Phil Spector: Back to Mono Box set
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Top Customer Reviews
And yes, the remastering is indeed horrible, particularly when listened to through earphones. But if you can pump this music through a tinny 5-inch speaker, perhaps boosted from a '57 Chevy, it all sounds pretty damn fine. So: don't play it on your audiophile equipment: my vintage boom box does the music all the honor it requires.
And what music. A lot of this stuff didn't chart in the New York metropolitan area, so I'd never heard several tracks, but it's all vintage, no filler, hits and non-hits, lots of Ronnie Spector and the Ronnettes, the Crystals, and fewer, but important, sides from Curtis Lee), Ben E. King, Bob B. Soxx, the Righteous Brothers, the majestic Tina Turner and that sidekick of hers, and, of course, the patented Spector Wall of Sound, complete with timpani, maracas, glockenspiels, strings, horns, full brass section, yackety sax, everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink. On the tree of rock, Phil Spector is a taproot (and Bruce Springsteen the most celebrated emulator/branch).
But let's be serious: these are very basic sentiments, harking back to a very different, much simpler time, before Vietnam, Watergate, and universal irony really invaded our consciousness (the first 29 tracks before the Kennedy assassination).Read more ›
Phil's first success was with To know him is to love him (Teddy bears). Otther early classics include Spanish Harlem (Ben E King) and I love how you love me (Paris sisters) but Phil is remembered (apart from the Christmas album) for producing the Crystals, Ronettes and Righteous brothers.
The Crystals are represented here by classics such as Da doo ron ron, Then he kissed me and He's a rebel. I was surprised to find that there are more tracks by the Ronettes than the Crystals. Both were brilliant but the Crystals were more successful overall. Still, I can't fault any of the Ronettes tracks, the most famous of which is Be my baby. Darlene Love, who was sometimes a member of the Crystals (lead singer on He's a rebel), is represented by several solo tracks. The Righteous brothers recorded their two most famous tracks with Phil Spector, these being You've lost that loving feeling and Unchained melody. During this period, there was one other noteworthy group recording for Phil - Bob B Soxx and the Blue jeans, who had success in America with Zip-a-dee-doo-dah and Why do lovers break each other's hearts?
Among all the success, there was failure. Ike and Tina Turner recorded one album with Phil Spector, featuring the classic song, River deep mountain high. At least, it is regarded as a classic in Britain, where it was a top three hit. In America, it was only a very minor hit. Phil couldn't understand it and lost interest.Read more ›
Say what you will about Phil Spector: He was arrogant, demanding, pedantic and every other derogatory adjective you can think of. Even given all this, however, one cannot seriously dispute the fact that he knew how to produce both popular and very memorable music.
What a concept the Phil Spector "Wall of Sound" was! He would start with a whole boatload of instruments; from violins to castanets. To these he would then add some of the most beautifully haunting voices ever heard (those of Darlene Love, Phil's own wife Ronnie, a young singer known then only as Cher and even Tina Turner to name a few). Blended together, these would create a tsunami of sonic power. It creates a force bigger than any song, or any band, and truly become greater than the sum of the parts. Tack on a set of headphones, and you can just relax and let it just wash all over you!
Baseball great Rickey Henderson once said of another great Nolan Ryan: "If he hasn't struck you out, then you ain't nobody." A musical corollary can be said for Phil Spector: If he didn't produce your music, you didn't put your very best work down on the vinyl (remember, this was thirty years ago, when '45's were as compact as discs could get). From the Beatles to Sonny Charles and the Checkmates Ltd., everyone who was anyone is here.
Go back and marvel at what is here. The index of his songs in this set is nothing less that an anthology of some of the greatest music of the early pop era. You might disagree with Cousin Brucie for calling "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" the greatest song of the decade.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's hard to compartmentalize the genius from the murderer. He, no doubt, gets royalties from the sales of this. I swallowed my pride and bought it.Published 8 months ago by Curt Pavone
I was so lucky to get this set. It was complete and even had the stickers with it. Great to listen to. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Gregory W. Gondek
A really great sampling of Phil Spector's contributions to rock. Of course, his body of work is so massive that it's impossible to include all of my favorites, but this set comes... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jon S. Aiken
Being a fan of the Phil Spector, and have with musicians associated with making these recordings, I am amazed the songs transferred to Digital quality beautifully. Read morePublished on April 8, 2014 by Daniel Hoeft
Bought this for my sister's 60th birthday. She loved it, we listened to it during the party. Brought back some good memories.Published on July 2, 2013 by Kindle Customer
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