Teenage performer and lyricist[ edit ] Having learned to play guitar, Spector performed " Rock Island Line " in a talent show at Fairfax High School , where he was a student. During this period, record producer Stan Ross — co-owner of Gold Star Studios in Hollywood — began to tutor Spector in record production and exerted a major influence on Spector's production style.
It was the seventh number-one single on the newly formed chart. Following the success of their debut, the group signed with Imperial Records. They released several more recordings, including an album, The Teddy Bears Sing!
The group disbanded in Early success as a record producer[ edit ] After the split, Spector's career quickly moved from performing and songwriting to production.
His next project, the Spectors Three, was undertaken under the aegis of Sill and his partner, Lee Hazlewood. Spector quickly learned how to use a studio.
He co-wrote the Ben E. King Top 10 hit " Spanish Harlem " with Jerry Leiber and also worked as a session musician, most notably playing the guitar solo on the Drifters ' song " On Broadway ".
Returning to Hollywood, Spector agreed to produce one of Lester Sill's acts. Philles Records combined the names of its two founders. Through Hill and Range Publishers, Spector found three groups he wanted to produce: The first two signed with other companies, but Spector managed to secure the Crystals for his new label. Their next release, "Uptown", made it to number Spector continued to work freelance with other artists. It was while working at Liberty that he heard a song written by Gene Pitney , for whom he had produced a number 41 hit, "Every Breath I Take", a year earlier.
The record was released on Philles, attributed to the Crystals, and quickly rose to the top of the charts. The single was acknowledged by some as the greatest pop record ever made.
By the time "He's a Rebel" went to number 1, Lester Sill was out of the company, and Spector had Philles all to himself. He created a new act, Bob B. Spector also released solo material by Darlene Love in In the same year, he released " Be My Baby " by the Ronettes , which went to number 2. Also on the bill were the Righteous Brothers. Spector, who was conducting the band for all the acts, was so impressed with Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield that he bought their contract from Moonglow Records and signed them to Philles.
Three more major hits with the duo followed: Despite having hits, he lost interest in producing the Righteous Brothers and sold their contract and all their master recordings to Verve Records. However, the sound of the Righteous Brothers' singles was so distinctive that the act chose to replicate it after leaving Spector, notching a second number 1 hit in with the Bill Medley—produced " You're My Soul and Inspiration". A re-release of the single re-charted on the Billboard Hot , and went to number one on the Adult Contemporary charts.
This also put Spector back on the U. Top 40 charts for the first time since his last appearance in with John Lennon 's " Imagine ", though he did have UK top 40 hits in the interim with the Ramones.
Spector considered their recording of River Deep — Mountain High his best work,  but it failed to go any higher than number 88 in the United States. The single, which actually featured Tina but not Ike, was more successful in Britain , reaching number 3. Spector subsequently lost enthusiasm for his label and the recording industry. Already something of a recluse , he withdrew temporarily from the public eye, marrying Veronica "Ronnie" Bennett , lead singer of the Ronettes, in In , Spector emerged briefly for a cameo as himself in an episode of I Dream of Jeannie and as a drug dealer in the film Easy Rider While producing John Lennon 's hit solo single " Instant Karma!
He went to work, using many of his production techniques, making significant changes to the arrangements and sound of some songs. Spector's overdubbing of "The Long and Winding Road" infuriated its composer, Paul McCartney , especially since the work was allegedly completed without his knowledge and without any opportunity for him to assess the results. Naked , which stripped the songs of Spector's input.
For Harrison's multiplatinum album All Things Must Pass number 1, , Spector provided a cathedral-like sonic ambience, complete with ornate orchestrations and gospel-like choirs. The LP yielded two major hits: He held the post for only a year, but during that time he co-produced the single " Power to the People " with John Lennon number 11 , as well as Lennon's chart-topping album, Imagine. The album's title track hit number 3. The album later won the "Album of the Year" award at the Grammys.
Despite being recorded live, Spector used up to 44 microphones simultaneously to create his trademark Wall of Sound. Similar to the unusual pattern of success that Spector's A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records experienced, "Happy Xmas War Is Over " also stalled in sales upon its initial release, only later to become a fixture on radio station playlists around Christmas.
In , Spector participated in the recording sessions for what would be Lennon's Rock 'n' Roll album number 6. As the s progressed, Spector became increasingly reclusive.
The most probable and significant reason for his withdrawal, as revealed by biographer Dave Thompson,[ citation needed ] was that in he was seriously injured when he was thrown through the windshield of his car in a crash in Hollywood. According to a contemporary report published in the New Musical Express ,[ citation needed ] Spector was almost killed, and it was only because the attending police officer detected a faint pulse that Spector was not declared dead at the scene.
He was admitted to the UCLA Medical Center on the night of March 31, , suffering serious head injuries that required several hours of surgery, with over stitches to his face and more than to the back of his head. A similar relationship with Britain's Polydor Records led to the formation of the Phil Spector International label in When the Cher and Keno singles the latter's recordings were only issued in Germany foundered on the charts, Spector released Dion DiMucci 's Born to Be with You to little commercial fanfare in ; largely produced and recorded by Spector in , it was subsequently disowned by the singer before enjoying a resurgence among the indie rock cognoscenti of the late s and early s.
Finally, he released an American compilation of his Philles recordings in , which put most of the better-known Spector hits back into circulation after many years. Death of a Ladies' Man album and End of the Century Spector began to reemerge in the late s, producing and co-writing a controversial album by Leonard Cohen , entitled Death of a Ladies' Man. This angered many devout Cohen fans who preferred his stark acoustic sound to the orchestral and choral wall of sound that the album contains.
The recording was fraught with difficulty. After Cohen had laid down practice vocal tracks, Spector mixed the album in studio sessions, rather than allowing Cohen to take a role in the mixing, as Cohen had previously done. As with his work with Leonard Cohen, End of the Century received criticism from Ramones fans who were angered over its radio-friendly sound.
For the harder stuff, it didn't work as well. Dee Dee Ramone claimed that Spector once pulled a gun on him when he tried to leave a session. He never held us hostage. We could have left at any time". He was originally supposed to produce the entire album, but was fired owing to personal and creative differences.
One of the two Spector-produced songs on the album, the title track , was a UK top 10 single the other single being "White Dove". Spector and former Paul McCartney drummer Graham Ward produced it in the classic Wall of Sound style on nights after his first murder trial.
As a result, Spector was given a songwriting credit on the single. The sections from "Be My Baby" are sung by Winehouse, not directly sampled from the mono single. While delivering a eulogy, Spector lashed out at Tina and stated that "Ike made Tina the jewel she was. When I went to see Ike play at the Cinegrill in the 90s The Agony and the Ecstasy, by Vikram Jayanti. It consists of Spector's first screen interview—breaking a long period of media silence.
During the conversation, images from the murder court case are juxtaposed with live appearances of his tracks on television programs from the s and s, along with subtitles giving critical interpretation of some of his song production values. While he does not directly try to clear his name, the court case proceedings shown try to give further explanation of the facts surrounding the murder charges leveled against him.
He also speaks about the musical instincts that led him to create some of his most enduring hit records, from "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" to "River Deep, Mountain High", as well as Let It Be, along with criticisms he feels he has had to deal with throughout his life.