Results for Phil Spector

interviews

Spoon

One of Jim and Greg's favorite albums of the year so far comes from the indie rock band Spoon. Despite the odd title, they fell for the combination of minimal art pop with Phil Spector-like arrangements and orchestrations. This is the band's sixth album, and the fourth they've made with indie label Merge (also home to another indie success story — Arcade Fire). Jim and Greg start by asking lead singer and songwriter Britt Daniel about the approach to this album. He explains that the band was definitely inspired by Motown groups like The Supremes — something that may come as a surprise to fans who are used to a sparser sound.

One of the people responsible for the“Spoon sound”is producer Mike McCarthy. But, the band also worked with Jon Brion on a couple of songs. Other surprising influences: Queen and AC/DC. Songs like "We Will Rock You," and "Back in Black," are fairly simple and minimal, but they have that rhythm and that“thing”that draw you in. Listen to Spoon's take on that“thing”in the songs "Don't Make Me a Target," "Rhythm and Soul," and "Don't You Evah."

Go to episode 102

Glyn Johns

soundman One day in February 1969, engineer and producer Glyn Johns disembarked a flight from Los Angeles to London. He went straight to a studio to work with the Beatles on what would eventually become Let It Be. That was followed by an all-night session with the Rolling Stones for Let It Bleed. And after that, he rejoined the Beatles and jutted on over to Royal Albert Hall to record Jimi Hendrix live. Just“a day in the life,”eh? Those legendary recordings are just beginning of Johns tremendous list of credits which includes Led Zeppelin, the Faces, the Kinks, The Who, the Eagles and more recently Band of Horses and Ryan Adams. He relays this life spent recording in a new book called Sound Man. And he is as candid in his conversation with Jim and Greg, as he is in print. The aforementioned Let It Be? Johns remarks that Phil Spector“puked”all over it. Of Eric Clapton, Johns admits he initially refused to bring him into a session with Pete Townshend due to his drug-addled personality. And he talks about parting ways with the Eagles after they wanted to go in a more rock ‘n’ roll direction—something Johns says the band wouldn't know if they fell over it.

For more behind-the-booth conversations, check out Jim and Greg's interviews in the Footnotes section with Stephen Street, Butch Vig, Bob Ezrin, Tony Visconti, Mark Howard, Giorgio Moroder, Joe Boyd and of course, Brian Eno.

Go to episode 528

Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil

This week, Sound Opinions explores the art of songwriting. Jim and Greg talk to some of the biggest pop hitmakers of the past and present. First, a conversation with the legendary songwriting duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. The husband and wife team were part of the Brill Building era of 1960s New York, and worked alongside writing powerhouses like Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and collaborated with producer Phil Spector. Mann and Weil wrote some of the biggest hits of all time, from "You‘ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'" to "On Broadway" and even "We Gotta Get Out of This Place." In 2011, Mann and Weil received the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and since 2013, have been depicted in the Tony Award-winning musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical about the early life and career of their friend and coworker. In this interview, the duo tell Jim and Greg the origins of their famous hits, tell stories and reflect on what could have been had Barry released “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” before The Animals.

Go to episode 561
reviews
One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found

One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found

Jim and Greg give the box set One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Groups Sounds Lost and Found their vote for best packaging. The four discs of girl group songs are contained in a highly girly hat box. However, while this is an exciting set to un-wrap, according to our hosts, the song collection is disappointing. That's largely because Rhino Records was unable to get the rights to songs produced by Phil Spector, the man Jim calls the architect of this genre. Spector gave his signature "Wall of Sound" effect to The Beatles and girl groups like The Ronettes (featuring Spector's then-wife Ronnie Bennett). Lost and Found only has a one obscure Ronettes track, however, and none of the major hits from The Shirelles or The Chiffons. Rather, it is packed with“second-tier”groups like The Honeys and The Goodees. In addition, it includes solo artists like Mary Wells, Cher, Dolly Parton, and even super-waif Twiggy, who were all trying to cash in, unsuccessfully, on the girl group sound.

JimGreg
Go to episode 3
Wounded Rhymes (Deluxe Version)Wounded Rhymes available on iTunes

Lykke Li Wounded Rhymes

Swedish singer Lykke Li has a new album out called Wounded Rhymes. She has again teamed up with fellow Swede Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn and John. The maturity is leaps and bounds above her previous effort. Greg was impressed with the“oomph”of her voice and her interesting source material. It's Phil Spector and doo-wop, but with a wicked tinge. Jim agrees, adding gospel and soul influences to that pot. Wounded Rhymes gets a double Buy It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 279
Lust Lust Lust (Deluxe)Lust Lust Lust available on iTunes

The Raveonettes Lust Lust Lust

This week's final review is of Lust Lust Lust, the third album from Danish pop duo The Raveonettes. Jim and Greg both agree that one of the primary influences of the band is The Jesus and Mary Chain. Just like the Scottish group, The Raveonettes's music is full of heavy, feedback-drenched guitar. It's a sound Jim describes as "Velvet Underground meets Phil Spector." Greg is impressed by guitarist Sune Rose Wagner's minimalist technique; he understands the importance of not overplaying. But, over a dozen tracks he thinks the sound is a little“samey”and can only give Lust Lust Lust a Burn It. Jim finds the album entirely too derivative. He explains that if he wants to hear sexy, dark garage rock, he might as well get out his Jesus and Mary Chain record. Jim thinks there's no reason to own The Raveonettes' album and gives it a Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 119
lists

Strange Bedfellows of Rock

aerosmith-run-dmc Sometimes an odd pairing comes off like peanut butter and chocolate (Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C.). Othertimes, peanut butter and sardines (Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson). And the most recent odd couple is Kanye West and Paul McCartney, with the first single from West's forthcoming album. But during this segment, Jim and Greg remember the most successful "Strange Bedfellows."

Go to episode 478

Unsung Heroes of Rock

Now it's time to hail the Unsung Heroes of Rock. The Micks and Bonos of the world may get all the acclaim, but it's often the little guy who deserves much of the credit. Jim and Greg have gone through the rock canon to honor these lesser-known musicians.

Jerome Green

Without Bo Diddley, there wouldn't be a Mick Jagger as we know it. And without Jerome Green, there wouldn't have been a Bo Diddley. His maracas helped to create Diddley's signature“shuffling freight train”sound, and his cool attitude helped to create the performers signature style — one that would be emulated by many.

Hal Blaine

Blaine is responsible for one of the most famous drum intros in rock. Just listen to "Be My Baby," by The Ronettes, and you‘ll hear how Blaine is as important to that era’s sound as producer Phil Spector was.

Ben“Bosstone”Carr

There's a history of go-go dancers in rock, but of course, they're hard to showcase on the radio. Jim thinks Ben“Bosstone”Carr deserves credit for bringing style and maniacal energy to the band.

Augie Myers

The name might have you drawing a blank, but Myers is a critical figure in rock. Greg is most impressed by how his vox continental organ managed to add a greasy, Texas sound to what was essentially another imitation British invasion band.

John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones deserves credit simply for keeping his own among the three biggest figures and egos in rock. He could pretty much play anything he got his hands on, but it was with the bass on songs like "Black Dog," that he really shone.

Ringo Starr

Onto a man who was easily the least important member of a very important band. Or so you might think. Jim says he'll fight anyone who underplays his drumming. He was never a show-off, allowing the vocals and guitars to shine when they needed to. But when there was an opportunity to come to the center, Starr accepted the challenge. Jim's been trying to master the drumming in "Rain" since he was a kid.

James Jamerson

The Motown band members weren't even given credits on most of the songs they played on, but the reason you“move your butt”to most of those songs is because of James Jamerson. He not only played rhythm, but bass melodies, injecting a whole new style into rock.

Malcolm Young

With his knickers and beanie, everyone recognizes younger brother Angus. But, it was Malcom who gave AC/DC their signature riffs. And one of their best, and one of the best in all of rock music according to Greg, is "Highway to Hell."

Go to episode 112
news

Music News

In the news this week is Radiohead's decision to independently release its first studio album since 2003 as a pay-what-you-wish download. The announcement has sparked interest among fans and industry analysts alike, and Jim and Greg are eager to see how this experiment works out. When Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood were on the show last year, they discussed their hope to step outside the traditional record industry model, but they didn't seem to know how or when they would do it. And how Radiohead succeeds with releasing their album this way will be telling for other labels and bands who are looking for an alternative to the overpriced plastic disc.

Another story getting headlines is the Phil Spector murder trial. Four years ago the legendary producer was charged with murdering actress Lana Clarkson, and last week the jury announced it was deadlocked. It will be months before a new trial is launched in Los Angeles, but with so much negative attention focused on Spector, Jim and Greg wanted to take this opportunity to discuss his legacy as a producer. He's had a history of violence, but, as Greg explains, he also completely reinvented music production. Using heavy orchestrations, layers of sound, and booming echoes of instrumentation, Spector created the "Wall of Sound" effect for groups like The Ronettes, The Beach Boys and The Beatles. Jim and Greg end the conversation with a great example of this sound-"River Deep, Mountain High" by Ike and Tina Turner.

Go to episode 97

Music News

Just a couple of years ago MySpace was the place to check out new bands and share them with friends. Now, their user base is shrinking while Facebook is up to 500 million users. So they are cashing in on the music scene and re-launching Music on Facebook. It certainly lends itself to interacting with artists, but what about the listening? That remains to be seen.

Producer Phil Spector was once known as the architect of the "Wall of Sound." But from now on he'll be known as a convicted murderer. A California appeals court rejected Spector's bid to overturn his murder conviction, saying it was permissible for prosecutors to call other women who said he had threatened them with guns in the past. He's now serving 19 to life in prison. His first trial ended in a hung jury.

Go to episode 284

Music News

First up in the news, Jim and Greg discuss the murder trial of famed producer Phil Spector. Spector was found guilty of shooting actress Lana Clarkson six years ago. This was the second trial for the man behind the sounds of The Beatles, The Righteous Brothers and The Ronettes. While the first jury was deadlocked, this one handed Spector a conviction that will lead to a minimum of 18 years in prison.

Jim and Greg have been following the debates in France concerning internet piracy with some interest. The French parliament recently defeated a highly anticipated bill that would have given users caught illegally downloading files two strikes before disconnecting them from the internet entirely. A re-vote is scheduled for later this month. Back in the states, President Obama tapped Recording Industry Association of America attorney Ian Gershengorn to join the Department of Justice's Civil Division. This is the fifth RIAA attorney to join the DOJ–not a promising precedent for file-sharing proponents.

While most of us are spending more modestly in today's economy, some Prince fans will be shelling out $2,100 for his limited edition Opus iPod. For that price, 950 devoted fans will get purple touch iPods loaded with live tracks and a 40 minute movie. Sounds absurd, but Jim and Greg agree that there is a market for high end, specialty items like this one. Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead had luck with their box sets last year, and Pearl Jam recently released a deluxe reissue of Ten.

Go to episode 177

Music News

Pearl Jam made big news this week after announcing an exclusive deal with Target. The alternative band will release a new album along with the big box chain. And in addition they will allow Target to use a Cameron Crowe-directed video in a series of ads. Pearl Jam has long been known for its anti-corporate and anti-commercial attitude, so this was a surprise to Jim and Greg. But, as Greg says, at least they aren't selling the album exclusively through Target — good news for mom and pop record stores.

The usual record industry story goes like this: Label likes artist, label pays artist, artist makes music. But, in a twist, EMI recording artist Joss Stone has offered to pay her label not to make music. The British pop/soul singer is apparently desperate to get out of her four-album contract, after making only one of those records. This is one of many blows to the label, which has already said goodbye to Radiohead and Paul McCartney.

After a six-year trial, producer Phil Spector was finally sentenced this week. The judge showed no mercy and put him behind bars for 19 to life, with a mandatory 15 years. That means that Spector will not be eligible for parole until he is 88.

Go to episode 184

Music News

A group of musicians led by the estate of jazz musician Chet Baker filed a lawsuit against the four major record labels in Canada. The labels were using artists' songs for compilation albums, but had yet to pay any royalties. Now they're paying up to the tune of $47 million.

Music publisher and television host Don Kirshner died this week at age 76. Kirshner began his career in music at the Brill Building, working with songwriters and producers like Carole King and Phil Spector. He then developed bubblegum acts The Monkees and The Archies before going on to host Don Kirshner's Rock Hour in 1973. Greg and Jim both fondly remember watching Kirshner's stiff, deadpan intros to that era's great acts including Kiss, Led Zeppelin and Sly and the Family Stone. To pay homage to Kirshner, Jim and Greg choose to play Blue Oyster Cult's "Marshall Plan," which features a sample of an intro by Kirshner.

Go to episode 269

Music News

Former Death Row Records mogul Suge Knight is facing life in prison. He was arrested for murder and other charges in connection with a hit-and-run incident that left a man dead and another in critical condition. It's a Phil Spector-like fall from grace from someone who practically defined West Coast hip-hop in his heyday.

There were quite a few developments this week in the world of digital streaming. SoundExchange reported that it paid out $773 million in royalties in 2014 for digital performances. This suggests that streaming services and satellite radio may be closing in on old-fashioned terrestrial radio. Even Jay Z wants in on the action: he's reportedly bidding on the Swedish streaming company Aspiro. Meanwhile, Spotify has put the brakes on its planned expansion into Russia as the ruble tumbles and rumors spread that President Vladimir Putin is clamping down on media and social networking sites.

Go to episode 480