Record producer Phil Spector created a style of recording music that came to be known as the wall of sound.
Born on 26 December 1940 in Bronx, New York, Harvey Philip Spector had a tough childhood. His parents were not well off, and in 1949 his father committed suicide. In 1953 Spector’s mother moved the family to Los Angeles, California.
Spector concentrated on learning to play guitar, piano, drums, bass, and French horn, since he didn't like school that much.
In 1958, Spector and two of his friends (Marshall Leib and Annette Bard) formed a trio called The Teddy Bears. The group produced a single called “To Know Him Is To Love Him,” which sold well in the United States.
He met Lee Hazlewood and Lester Sill, both record producers. In 1961 Spector and Sill formed their own company, Philles Records. The company lasted for only five years until Spector, disappointed with the commercial failure of his production of “River Deep-Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner, abandoned the company.
During the 1960s Spector worked as a producer for such artists as Ike and Tina Turner, Darlene Love, The Righteous Brothers, The Ronnettes, and The Crystals. It was also during the 1960s that Spector perfected what would become known as the “wall of sound” recording technique. This technique involved blending together numerous instruments (for instance, numerous guitars, pianos, trumpets, saxophones, trombones, and a variety of percussion) to create a single roaring effect. Spector himself called his technique “a Wagnerian approach to rock & roll: little symphonies for the kids.” It is said that the wall of sound changed the course of pop-record producing, because it was used on many top hits and was widely imitated.
In the late 1960s Phil Spector did post-production work for the famous Beatles album Let it Be. This began a long relationship with the Beatles and the individual members after the group broke up. During the 1970s, Spector produced solo albums for John Lennon and George Harrison.
After surviving two serious auto accidents in 1974 and 1975, he established the company Spector International and worked with Cher, Dion, Harry Nilsson, Darlene Love, and Jerri Bo Keno. Phil Spector also produced albums for Leonard Cohen and The Ramones.
Throughout his career, Spector not only produced records, but also composed songs, sang, played a variety of musical instruments, and was a label owner. He possessed a special gift of finding and bringing together talented singers and musicians. Spector’s record production inspired such individuals as Beach Boy Brian Wilson and Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham. For his many contributions to the music industry, Phil Spector was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
Phil Spector was shown in Superior Court judge May 23, 2005, in Los Angeles. A judge said he will allow four of 10 incidents of evidence in a murder trial that prosecutors say illustrate the music producer's history of pulling guns on women. Dealing the defense a potentially serious blow, a Los Angeles judge ruled that four women can testify that rock legend Phil Spector had threatened them with guns more than 15 years before he allegedly shot actress Lana Clarkson in the face at his Alhambra mansion.
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