Phil's Spectre: A Wall Of Soundalikes Various Artists (Phils Spectre)

£11.50

Availablity:
World
Genre:
Pop
Label:
Ace Records
Format:
CD
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 978

Phil Spector's vision rose far above anhimself as the sole occupant of a parallel recording universe where his was the only way, and everyone else was nowhere. This, to a large degree, was what made him 'different' and 'difficult' in equal measure.

beyond that of any of his contemporaries. In fact, Spector saw One only has to hear the absorbing out-takes from some of his Philles sessions to gain an insight into the man. Hovering authoritatively in the control room at the fabled Gold Star studios, he is by turns, cocky, amusing and skittish depending on the mood of the moment. Above all, he is endlessly patient. As take after take is aborted (over 30 on Be My Baby) and the massed musicians, numbed by repetition, are audibly beginning to wilt, Spector acts as a calming presence, nonchalantly easing them into one take after another, as though their interests, as much as his, were at stake.

It took a unique man to create such historic sounds and, given his commercial success, he was bound to attract imitators.

Sundry producers, artists, songwriters and arrangers attempted to hitch a ride on the Spector bandwagon in the period spanning, roughly, 1963-1967. Some of them came tantalisingly close to getting it right, most notably those who had actually worked alongside Spector such as Sonny Bono, Nino Tempo, Jack Nitzsche and the Righteous Brothers, all of whose work is amply represented here. Others were too conventional in their approach to get it right.

Ace are justifiably proud of this release which brings together 24 of the finest mirror images of the Spector Sound. Assembled with artful deliberation by Mick Patrick and Tony Rounce, Phil'S Spectre reflects the variation in tone, colour and density that characterised Spector's own work. (Not all of Spector's productions were quite as blockish as posterity will have you believe. Take I Love How You Love Me by the Paris Sisters or Walking In The Rain by the Ronettes. These are records as subtle as you are likely to hear.)

A few tracks alone warrant the purchase of this CD. Carol Connors' My Baby Looks (But He Don't Touch) features the lady who sang lead on the Teddy Bears' To Know Him Is To Love Him being produced by another ex-Teddy Bear, Marshall Leib.

Leib also produced Alder Ray's A Little Love (Will Go A Long Way), arguably the most accurate Spector facsimile of them all. Leib once claimed he knew better than most Spector's thought processes in the studio and, on this evidence, he may have a case.

Then there's Yes Sir That's My Baby by Hale & The Hushabyes, a legendary studio concoction masterminded by Jack Nitzsche that features Edna Wright (aka Sandy Wynns) singing lead, with the Blossoms, Sonny & Cher, Jackie DeShannon and Brian Wilson, among others, buried in the massed chorus.

Carol King and Gerry Goffin wrote I Can't Make It Alone with the Righteous Brothers in mind but P J Proby got to cut it first. I subscribe to Nick Cohn's view that Proby ranks among the finest pop vocalists of the rock era. This majestic 45 was cut in LA after Proby had temporarily returned to America in 1966 following a spate of bad publicity in the UK. Jack Nitzsche's spectacular production reflects the Righteous Brothers' influence and Proby's vocal does it justice. This is the first time the 45 single version (on which Proby duets with himself) has been released on CD.

Even mighty Motown was not averse to casting a nod in Spector's direction - step forward the Supremes! As Mick Patrick tell us, their Spector-ish Run, Run, Run (a Holland, Dozier, Holland song), was recorded in May 1963, a time when Motown had yet to establish a definitive 'sound' of its own and occasionally looked to rivals such as Spector or the Cameo label as a source of inspiration. Holland, Dozier, Holland also penned Too Hurt To Cry, Too Much In Love To Say Goodbye, by the Darnells, a Motown one-off from 1963 featuring Gladys Horton of the Marvelettes moonlighting as lead vocalist. The set closes with Please Phil Spector, a fun item with an odd little history of its own. Written and sung as a throwaway by New Yorker Mike Lendell, it was licensed to a small US label as the intended B-side of Washington Square, a Lendell production the company never got around to actually issuing. However, somehow, in 1967, the record surfaced in the UK on the Phillips label credited to a non-existent band, the Attack (unconnected with the British band of the same name). Even Lendell himself was unaware, until recently, that his aborted US 45 had made it to the UK.

The booklet, as glossy and colourful as a fashion supplement only more absorbing, contains the full low-down on each title together with matching illustrations. We should mention this fond and glorious homage to the great producer was in Ace's pipeline long before Uncle Phil's tribulations reverberated around the world.

By Rob Finnis

Track listing

Side 1

  • 01
    When You Walk In The Room - Jackie DeShannon

  • 02
    Run, Run, Run - The Supremes

  • 03
    Just You - Sonny & Cher

  • 04
    Why Do Fools Fall In Love - The Beach Boys

  • 05
    Too Hurt To Cry, Too Much In Love To Say Goodbye - The Darnells

  • 06
    On The Spanish Side - The Corsairs & Landy McNeil

  • 07
    Hang On - The Wall Of Sound

  • 08
    Tremblin' - Gene Pitney

  • 09
    A Little Love (Will Go A Long Way) - Alder Ray

  • 10
    All Strung Out - Nino Tempo & April Stevens

  • 11
    When The Boy's Happy (The Girl's Happy Too) - The Four Pennies

  • 12
    (You're My) Soul And Inspiration - The Righteous Brothers

  • 13
    You're So Fine - Dorothy Berry

  • 14
    Missin' My Baby - Clydie King

  • 15
    It Breaks My Heart - Ray Raymond

  • 16
    Yes Sir, That's My Baby - Hale & the Hushabyes

  • 17
    Love Her - The Walker Brothers

  • 18
    And That Reminds Me - The Dolls

  • 19
    Boys Town (Where My Broken Hearted Buddies Go) - Nino Tempo

  • 20
    My Baby Looks, But He Don't Touch - Carol Connors

  • 21
    He Will Break Your Heart - Kane & Abel

  • 22
    I Just Couldn't Say - Lorraine & the Delights

  • 23
    I Can't Make It Alone - P J Proby

  • 24
    Please Phil Spector - Mike Lendell & the Attack

Delivery & Returns

We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at orders@acerecords.com ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: orders@acerecords.com ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: orders@acerecords.com including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews

comments powered by Disqus

Press quotes

Should be in anyone's collection. Stomping, blistering magic.

Record Collector

Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought

© Ace records 2012