August 8, 2014

Ed. note: This post is for audiophiles only. Turn your computer’s speakers LOUD. You’ll see what I mean…

Simply put, you’re listening to rock and roll history here, here, and here. Sure, this is straight out of dinosaur-ville, but I think it shows exactly what Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” was all about – lots of players playing in very close proximity to one another, and the sound from each instrument bleeding into each other with a slight echo applied by the master oh-so-deftly as a coupe de grace to make it shimmer behind the whomever was designated as the primary vocalist, whether it be La La Brooks of the Crystals, Darlene love, or (in this case) Ronnie Spector.

You can hear it all here: “The Wrecking Crew”: Lyle Ritz and Carole Kaye on bass, Leon Russell (listen for his arpeggios), Don Randi and Al DeLory on piano, Tommy Tedesco and Glen Campbell on guitars, Sonny Bono (he’s on the cowbell) and Julius Wechter on percussion, Hal Blaine on drums, and Jay Migliori and Plas Johnson on saxophones – it’s a beautiful thing to hear, and amazing to think that when this particular recording was made the musicians had already spent over two hours working out the very same song to the point where Phil had worn them down to the point where they were just pretty much robots doing what they had worked out over the session.

Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat this: you gotta put your ears to work here. I beg you, listen for the saxophones! You won’t regret it…

And it’s not just the instrumentation, listen for the vocal track. It’s not just Ronnie Spector’s lead vocals that stand out, but you can hear both Darlene Love and a very young Cher’s voice prominent in the background vocals. Word has it that Cher’s voice was so powerful that Phil had her placed several feet away from the microphone she sang into. The performance is truly astounding.

I know what you’re thinking: given all the notoriety that Spector has attained over the years. Sure he was a bastard and perhaps a murderer, but I don’t care – he is, and always will, be a hero of mine, and next to Brian Wilson (at least in my view) the greatest rock music producer of all time. You simply can’t develop songs as complex as this, or this, or this (OK, the mixdown was a huge Phil over-reach), or this, or this, and of course this, and not see someone whose view of music transcended the casual listener.

Like a commenter of one of the YouTube videos wrote, “In addition to being a murderer, Phil Spector was a flat out genius.”

Can’t disagree with that.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:55 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. The BEST music EVER

    Comment by Jana — August 9, 2014 @ 5:26 am


  2. […] my other post the other day highlighted Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” years of dominance on the rock and […]

    Pingback by GoodBoys Nation - Archives » The Other Side of St. Phil — August 10, 2014 @ 1:54 am


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