I have no idea if his legendary temper is / was fuelled by drugs (or alcohol). I have not read any of his biographies. From everything I’ve heard, he probably did kill that woman – but I’m not on the jury.
Do I want to collect Phil Spector productions? No. But I do have some! In the 60’s, he was in the habit of putting instrumental B-sides on the back of ‘hits’ – almost as if to prove that nobody every listened to B-sides! I understand Mr. Spector was responsible for a fairly rare Lenny Bruce LP. I’m a bit unclear about who actually worked for / with Mr. Spector – Leon Russell? Certainly Jack Nitzsche.
LP BRUCE, LENNY IS OUT AGAIN PHILLES US
PHLP-4010 1963 2 TRKS mono
7″ BRUCE, LENNY LAW, THE LANGUAGE AND LENNY BRUCE, THE PHIL SPECTOR US PRO 598 1974 12 TRK EP; with pic sleeve, promo-only
LP CRYSTALS, THE SING THEIR GREATEST HITS! PHIL SPECTOR UK 2307 006 1975? 16 TRK Collection
7″ RONETTES, THE DO I LOVE YOU / BREAKING UP PHIL SPECTOR UK POSP 377 1964 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, re-issue (’80?)
LP RONETTES, THE SING THEIR GREATEST HITS! PHIL SPECTOR UK 2307 003 1975? 12 TRKS
LP V.A. PHIL SPECTOR 74 – 79 PHIL SPECTOR UK 2307 015 1979 10 TRKS Kim Fowley, Dion etc.
Then there’s his famous Christmas album – I forget which version I have – but I agree that it’s 100% necessary – if you want to have a bugged-out Xmas Mix Tape! (Phil’s spoken word bit…leaves me speechless).
And what of his productions? I am very OK with some of them – George Harrison “All Things Must Pass” (Apple 3LP boxed set), Leonard Cohen “Death Of A Ladies Man” (Columbia LP), Ike & Tina Turner “River Deep Mountain High”…though I first heard that song on an Eric Burdon & The Animals LP (“Love Is…”), John Lennon “Imagine” (certainly some of that album is very OK with me). And I have picked up a few UK “best Of” LP’s on the ‘Phil Spector’ label. OK, so that’s the strangest Cohen LP – how drunk / stoned were they? Huh?
Funny, when I was sorting my database looking for Spector records to write about, I couldn’t find any of those U.S. 45’s that I remember playing with. Could they have been something that I played with, but that they didn’t go into my collection? Must investigate.
So, an oddball L.A. producer who made some great singles, some pretty good albums and some absolutely essential esoterica. I can’t say that I ever heard anything he did / produced after approx. ’77. For my money, I’ll take Kim Fowley – a truly funny guy. Or Jack Nitzsche – who could arrange devastating music (Got “St. Giles Cripplegate”?).
Phil Spector – Yes or No? The jury is still out.