Not to be missed: Phil Spector - The Anthology (Very Rare Singles US '57-'62)

Minggu, 24 Februari 2013


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BIOGRAPHY:
Phillip Harvey "Phil" Spector (born Harvey Phillip Spector, December 26, 1939) is an American record producer and songwriter.

The originator of the "Wall of Sound" production technique, Spector was a pioneer of the 1960s girl-group sound and produced over 25 Top 40 hits in 1960–1965. Among his famous girl groups are The Ronettes and The Crystals. After this initial success, Spector later worked with artists including Ike and Tina Turner, John Lennon, George Harrison, and the Ramones with similar acclaim. He produced The Beatles' album Let It Be, and the Grammy Award–winning Concert for Bangladesh by former Beatle George Harrison. In 1989, Spector was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer. The 1965 song "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", produced and co-written by Spector for The Righteous Brothers, is listed by BMI as the song with the most U.S. airplay in the 20th century.

The Teddy Bears - US Single 1959
In 2009, Spector was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra, California home. He is serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life

Early childhood:
Spector was born on December 26, 1939, to a lower-middle-class Jewish family in the Bronx in New York City. His grandfather was an immigrant from Russia with the surname Spekter, which he anglicized to Spector after immigrating. Spector's father committed suicide on April 20, 1949. In 1953, his mother moved the family to Los Angeles, California.

Musical career:
In Los Angeles, Spector got involved with music, learning the guitar. At 16, he performed Lonnie Donegan's version of the traditional song "Rock Island Line" at a talent show at his high school, Fairfax High School. While at Fairfax, he joined a loosely knit community of aspiring musicians, including Lou Adler, Bruce Johnston, Steve Douglas, and Sandy Nelson, the last of whom played drums on Spector's first record release, "To Know Him Is to Love Him".

With three friends from high school, Marshall Lieb, Harvey Goldstein, and singer Annette Kleinbard, Spector formed a group, The Teddy Bears. During this period, Spector also began visiting local recording studios, and he eventually managed to win the confidence of record producer Stan Ross, coowner of Gold Star Studios in Hollywood, who began to tutor the young man in record production and who exerted a major influence on Spector's production style. By early 1958, Spector and his bandmates had raised enough money to buy two hours of recording time at Gold Star. With Spector producing, the Teddy Bears recorded the Spector-penned "Don't You Worry My Little Pet", which helped them secure a deal with Era Records. 

The Crystals - Front Cover LP 1962
At their next session, they recorded another song Spector had written — this one inspired by the epitaph on Spector's father's tombstone. Released on Era's subsidiary label, Dore Records, "To Know Him Is to Love Him" went to #1 on Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1958, selling over a million copies by year's end. It was the seventh number one single on the newly formed chart. Following the success of their debut, the group signed with Imperial Records, but their next single, "I Don't Need You Anymore" only reached #91. While several more recordings were released, including an album The Teddy Bears Sing!, the group never again charted in the Hot 100. The Teddy Bears went their separate ways in 1959.

After the split, Spector's career quickly moved from performing and songwriting to production. While recording the Teddy Bears' album, Spector had met Lester Sill, a former promotion man who was a mentor to Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. His next project, the Spectors Three, was undertaken under the aegis of Sill and his partner, Lee Hazlewood. In 1960, Sill arranged for Spector to work as an apprentice to Leiber and Stoller in New York. Ronnie Crawford would become Spector’s first true recording artist and project as producer. Spector quickly learned how to use a studio. He co-wrote the Ben E. King Top 10 hit "Spanish Harlem" with Jerry Leiber and also worked as a session musician, most notably playing the guitar solo on the Drifters' song, "On Broadway". His own productions during this time, while less conspicuous, included releases by LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown, and Billy Storm, as well as the Top Notes' original version of "Twist and Shout".

Early Phil Spector
Leiber and Stoller recommended Spector to produce Ray Peterson's "Corrina, Corrina", which reached #9 in January 1961. Later, he produced another major hit for Curtis Lee, "Pretty Little Angel Eyes", which made it to #7. Returning to Hollywood, Spector agreed to produce one of Lester Sill's acts. After both Liberty Records and Capitol Records turned down the master of "Be My Boy" by the Paris Sisters, Sill formed a new label, Gregmark Records, with Lee Hazlewood and released it. It only managed to reach #56, but the follow-up, "I Love How You Love Me", was a smash, reaching #5.

Philles Records:
In late 1961, Spector formed a new record company with Lester Sill, who by this time had ended his business partnership with Hazlewood. Philles Records combined the names of its two founders. Through Hill and Range Publishers, Spector found three groups he wanted to produce: the Ducanes, the Creations, and The Crystals. The first two signed with other companies, but Spector managed to secure the Crystals for his new label. Their first single, "There's No Other (Like My Baby)" was a success, hitting #20. Their next release, "Uptown", made it to #13.

Spector continued to work freelance with other artists. In 1962, he produced "Second Hand Love" by Connie Francis, which reached #7. In the early 1960s, he briefly worked with Atlantic Records' R&B artists Ruth Brown and LaVerne Baker. Ahmet Erteg√ľn of Atlantic paired Spector with Broadway star Jean DuShon for "Talk to Me", the B-side of which was "Tired of Trying", written by DuShon.

The Crystals - US Single 1961
Spector briefly took a job as head of A&R for Liberty Records. It was while working at Liberty that he heard a song written by Gene Pitney, for whom he had produced a #41 hit, "Every Breath I Take", a year earlier. "He's a Rebel" was due to be released on Liberty by Vikki Carr, but Spector rushed into Gold Star Studios and recorded a cover version using Darlene Love and the Blossoms on lead vocals. The record was released on Philles, attributed to the Crystals, and quickly rose to the top of the charts.

By the time "He's a Rebel" went to #1, Lester Sill was out of the company, and Spector had Philles all to himself. He created a new act, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, featuring Darlene Love, Fanita James (a member of the Blossoms), and Bobby Sheen, a singer he had worked with at Liberty. The group had hits with "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" (#8), "Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts?" (#38), and "Not Too Young To Get Married" (#63). Spector also released solo material by Darlene Love in 1963. In the same year, he released "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes, which went to #2.

Although predominantly a singles label, Philles released a few albums, one of which was the perennial seller A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records in 1963.

Ray Peterson - US Single 1960
The Wall of Sound:
Spector's trademark during that era was the so-called Wall of Sound, a production technique yielding a dense, layered effect that reproduced well on AM radio and jukeboxes. To attain this signature sound, Spector gathered large groups of musicians (playing some instruments not generally used for ensemble playing, such as electric and acoustic guitars) playing orchestrated parts — often doubling and tripling many instruments playing in unison — for a fuller sound. Spector himself called his technique "a Wagnerian approach to rock & roll: little symphonies for the kids".

While Spector directed the overall sound of his recordings, he took a relatively hands-off approach to working with the musicians themselves (usually a core group that became known as The Wrecking Crew, including session players such as Hal Blaine, Larry Knechtel, Steve Douglas, Carol Kaye, Roy Caton, Glen Campbell, and Leon Russell), delegating arrangement duties to Jack Nitzsche and having Sonny Bono oversee the performances, viewing these two as his "lieutenants". Spector frequently used songs from songwriters employed at the Brill Building (Trio Music) and at 1650 Broadway (Aldon Music), such as the teams of Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Spector often worked with the songwriters, receiving co-credit and publishing royalties for compositions.

The Teddy Bears - France EP 1959
Despite the trend towards multichannel recording, Spector was vehemently opposed to stereo releases, claiming that it took control of the record's sound away from the producer in favor of the listener. Spector was more concerned with the overall collage of sound than with the recording fidelity or timbral quality. Sometimes a pair of strings or horns would be double-tracked multiple times to sound like an entire string or horn section. But in the final product the background sometimes could not be distinguished as either horns or strings. Spector also greatly preferred singles to albums, describing LPs as "two hits and ten pieces of junk", reflecting both his commercial methods and those of many other producers at the time.

The first time Spector put the same amount of effort into an LP as he did into 45s was when he utilized the full Philles roster and the Wrecking Crew to make what he felt would become a hit for the 1963 Christmas season. A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records arrived in stores the day of the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Despite its initially poor reception, selections from the album are now Yuletide mainstays on radio stations, and the album has since been a regular seller during the holiday season.

Bob-B-Soxx and The Blue Jeans - Front Cover LP 1963
The mid-Sixties:
In 1964, The Ronettes appeared at the Cow Palace, near San Francisco. Also on the bill were the Righteous Brothers. Spector, who was conducting the band for all the acts, was so impressed with Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield that he bought their contract from Moonglow Records and signed them to Philles. In early 1965, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", became the label's second #1 single. Three more major hits with the group followed: "Just Once in My Life" (#9), "Unchained Melody" (#4, originally the B side of "Hung On You") and "Ebb Tide" (#5). Despite having hits, he lost interest in producing the Righteous Brothers, and sold their contract and all their master recordings to Verve Records. However, the sound of the Righteous Brothers' singles was so distinctive that the act chose to replicate it after leaving Spector, notching a second #1 hit in 1966 with the Bill Medley-produced "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration".

The Spector-produced recording of "Unchained Melody" had a second wave of popularity 25 years after its initial release, when it was featured prominently in the 1990 hit movie Ghost. A re-release of the single re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100, and went to number one on the Adult Contemporary charts. This also put Spector (as a producer) back on the U.S. Top 40 charts for the first time since his last appearance in 1971 with John Lennon's "Imagine", although he did have U.K. top 40 hits in the interim with the Ramones.

The Crystals - Spain EP 1963
Spector's final signing to Philles was the husband-and-wife team of Ike and Tina Turner in 1966. Spector considered their recording of "River Deep – Mountain High", to be his best work, but it failed to go any higher than #88 in the United States. The single, which was essentially a solo Tina Turner record, was more successful in Britain, reaching #3.

Spector subsequently lost enthusiasm for his label and the recording industry. Already something of a recluse, he withdrew temporarily from the public eye, marrying Veronica "Ronnie" Bennett, lead singer of the Ronettes, in 1968. Spector emerged briefly for a cameo as a drug dealer in the film Easy Rider, in 1969. (Spector, in 1967, appeared as himself in an episode of I Dream of Jeannie.)

Wall of Sound:
The Wall of Sound is a music production technique for pop and rock music recordings developed by record producer Phil Spector at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, California, during the early 1960s. Working with such audio engineers as Larry Levine and the session musicians who became known as The Wrecking Crew, Spector created a dense, layered, reverberant sound that came across well on AM radio and jukeboxes popular in the era. He created this sound by having a number of electric and acoustic guitarists perform the same parts in unison, adding musical arrangements for large groups of musicians up to the size of orchestras, then recording the sound using an echo chamber.

To attain Spector's signature sound, his arrangements called for large ensembles (including some instruments not generally used for ensemble playing, such as electric and acoustic guitars), with multiple instruments doubling many of the parts to create a fuller, richer sound. Spector also included orchestral instruments - strings, woodwind, brass and percussion - not previously associated with youth-oriented pop music. Spector himself called his technique "a Wagnerian approach to rock & roll: little symphonies for the kids"

The Alley Cats - US Single 1962
Recording techniques:
Spector was known as a temperamental and quirky personality with strong, often unconventional, ideas about musical and recording techniques. Despite the trend towards multi-channel recording, Spector was vehemently opposed to stereo releases, claiming that it took control of the record's sound away from the producer in favor of the listener. Spector also greatly preferred singles to albums, describing LPs as "two hits and ten pieces of junk".

In the 1960s, Spector usually worked at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles because of its exceptional echo chambers, essential to the Wall of Sound technique. Microphones in the recording studio captured the sound, which was then transmitted to an echo chamber—a basement room outfitted with speakers and microphones. The signal from the studio was played through the speakers and reverberated throughout the room before being picked up by the microphones. The echo-laden sound was then channeled back to the control room, where it was recorded on tape.

The natural reverberation and echo from the hard walls of the echo chamber gave Spector's productions their distinctive quality and resulted in a rich, complex sound that, when played on AM radio, had an impressive depth rarely heard in mono recordings.

Songwriter Jeff Barry, who worked extensively with Spector, described the Wall of Sound:
 
"[It's] basically a formula. You're going to have four or five guitars line up, gut-string  guitars, and they're going to follow the chords...two  basses in fifths, with the same type of line, and strings...six or seven  horns, adding the little punches…formula percussion instruments  — the little bells, the shakers, the tambourines.  Phil used his own  formul formula  for echo, and some overtone arrangements with the strings. But by and large, there was a formula arrangement."
                    
The Wall of Sound forms the foundation of Phil Spector's recordings, in general. However, certain records are considered to have epitomized its use. "Be My Baby", a 1963 hit song for The Ronettes, written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich and produced by Spector, is widely regarded as one of the finest pop tunes of all time; it is considered by some to be the quintessential Phil Spector production. The Ronettes' version of "Sleigh Ride" used the effect heavily. Another prominent example of the Wall of Sound was "Da Doo Ron Ron" by The Crystals.
Spector himself is quoted as believing his production of Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High" to be the summit of his Wall of Sound productions, and this sentiment has been echoed by both George Harrison (who called it "a perfect record from start to finish.") and Brian Wilson.

Phil Spector - The Early Productions Photo
Perhaps Phil Spector's most infamous use of his production techniques was on the Let It Be album. Spector was brought in to salvage the incomplete Let It Be, an album practically abandoned by The Beatles, performances from which had already appeared in several bootleg versions when the sessions were still referred to as Get Back. His work resulted in the legitimately released album being what the LP cover called "the freshness of a live performance, reproduced for disc by Phil Spector." "The Long and Winding Road", "I Me Mine", and "Across the Universe" are often singled out as those tracks receiving the greatest amount of post-production work. The modified treatment (often misrepresented as a "Wall of Sound," although neither Spector nor the Beatles used this phrase to refer to the production) and other overdubs proved controversial among fans and The Beatles themselves. Eventually, in 2003, Let It Be... Naked was released, an authorized version without Spector's additions.

Leonard Cohen's album Death of a Ladies' Man from 1977 was produced by Spector, and the Wall of Sound technique is evident on the album as a whole, but may be most pronounced in both the title track and "Memories".

Disc: 1  
01. To Know Him Is To - Teddy Bears 1962 
02. Spanish Harlem - Ben E. King 1960 
03. He's A Rebel - The Crystals 1958 
04. Under The Moon Of Love - Curtis Lee 1961 
05. Zip A Dee Doo Dah - The Blue Jeans 1962 
06. Puddin' N' Tain - The Alley Cats 1962 
07. Second Hand Love - Connie Francis 1962 
08. Every Breath I Take - Gene Pitney 1961 
09. When You Dance - Billy Storm 1961 
10. I Love How You Love Me - Paris Sisters 1961 
11. You Took Advantage of Me - Blackwells 1961 
12. How Many Nights - Bobby Sheen 1962 
13. Corinna Corinna - Ray Peterson 1960 
14. Uptown - The Crystals 1962 
15. Unchained Melody - The Teddy Bears 1959 
16. Some Of Your Lovin' - Johnny Nash 1961 
17. Little Did I Know - The Ducanes 1961 
18. Hey Memphis - La Vern Baker 1961 
19. I Really Do - Spector's Three 1959 
20. Bumbershoot - Phil Harvey (Phil Spector) 1959 
21. Hearts Of Stone - The Top Notes 1961 
22. Little Things Mean A Lot - Teddy Bears 1957 
23. There's No Other Like My - Crystals 1961 
24. Where Can You Be - Tony & Joe 1958 
25. Na Ne Do - Troy Shondell 1962

Disc: 2  
01. Pretty Little Angel Eyes - Curtis Lee 1960 
02. First Taste Of Love - Ben E. King 1960 
03. Seven Lonely Days - The Teddy Bears 1959 
04. Gonna Git That Man - Connie Francis 1962 
05. Oh Yeah, Maybe Baby - The Crystals 1961 
06. Mr. Moon, Mr. Cupid & I - Gene Pitney 1961 
07. Anyone But You - Ruth Brown 1961 
08. Twist And Shout - The Top Notes 1961 
09. Love, Love, Love - Arlene Smith 1961 
10. Honey Love - Billy Storm 1961 
11. I - The Blackwells 1961 
12. You Can Get Him - The Castle Kings 1961 
13. The Bells - The Creations 1961 
14. Tired Of Trying - Jean Du Shon 1961 
15. He's Sure The Boy I Love - Crystals 1962 
16. To Miss My Graduation - Karen Lake 1961 
17. Don't You Worry - The Teddy Bears 1958 
18. The Bells Of St. Mary's - Osborne 1960 
19. All Through The Night - Paris Sisters 1961 
20. Willy Boy - Phil Harvey 1959 
21. I Could Have Loved You - Ray Peterson 1962 
22. No One Ever Tells You - The Crystals 1962 
23. I Know Why - Spector's Three 1959 
24. Raincoat In The River - Sammy Turner 1959 
25. Long Ago And Far Away - Teddy Bears 1959
  
Disc: 3  
01. Dream For Sale - Gene Pitney 1962 
02. Young Boy Blues - Ben E. King 1960 
03. He Hit Me - The Crystals 1962 
04. A World Of Tears - Johnny Nash 1961 
05. Til You'll Mine - The Teddy Bears 1959 
06. Knows I Love Him Too - Arlene Smith 1961 
07. Beverley Jean - Curtis Lee 1961 
08. Always Late - The Top Notes 1961 
09. A Kiss From Your Lips - Billy Storm 1961 
10. Shang Shang - The Creations 1961 
11. I'm So Happy - The Ducanes 1961 
12. Talk To Me, - Jean Du Shon 1961 
13. I Love You Eddie - The Crystals 1962 
14. Tammy - The Teddy Bears 1959 
15. Air Mail, Special - Karen Lake 1961 
16. That's Alright Baby - Kell Osborne 1960 
17. Hey There Mountain - Obrey Wilson 1962 
18. I Love Him Too Much - Paris Sisters 1962 
19. Why Don't You Write Me - Ray Peterson 1962 
20. Mr. Robin - Spector's Three 1959 
21. How I Wish You Were Here - Curtis Lee 1961 
22. If I Give My Heart To You - Teddy Bears 1959 
23. Loch Lomond - The Castle Kings 1961 
24. What A Nice Way To Turn 17 - Crystals 1962 
25. The Basic Things - The Top Notes 1961

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