Death of Phil Spector: the legendary invader of the “sound barrier” was 81 years old


This January 17, we learn of the death of the legendary American music producer Phil Spector.

At 81, Phil Spector died of “natural death”, as the California Prison Department said in a statement on January 17. The one who was a legendary producer and inventor of the “Wall of sound” (the sound barrier, his signature) had been serving a prison sentence there for murder since 2009.

“Greatest record producer of all time” according to John Lennon, he had been called in the studio on the last Beatles album (the record “Let It Be”, of their breakup) as well as on the first solo albums of John Lennon and George Harrison. His technique consisted of broadcasting music in echo chambers, for a rich and homogeneous rendering, and then recording it. Unheard of at the time.

A fallen genius

This is how the hits were born: “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys, “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes, but also “River Deep, Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner, and of course “Instant Karma!” by John Lennon. He who collaborated with the legends Leonard Cohen or the Ramones, before putting his career on hold, had also paid “the luxury of refusing a collaboration with Celine Dion in 1996” reports the Figaro.

Tortured genius, Phil Spector also had a dark side. He was convicted of the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson at her Alhambra mansion in California. The case resulted in a high-profile trial in the United States. It had been adapted for the screen, for an HBO TV movie, with Al Pacino in the role of Phil Spector, in 2013.