Phil Spector, one of the most important producers in the history of music, died yesterday, January 16, at the age of 81 from coronavirus, in prison where he was serving his 19-year prison sentence for the murder of Lana Clarkson.
Spector was born in the Bronx, New York on 12/26/1939. His father committed suicide when he was 9 and moved with his mother to L.A. in 1953. His career in music began while still in school. His first big hit was “You’ve Lost That Love And Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers.
“Unchained Melody”, “You’re My Soul and Inspiration”, “Be My Baby”, “He’s a Rebel”, were just some of his biggest hits, while he also collaborated with the Beatles on the album “Let It Be”. A feature of his work was the so-called “wall of sound”, which he established while working at Gold Star Studios in the 1960s with sound engineer Larry Levine and session musicians, who became known as “the wrecking crew”.
The philosophy was to get musicians to play the same parts over and over again, which they then put on top of each other in an echo space, creating a “wall” of sound.
Despite his genius, he was paranoid and alienated in behavior, with the case of the Ramones being a prime example, whom he did threaten with a pistol not to leave the studio if they did not achieve the result he wanted in the recording.
He was convicted of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, whom he met at the House of Blues in Hollywood, drove to his mansion and shot dead. He claimed it was an accident…