Phil Spector, the producer who invented the Wall of Sound, passed away on January 17 at the age of 81, after a struggle with COVID-19. Spector became famous with his production techniques during the ’60s and ’70s when he worked with artists like The Beatles, and Ike and Tina Turner. In 2003 he was found guilty for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson and spent the last years of his life in jail.
‘Let It Be’ – The Beatles
The Beatles’ hit record “Let It Be” from 1970 is one of Spector’s most popular works. He used his signature production style, the “Wall of Sound” to make the tracks sound as big, fat, and epic as possible. This resulted in a fight with Paul McCartney who didn’t like the choir and the symphonic orchestra in his song “The Long and Winding Road.” The public, on the other hand, loved the album.
‘Just Once In My Life’ – The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys, driven by their need to experiment, reinvented Spector’s production style. On Pet Sounds, Brian Wilson goes all out with sounds just to make the overall vibe feel big. The track “Just Once In My Life” is produced and co-written with the man that invented the Wall of Sound. As you can hear, a lot is happening in the background.
A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector
The record A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector from 1963 says it all, doesn’t it. Yup, the man thought highly of himself. Phil Spector wrote most of the songs on the Christmas album. One track that stands the test of time is the holiday evergreen “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” sung by Darlene Love. This song has been covered numerous times by artists like Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé.
Artist vs. Person
Spector’s personal life started to change after he was almost fatally injured in car crash in 1974. His dark side started to take over. He was famous for his gun collection. Spector even fired his weapon in the studio on several occasions while working with John Lennon and later with the Ramones. In 2003, he was charged with the murder of actress Lana Clarkson. The producer was sentenced to 19 years in prison because the court found him guilty of murder.