Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound

I recently finished reading Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector, and I highly recommend it as both a piece of music history and a study in character.

I knew that Phil Spector was a little odd, but believe me, I had no idea. "Odd" is entirely inadequate to describe his strangeness. "Bizarre" probably doesn't even begin to describe it. Yet Spector's influence on the course of pop music is unquestioned, and at his peak, he seemed to influence everyone.

The book recounts this influence in meticulous detail, as well as throughly explaining how the Wall of Sound technique he pioneered actually works. The setup to produce the sound is also described, and it's far more complex than I ever imagined.

It's an excellent read, particularly if you're interested in the history of music or the incoherent edges of genius.

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