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Wall of Sound

When does he become independent?

In addition to working as a producer, Phil Spector wanted artistic and commercial control over the sounds that were blooming in his head. Thus, in 1961 he created Philles Records. At 21 he already owned a company.

He established his base at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles. Around him, he formed a brilliant team of musicians, called The Wrecking Crew, along with arranger Jack Nitzsche and engineer Larry Levine. He handled them all as pawns.

The Beach Boys - Wouldn´t It Be Nice (1966)

A song composed by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher. It was recorded in collaboration with The Wrecking Crew, the group of musicians from Phil Spector's team.

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The Wrecking Crew was the name given to the group of musicians who helped Phil Spector create his Wall of Sound. They all had extensive musical training acquired in the field of jazz and classical music. Among others, the bassist Carol Kaye, the guitar Jerry Cole or the keyboard player Leon Russell stood out, who would participate in several projects with the members of The Beatles. Their importance was such that a group like The Beach Boys chose them to record what would be their masterpiece, the album Pet Sounds.

What are his works like?

His works combine great melodies, notable vocalists, and the Spector touch. He creates the Wall of Sound, by recording and re-recording to fill all the tracks. His records sound denser than those from others.

He uses up to three drums, various basses, and percussions; over them, numerous guitars, pianos, wind, and string instruments. He increases the impact with a lot of echoes. The albums are complex and sophisticated, therefore expensive, but their success makes up for it.

The Ronettes - Be My Baby (1963)

A song composed by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Phil Spector. It is one of his most representative songs. Brian Wilson rated it as the best pop song of all time.

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Phil Spector affirmed that his desire was "to give a Wagnerian touch to rock and roll... to create small symphonies for the boys". He edited great love melodramas, with a Negroid base and powerful finish, which have been reviewed by the most diverse artists of the following decades. He produced stars like The Crystals, Bob B. Soxx & Blue Jeans, Darlene Love, Righteous Brothers, among a long list. Although his favorite group was The Ronettes, getting to marry Verónica Bennett, member of the trio and she adopted the name Ronnie Spector.

How does his career continue?

While becoming the engine of American pop, his personal extravagance earns him the enmity of the gerontocracy that dominates the entertainment industry. He feels as if he was being harassed and sympathizes with British bands.

In 1966, he published what he considered his masterpiece River Deep, Mountain High. Played by Ike and Tina Turner, but it had a cold reception in the United States. Spector was offended and retired for a couple of years.

Ike and Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High (1966)

Another song composed by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Phil Spector. It was a success in Europe, but it went unnoticed in its own country, proving difficult to fit among the styles of the moment.

It was Ike and Tina Turner's first recording for Spector's Philles label. It is the culmination of the Wall of Sound technique and required the intervention of 21 studio musicians and 21 vocalists for choirs, at a cost of $ 22,000. Although it is credited to both members of the Turner couple, actually only Tina intervened, as a solo vocalist. Ike received a large amount of money for not appearing in the studio, as he liked to control the recording, and this clashed with Spector's way of working.

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