Phil Spector

Phil Spector's Wall of Sound Retrospective

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

There's little in pop music of the '60s that's more satisfying than the singles Phil Spector created for his Philles Records label between 1961 and 1966, in which with the help of some of gifted session musicians, a handful of singers, and arranger Jack Nitzsche he conjured up a majestic sound that exploded out of transistor radios and cheap record players all across the teenage nation. Simple yet majestic in their widescreen grandeur and celebration of all that's sweet and painful about adolescent love, Spector's sound was often imitated, but rarely if ever did anyone get the proportions just right, and his best stuff is still amazing, heart-tugging music more than four decades after it was recorded. Unfortunately, there aren't many decent CD collections of Spector's oeuvre, so Phil Spector's Wall of Sound Retrospective (which was previously released in tandem with his fabled holiday record, A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector) is especially welcome, as it features 21 iconic songs from the Crystals, the Ronettes, Darlene Love, the Righteous Brothers, and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, climaxing with Ike & Tina Turner's epochal "River Deep, Mountain High," Spector's self-styled masterpiece and still one of the more remarkable 45s of the rock era. Most of the songs are presented in their original mono, as Spector intended (though "River Deep, Mountain High" roams ambitiously across the two channels), and the mastering is splendid; the liner notes don't offer much beyond session details, but knowing when and where each selection was created and who was playing what will certainly delight detail-obsessive pop fans. And the disc closes out with a rare item, a demo of Spector singing "Spanish Harlem" and revealing why he didn't step up to the vocal mike more often (his voice, while not bad, lacked the strength to stand up to his own Wall of Sound). While the true Spector loyalist will be happy with nothing short of the Back to Mono box set, this is as good a single-disc overview of Spector's classic era as you can get, and those who love the glory days of AM radio need this music in their collections.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
feat: The Crystals
02:19
2
feat: The Ronettes
02:40 Amazon
3
feat: The Crystals
02:43
4
feat: The Crystals
02:31
5
feat: The Crystals
02:21
6
feat: The Crystals
02:30
7
feat: Darlene Love
02:47
8
02:50
9 02:48
10
feat: The Ronettes
03:04
11 02:30
12
feat: Darlene Love
02:46
13
feat: Darlene Love
02:24
14
feat: The Ronettes
02:50
15
feat: The Crystals
02:39
16
feat: The Ronettes
02:56
17
feat: The Ronettes
03:15
18
feat: The Ronettes
02:59
19 03:44
20 03:38
21 03:37
22 02:10
blue highlight denotes track pick