One of the most influential and enigmatic record producers of all time, Phil Spector is best known for creating the “wall of sound,” a recording technique that utilized multiple layers of instrumentation and copious amounts of echo to produce a huge, dramatic effect. Though he started as an artist, topping the charts in 1958 as a member of the Teddy Bears, Spector quickly moved into production, songwriting, and A&R, helming many of the 1960s most enduring hits, including classic records by the Righteous Brothers, Ike & Tina Turner, and the Ronettes (a genre-defining girl group led by Phil’s wife Ronnie Spector).
Though notorious for a tempestuous nature that sometimes led to violent clashes with his musicians, he was an important influence on other producers, most notably the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, who idolized Spector’s work. Though criticized by some for his after-the-fact orchestral sweetening of the Beatles' final album, LET IT BE, the Bronx, New York, native continued to make important recordings through the 1970s, and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Unfortunately, in 2003 he was arrested and charged with the murder of actress Lana Clarkson and in 2009 was convicted of second-degree murder by a California jury, thus sadly ending his oft-brilliant career.
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