"Wall of Sound" creator, producer Phil Spector, dies at age 81

Photo by Kingkongphoto & www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel Maryland, USA - Phil Spector, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74876017

(January 17, 2021) Phil Spector, one of the most important music producers of the 20th century and the creator of the oft-imitated “Wall of Sound” production technique, has died at age 81 of natural causes while serving a long sentence in prison.

Spector is regarded to be among the most influential figures in pop music history and as the first auteur of the music industry for the unprecedented control he had over every phase of the recording process. After spending three decades in semi-retirement, in 2009, he was convicted for the 2003 murder of the actress Lana Clarkson. At the time of his death, he was serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life.

(January 17, 2021) Phil Spector, one of the most important music producers of the 20th century and the creator of the oft-imitated “Wall of Sound” production technique, has died at age 81 of natural causes while serving a long sentence in prison.

Spector is regarded to be among the most influential figures in pop music history and as the first auteur of the music industry for the unprecedented control he had over every phase of the recording process. After spending three decades in semi-retirement, in 2009, he was convicted for the 2003 murder of the actress Lana Clarkson. At the time of his death, he was serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life.

Born in the Bronx, Spector began his career in 1958 as co-founder, guitarist, and vocalist of the Teddy Bears, penning their US number-one single "To Know Him Is to Love Him". In 1960, he co-founded Philles Records, and at the age of 21, became the youngest ever US label owner to that point. Throughout the 1960s, he wrote, co-wrote, or produced records for acts such as the Ronettes, the Crystals, and Ike & Tina Turner. He typically collaborated with arranger Jack Nitzsche, engineer Larry Levine, and a de facto house band that later became known as "the Wrecking Crew." Spector initially retired from the music industry in 1966.

In 1969, Spector returned to his career and subsequently produced the Beatles' album Let It Be (1970), as well as several solo records by the band's John Lennon and George Harrison. By the mid-1970s, Spector had produced eighteen US Top 10 singles for various artists, but following work with Leonard Cohen, Dion DiMucci, and the Ramones, he remained largely inactive and affected by personal struggles. His chart-toppers included "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (co-written and produced for the Righteous Brothers, 1964), "The Long and Winding Road" (produced for the Beatles, 1970), and "My Sweet Lord" (produced for Harrison, 1970). According to BMI, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" is the song that received the most US airplay in the 20th century.

Dubbed the "First Tycoon of Teen", Spector's records helped engender the role of the studio as an instrument, the integration of pop art aesthetics into music (art pop), and the art rock genre.[13] His multi-artist compilation album A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records (1963) is widely considered to be the finest Christmas record of all time. Spector's honors include the 1973 Grammy Award for Album of the Year for co-producing Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh (1971), a 1989 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a 1997 induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Spector number 63 on their list of the greatest artists in history.

Spector's influence on subsequent producers can be found in songs to this day, including December's #1 hit, the Mariah Carey holiday classic "All I Want For Christmas."

Spector's ex-wife, legendary singer Ronnie Spector, posted on Facebook: 

It’s a sad day for music and a sad day for me.
When I was working with Phil Spector, watching him create in the recording studio, I knew I was working with the very best. He was in complete control, directing everyone. So much to love about those days.
Meeting him and falling in love was like a fairytale.
The magical music we were able to make together, was inspired by our love. I loved him madly, and gave my heart and soul to him.
As I said many times while he was alive, he was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband.
Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio.
Darkness set in, many lives were damaged.
I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever
Phil Spector 1939-2021

Spector was a brilliant music man who lived a troubled, often dangerous life. May he rest in peace.

Portions of this article licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Phil Spector

Thanks to SoulTracker Ella for letting us know about this

 

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