Soul, Pet Sounds, and Revolver, as well as singles like “God Only Knows”, “PaperbackWriter”/“Rain”,  “Good Vibrations”,  “Strawberry Fields Forever”, with Brian finally giving up in despair after Sgt. Pepper, and shelving Smile, and having a nervous breakdown, Motown also had an impact on the Beatles.  Not just their covers on their first two British releases, which helped popularize Motown over there, but in the actual productions, namely HDH.  Both John and Paul tried to get the bass technique out of individual Tops at a party.  They finally figured it out, not only the amazing James Jamerson, but how the bass was recorded.  This Paul debuted on both sides of the “Paperback Writer”/“Rain” single,  ostensibly an exercise is style on the A-Side, but a showcase from the bass technique they got from Motown. 
 

Of course the Beatles also had the fertile British scene to bounce off new ideas and spur them on, and other artists like Dylan would also contribute to pop or rock and roll develop into Rock.     By then both Spector and Wilson were sidelined from the front ranks of innovation.

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3 hours ago, Arturo said:

There was quite a bit of friendly rivalry among some of the creative forces in mid-60s pop music.  Besides Spector/ Brian Wilson, the arrival of the Beatles and the rise of Motown also contributed to this.  Supposedly, the Motown writing/production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, whose 1964-66 hits with The Supremes, Four Tops, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, etc had basically defined the Motown Sound of “The Sound of Young America”.  It also relegated the Wall of Sound as last year’s thing.  And it inspired Spector to work with The Righteous Brothers to try to top HDH’s production of “Baby I Need Your Loving” with the Four Tops.  And when Spector did, this spurred HDH to come up with the Tops’ “Reach Out I’ll Be There”, which in turn had Spector do “River Deep Mountain High”  with Ike and Tina Turner.  The relative failure of this last record, along with those of similar productions with the Ronettes, had Phil go into a funk, and retreat from the frontlines of the Pop world, only occasionally and usually half-heartedly  entering back.

While the Lennon-McCartney/ Brian Wilson rivalry has been discussed at length, with each trying to outdo the other with successive albums Rubber Soul, Pet Sounds, and Revolver, as well as singles like “God Only Knows”, “PaperbackWriter”/“Rain”,  “Good Vibrations”,  “Strawberry Fields Forever”, with Brian finally giving up in despair after Sgt. Pepper, and shelving Smile, and having a nervous breakdown, Motown also had an impact on the Beatles.  Not just their covers on their first two British releases, which helped popularize Motown over there, but in the actual productions, namely HDH.  Both John and Paul tried to get the bass technique out of individual Tops at a party.  They finally figured it out, not only the amazing James Jamerson, but how the bass was recorded.  This Paul debuted on both sides of the “Paperback Writer”/“Rain” single,  ostensibly an exercise is style on the A-Side, but a showcase from the bass technique they got from Motown. 
 

Of course the Beatles also had the fertile British scene to bounce off new ideas and spur them on, and other artists like Dylan would also contribute to pop or rock and roll develop into Rock.     By then both Spector and Wilson were sidelined from the front ranks of innovation.

John Lennon called Phil Spector " the greatest record producer ever".

Brian Wilson said "he was the single most influential producer".

What I find amazing about Phil Spector was his longevity and ability to evolve with the music and to diversify to every area of pop music.

 Can you imagine a person who started with doo **** in the late 50s and ends up at the top in the 70s influencing and producing The Beatles and the solo work of John Lennon and George Harrison?

He may be the only single creative artist who survived at the top during all of those evolutions and changes in the pop music world from the 50s to the 70s.

He was the pop music catalyst responsible even for the mediocre crap that goes for pop music today.

The catalyst who evolved and survived musically, but who imploded personally with self-destructive and sadistic behavior.

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18 hours ago, Arturo said:

There was quite a bit of friendly rivalry among some of the creative forces in mid-60s pop music.  Besides Spector/ Brian Wilson, the arrival of the Beatles and the rise of Motown also contributed to this.  Supposedly, the Motown writing/production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, whose 1964-66 hits with The Supremes, Four Tops, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, etc had basically defined the Motown Sound of “The Sound of Young America”.  It also relegated the Wall of Sound as last year’s thing.  And it inspired Spector to work with The Righteous Brothers to try to top HDH’s production of “Baby I Need Your Loving” with the Four Tops.  And when Spector did, this spurred HDH to come up with the Tops’ “Reach Out I’ll Be There”, which in turn had Spector do “River Deep Mountain High”  with Ike and Tina Turner.  The relative failure of this last record, along with those of similar productions with the Ronettes, had Phil go into a funk, and retreat from the frontlines of the Pop world, only occasionally and usually half-heartedly  entering back.

While the Lennon-McCartney/ Brian Wilson rivalry has been discussed at length, with each trying to outdo the other with successive albums Rubber Soul, Pet Sounds, and Revolver, as well as singles like “God Only Knows”, “PaperbackWriter”/“Rain”,  “Good Vibrations”,  “Strawberry Fields Forever”, with Brian finally giving up in despair after Sgt. Pepper, and shelving Smile, and having a nervous breakdown, Motown also had an impact on the Beatles.  Not just their covers on their first two British releases, which helped popularize Motown over there, but in the actual productions, namely HDH.  Both John and Paul tried to get the bass technique out of individual Tops at a party.  They finally figured it out, not only the amazing James Jamerson, but how the bass was recorded.  This Paul debuted on both sides of the “Paperback Writer”/“Rain” single,  ostensibly an exercise is style on the A-Side, but a showcase from the bass technique they got from Motown. 
 

Of course the Beatles also had the fertile British scene to bounce off new ideas and spur them on, and other artists like Dylan would also contribute to pop or rock and roll develop into Rock.     By then both Spector and Wilson were sidelined from the front ranks of innovation.

I really thought "River Deep, Mountain High" was pretty good.  Spector too thought it was one of his best, and close to being his favorite.

And I actually think there was no "rivalry" between The Beatles and The Beach Boys, except( far as I perceived) between their respective fan base.  And then there were those like me, as in the Rolling Stones/Beatles "rivalry" that refused to participate in such idiocy.  It was like arguing, "What 's the better fruit, Apples or oranges?"  :rolleyes:  It wasn't really a rivalry between producers, songwriters or performers as it was a clashing of egos.   The listeners really couldn't have cared less as long as they could hear what they liked, and often liking the output of most of them equally.  Then too, there always was that fringe that thought it wasn't the PRODUCER or songwriter(s) who put out the better music, but the band or singer that was the CUTEST.  :rolleyes:  ie:

I knew a girl who thought Paul Revere and The Raiders were WAY better than The Beatles AND the Stones because Raiders singer MARK LINDSEY was(in her words) "So FINE!" ;)

Sepiatone

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On 1/19/2021 at 9:18 AM, Princess of Tap said:

Have you seen Al Pacino playing him in a movie?

yes  but do not remenber much of it,except for the  wigs

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