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Cover art for Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector

Written by Mick Brown
Non-Fiction

Phil Spector's Wall of Sound was the music of my childhood. From Ronnie and the Ronettes (To Know Him is to Love Him), the Righteous Brothers (You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'), to John Lennon (Happy Christmas, War is Over), George Harrison (My Sweet Lord), and the Rolling Stones (The Last Time) - all produced by Phil Spector.

So the music was GREAT. The man who produced all that lovely music however, was troubled. Mick Brown gives a very fair and unbiased look at what made Phil Spector. From his childhood to the trial for killing Lana Clarkson, we are given a unique look at his life. Without giving too much away, as we learn about his family, the events of his childhood, and how those events stayed with him his entire life, we develop an understanding of his trajectory. Phil is a total contradiction, make him an enemy and he will write you off, but he also could be an unswerving friend. Phil took Lenny Bruce under his protection and supported him while he lived, and buried him when he died.

I respect both his talent and the music he gave us. A strange, troubled man - one hopes he is able to find some happiness in his life. Is he guilty of killing Clarkson? I have no idea and Mick Brown does not address the issue of guilt or innocence either. He does relate Spector's fascination with and constant possession of guns.

Whether or not you are interested in the life and times of Phil Spector this book is engaging. It's a trip through musical history and the people and productions that made the soundtrack of America from the 1950's to the 1980's and on and on....

Recommended by Suzi

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