Saturday, July 3, 2010

My Comments on the Agony and Ecstacy of Phil Spector

We took the subway to Greenwich Village to see the Agony and Ecstacy of Phil Spector at the Film Forum after I read the article in last Sunday's New York Times. I highly recommend it to my friends who are oldies enthusiasts. It is actually 3 films in one:

  1. Director Vikram Jayanti interviews Spector at the time of his first trial in the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.

  2. Footage of the trial in 2007

  3. Clips of Spector's productions by the Crystals, Righteous Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner and others.

I didn't know that Spector produced many of John Lennon's solo recordings in the 1970s. He also did some work with George Harrison, but he didn't see eye to eye with Paul McCartney. In 2003 McCartney remixed and remastered (de-Spectorized) Let it Be.

One of his biggest hits was You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling by the Righteous Brothers. When I saw the clip in the film I went back in time to 1965 when I heard it for the first time. That wall of sound is really powerful. The hit has lost its impact since radio stations have played it to death over the years. I saw it performed at the Westbury Music Fair in 2003 a few months before the untimely passing of Bobby Hatfield. You can see the video at

River Deep Mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner, my favorite Spector recording, was played in the film. During the interview Spector remarked that although it was a big hit in the UK, it didn't chart in the USA.

It is a shame that Spector was so reclusive and such a "head case" through the years. We never know how he could have influenced the music business.

We took a little walk around Greenwich Village after the film. We passed by the House of Oldies on Carmine Street. I mentioned to the owned that back in 1966 they had the Beatles Butcher Cover album on sale for $20. Now they are sold for $20,000. We walked to Bleeker Street Records where we bought a CD of hits by the Crystals produced by Phil Spector.

No comments:

Personal-Journals blog