Phil Spector is a loon. That’s a sad fact we’ve all had to accept. On the other hand, Phil Spector is probably the greatest musical brain this planet has ever seen. Tricky. Unfortunately for me, Ol’ Phil is responsible for just about every single of one my Favourite Songs Of All Time – again, tricky. I’ve been on a real Phil kick this week, so here’s a selection of my favourite songs by the big man. Some covers, some originals, all amazing.
I would have included Unchained Melody, as it’s the best pop record ever written, but so many people are tainted by the Robson and Jerome version and I just don’t have time to sit and write my usual 1000 word essay on why it’s amazing. As with all the Phil songs you’re about to hear, just concentrate on the lyrics, the sounds, the fact that no-one had heard music like it 50 years ago. Mind. Blowing. Keep reading for a bit more info on the songs. A tiny bit.
River Deep, Mountain High // Ike and Tina Turner (original, considered by Phil to be his best work but totally bombed, until it was rediscovered a few years later)
(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry // Darlene Love (original)
Zip A Dee Doo Dah // Bob B Soxx and the Blue Jeans (cover, Phil’s version came 20 years after the original Disney version, reaching number 8 in the charts)
I Want You Around // The Ramones (original, from Phil’s amazing work with the Ramones)
Walking In The Rain // Ronettes (original, famous for its use of sound effects – innovative at the time)
The Long and Winding Road – Diana Ross (cover, Spotify has no Beatles – the song was very successful, but Phil’s post-production modifications angered Paul McCartney to the point that when he broke up the Beatles, this was a reason)
Just Once In My Life // The Beach Boys (cover – the original, by the Righteous Brothers isn’t as good in my opinion.)
My Sweet Lord // The Chiffons (cover – read the really interesting story about this song! No really, do, it’s information that should be in your brain)
There’s No Other Like My Baby // The Crystals (original)
To Know Him Is To Love Him // The Shirelles (cover – the original was recorded by Phil’s high school band, The Teddybears. To Know Him Is To Love Him was the epitaph on Phil’s dad’s grave. Who said Phil was creepy?)