Expertly produced by Rob Santos and copiously annotated by Mick Patrick, The Philles Album Collection belongs on the shelf of anyone with more than a passing interest in American pop music. (Patrick’s notes consist of a terrific essay plus track-by-track commentary on the bonus disc.) … Vic Anesini has remastered the entire collection, and the songs sound better than ever. Anesini did the same for the other Philles release which has just arrived from Legacy, The Essential Phil Spector (Phil Spector Records/Legacy 88697 86422-2). This 2-CD, 35-track anthology features all of the hits you know and love. … Each track on The Essential Phil Spector has already been released on ABKCO’s now out-of-print Back to Mono box set (7118-2, 1991), but those familiar with that box will note the superior sound on The Essential brings more clarity to these mono singles.
Read more at TheSecondDisc.com.
TIME Magazine critics have selected “Be My Baby,” produced by Phil Spector, as one of the 100 most extraordinary pop recordings in music history. The magazine writes:
“The Wall of Sound was a fuzzy, congested, massive sonic assault designed for 45-r.p.m. record players and AM car radios. Summoning an army of musicians — backup singers, guitarists, a few horn men, percussionists with their castanets, maracas and tambourines, plus three or four pianists banging away simultaneously and maybe a string section — to his cramped, beloved Gold Star studio in L.A., the producer would keep noodling and cajoling until he heard the magic that was already in his head. By the time he was done, the number exploded with a sound so dense and intense that a record needle could literally jump out of the grooves. Spector’s target audience of adolescents got the same vinyl jolt. Even today, it’s impossible to listen to “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “He’s a Rebel,” “Then He Kissed Me,” “Not Too Young to Get Married” — or “Be My Baby” — without feeling elated, intoxicated and 15.”
In the early 1960s, Phil Spector was the king of teenage music, releasing his “little symphonies for the kids” and seeing them go to the top of the charts.
Many of those “little symphonies” are now rock ‘n’ roll classics — “He’s A Rebel,” “Be My Baby,” “Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Hearts?” and “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” to name just a few.
While rightfully thought of as singles, those songs also were packed into albums, discs that are being reissued for the first time on CD in “Phil Spector Presents The Philles Album Collection,” a seven-disc set coming Monday that presents the first six original albums from Spector’s label issued from 1962 to 1964.
Read more at JournalStar.com.
The Philles Album Collection doesn’t compete with Back to Mono; it complements the earlier set. And it’s the first time in my lifetime that I’ve seen Spector’s hits—decked-out and frenzied as Christmas trees—presented along with their sibling album cuts. Six of the seven discs you’ll find here reproduce LPs released on my dad’s own label. The seventh contains rare instrumental tracks. Hearing them come together is like watching the Wall of Sound’s carpenters at work.
Read more at The New York Observer’s Very Short List.