Phil Spector, legendary music producer, convicted murderer, dead at 81

Published January 19, 2021, 4:50 PM

by Neil Ramos

Yesterday’s generation remember him mostly for creating the so-called “Wall Of Sound,” a production technique many tried but ultimately failed to emulate.

It made him a sought-after music producer, a living legend.

Sadly, fame didn’t suit Phil Spector well.

This file photo dated February 17, 2004 shows music producer Phil Spector attending an evidentiary hearing in Alhambra Municipal Court in Alhambra, California. – Phil Spector, who revolutionized 1960s pop music but ended up in prison for murder, has died, authorities said on January 17, 2021. Spector was pronounced dead on Saturday and his “official cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner,” according to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (Photo by Nick UT / POOL / AFP)

Rumors about him abusing close friends and associates, including several famous musicians, culminated in him being imprisoned in 2009 for murdering actress-model Lana Clarkson.

Now, he is back to making headlines, this time, following his own death at 81.

Authorities announced Spector’s demise Saturday.

According to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the “official cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner.”

Born in New York in 1939, Spector would make his mark in showbiz moving to Los Angeles with his mother and sister.

He would earn his first hit at 19, with the 1958 single “To Know Him Is to Love Him.”

Suffice it to say, the massive hit allowed him huge influence.

The creation of his own Philles record label started his obsession with the “Wall of Sound.”

At its most basic, the technique makes use of a large numbers of musicians playing individual parts.

He would then layer the sound the musician’s created, giving his production a distinctive, orchestral quality.

Using the technique, Spector would carve more hits with The Crystals, The Ronettes and The Righteous Brothers.

Some of these are “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Then He Kissed Me,” “Be My Baby,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” and “Unchained Melody.”

Already a millionaire, he would go on to work with the likes of Ike and Tina Turner and The Beatles.

As the 1970s progressed, his eccentric behavior became legend.

Among other rumors, he supposedly fired a gun in frustration while working with John Lennon.

He also allegedly pointed a gun at Leonard Cohen.

Punk band The Ramones was supposedly “hostaged” by Spector at gunpoint during recording of their album “End of the Century.”

He didn’t confirm nor deny any of the talks, but he once admitted, “I have devils inside that fight me.”

Looks like the devils have finally won.

 
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