Tearing Down the Wall of Sound

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound

The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector

Book - 2007
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Tearing Down the Wall of Sound is a remarkable book about, among other things, fame, obsession, genius, money and madness. It paints the fullest picture yet of a man who, whether creating some of the greatest pop music of all time, or destroying the lives of those closest to him, seems to have existed in a continuous state of mental agitation. The Phil Spector story still awaits its ending. In the meantime, this is the definitive study of the man, and the myth that engulfed him. --Sean O'Hagan, The Observer (U.K.)
With a number-one hit at age eighteen, a millionaire with his own label by twenty-two, and proclaimed by Tom Wolfe The First Tycoon of Teen, Phil Spector owned pop culture, his roster as a producer including the Ronettes, the Righteous Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, the Beatles, then John Lennon and George Harrison, as well as Leonard Cohen and the Ramones. But in the spring of 2007, he stands trial for murder.
A spectacularly troubled genius, Spector created with the Wall of Sound music never heard before, from Be My Baby and You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' to Imagine and My Sweet Lord. He suffered poorly the quantum shifts in rock and roll--not to mention the loss of his friends Lenny Bruce and John Lennon--growing ever more reclusive and abusive. By the turn of this century, however, he was not only sober but also attracted to new bands who knew his reputation, good and bad, all too well. Then, in February 2003, he leapt back into the headlines when Lana Clarkson, an actress, was found dead by gunshot in his Los Angeles mansion.
Only weeks before, Spector had granted Mick Brown the first major interview he'd given in twenty-five years--the seed for this definitive, mesmerizing biography of a man who first became a king, then something else altogether.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2007.
ISBN: 9781400042197
Branch Call Number: 781. 49092 SPE B
Characteristics: viii, 452 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.


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May 24, 2012

A bit rambling, long and sometimes repetitive, this is a good book about weird Phil Spector, a gun-totin', wig-sporting yet a most talented music producer from the 1960s (George Martin and possibly Paul Rothchild might compete). This book would have been better if it'd had an index, so you could chase down your particular interests, although its order is pretty much chronological. It's a bit unreliable in places, such as when saying about the last John Lennon album that Spector produced, 'Rock n Roll': "It was quickly forgotten."Not so. Despite being a cover of a hit song from the mid-60s, 'Stand by Me' was huge on the airwaves when it came out, and the album still stands as one of Lennon's most artistically successful releases after The Beatles. Still, for a look at one of the guys who made 1960s pop music what it turned out to be -- the most prolific and innovative decade of the 20th century -- this is well worth reading.

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