Top Ten Thursday: The Ten Best Songs Produced by Phil Spector

Phil Spector, Producer, genius, studio

There is no question that a lot of evil is involved in the music industry. And I am not talking about the bands that mothers don’t want their kids to listen too. I am talking about the money grubbing whores of the industry. The ones that head-up labels and produce shitty music while forcing talented artists to take a back seat for a dollar. Or the ones that trick young talent into signing horrendous contracts that leave them broke when their 15-minutes of fame are up. Then there are even more villainous types that, you know, kill people. This is where Phil Spector comes in. Ranked #1 on our “Villains of Music” list, this man perhaps looks the part of evil just about as well as he plays it. Nonetheless, the man knew what he was doing when it came to producing a song. HBO debuts their new movie about the trials and tribulations of the man’s last free days this weekend, which stars the stunningly similar looking Al Pacino. In honor of this sure-fire cinematic

Phil Spector,  Al Pacino, movie, actor, HBO
^ Possibly the greatest casting decision ever made.
treat, we bring you this list of what we consider to be Phil Spector’s finest musical accomplishments. And as an added bonus, I decided to also flood this post with pictures of Spector to show off how terrifying this man is. If you make it through, enjoy the nightmares:

 

10. “Mother” by John Lennon

Phil Spector < Trust when we say, you do not want this man near your mother …

Lennon loved Spector, and rightfully so. Out of all the Beatles, Spector knew how to make John sound the best. Lennon's raw vocal capability along with his more basic rock and roll style of music, lends a perfect hand to Phil's style of production.

 

9. “Every Breath I Take” by Gene Pitney

Phil Spector < He will literally take away your
breath …

… but so will this song.

 

8. “Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)” – The Crystals

phil spector < That walk home may have a few
hiccups in it …

Da Doo Run Run is a pinnacle of the doo wop era. The constant tickling of the piano keys in the background is a perfect example of Spector. His wall of sound technique was basically a way of craft-fully flooding extreme amounts of sound into his songs without it feeling claustrophobic.

 

7. “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” – Curtis Lee

Phil Spector < More accurately would be scary
little demon eyes …

Curtis Lee had a very signature sound unto himself, and it could not mesh with Phil’s production style any better. Here is a great example of using a lot of the barber-shop quartet style of singing as instruments for his wall of sound. A unique blend of combining two great talents.

 

6. “River Deep – Mountain High” – Ike and Tina Turner

phil spector, hair < Mountain of hair, river of blood …

This is probably the most iconic Phil Spector song there is, and rightfully so, it is a masterpiece. Poor Tina just surrounded herself with horrible men.

 

5. “Let It Be” – The Beatles
dandelion, phil spector < This is just too perfect …

Lennon pushed hard to bring Phil on board to complete the mix-down for the album Let It Be, which the other band members were not too thrilled about. To be completely truthful, I prefer the Let It Be … Naked album where they stripped Phil’s production out of the music years later, and produced it to more of a Beatles style. Nonetheless, if Phil would not have stepped up and completed the album, we would maybe never have had this masterpiece of a song.

 

4. “My Sweet Lord” – George Harrison

phil spector, gun < Produces a song about finding
God, then sends you to him …

Interestingly enough, Phil and George worked wonderfully together. "All Things Must Pass" is a true testament to that, being one of the better post-Beatles solo albums there is. This song is the album's greatest highlight.

 

3. “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers

phil spector, jail < Lucky for society, Phil is NOT unchained …

One of the greatest love songs ever produced. It was hard to chose between this and "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" but the subtly of the production in this tune is what kicked it over the edge. The use of the violin in this song is one of Spector's most crown worthy achievements.

 

2. “Then He Kissed Me” by The Crystals

phil spector < Go ahead, pucker up …

"Then He Kissed Me" may not be the song that everyone instantly thinks of when they hear the name Phil Spector, but it is precisely the sound that they think of. This is track accomplished absolutely everything Phil was perfect at, in two minutes and thirty-six seconds of solid wall of sound gold. Side-note: It is also expertly featured within the movie Goodfellas.

 

1. “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes

phil spector < He clearly knows how to treat the ladies … and entrap them …

From the opening kick drum that has been imitated a thousand times since but never repeated, all the way to the closing fade out, you will be swept away with Phil's signature sound. A perfect example of the wall of sound, and a heart wrenching song that will carry on through every generation.

 

 
The “Just Missed Out List” List:

Austin – “Beware of Darkness” by George Harrison


Austin tends to favor the opinion that The Beatles are a bit overrated. However, that does not always apply to some of The Beatles’ post careers, especially George.

 

Todd – “Instant Karma!” by John Lennon


I already explained my thoughts on how perfectly John and Phil’s styles mesh. I believe this to be the most shining example of that.

 

Wes – “Get Back” by The Beatles


A Wes favorite from Let It Be.

 

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Author: Todd

I dig musics ...

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Thursday: The Ten Best Songs Produced by Phil Spector”

  1. great choice of his bests guys! not very often you get to remember some amazing music while laughing your ass off at the ugliest man in the world. damn was he a phenomenal producer though!

      1. No problem! Absolutely love your blog! Would you mind if I started tagging you guys in my music related posts?

  2. Great list!!

    But just because u think he’s ugly or creepy looking doesn’t mean he’s guilty. After just watching the HBO movie I don’t believe he did it and was only convicted after his best lawyer could no longer proceed. However, I know I still don’t have all the evidence either. The point that he should’ve been covered in that poor girl’s blood if he had pulled the trigger was pretty convincing though.

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