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1958-1969 Back To Mono Best of, Box set, Compilation
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|1. To Know His Is To Love Him - The Teddy Bears|
|2. Corrine, Corrina - Ray Peterson|
|3. Spanish Harlem - Ben E. King|
|4. Pretty Little Angel Eyes - Curtis Lee|
|5. Every Breath I Take - Gene Pitney|
See all 23 tracks on this disc
|1. Be My Baby - The Ronettes|
|2. Then He Kissed Me - The Crystals|
|3. A Fine, Fine Boy - Darlene Love|
|4. Baby, I Love You - The Ronettes|
|5. I Wonder - The Ronettes|
See all 19 tracks on this disc
|1. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - The Righteous Brothers|
|2. Born To Be Together - The Ronettes|
|3. Just Once In My Life - The Righteous Brothers|
|4. Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers|
|5. Is This What I Get For Loving You? - The Ronettes|
See all 18 tracks on this disc
|1. White Christmas - Darlene Love|
|2. Frosty The Snowman - The Ronettes|
|3. The Bells of St. Mary - Bob B. Soxx and The Blue Jeans|
|4. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The Crystals|
|5. Sleigh Ride - The Ronettes|
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Among producers, his name remains the simile of choice. If some hotshot studio whiz emerges in, say, hip-hop, he's inevitably labeled "the Phil Spector of rap." That's quite a statement given that decades have passed since this boy from the Bronx remodeled rock & roll to suit his own visions of grandeur. The story of the girl-group auteur is a fascinating one. Spector composed a No. 1 hit at 17 (the Teddy Bears' "To Know Him Is to Love Him," its title inspired by the inscription on his father's tombstone). By 19 he was head of A&R for Atlantic Records. By the time he was 22, he'd founded his own label (Philles) and was churning out Wall of Sound hits at an unprecedented clip, beginning with the Crystals' "He's a Rebel." The four-disc Back to Mono befits its singular subject in both presentation (the richly annotated booklet includes a piece by Tom Wolfe) and content (60 songs cut between 1958 and 1969, plus the entire classic Yuletide LP A Christmas Gift for You). --Steven Stolder
Top Customer Reviews
You'll recognize a lot of the songs, as I'm sure you already have from the track listing, but there's also a smattering of unreleased or obscure tracks to perk your interest. Hidden gems like "I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine," "Every Breath I Take," and "So Young" are just as vital as "Be My Baby," "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," and countless others. But it's not really the music that's in question here...
The sound quality is about as good as it's going to get, I suppose. Remastering a Wall of Sound gem is a fairly ridiculous concept. It's supposed to be muddy, it's supposed to be distorted, it's supposed to gel together. And, as its title says, it's supposed to be in mono.
As for the value of the set itself, that could be a question. I almost docked it a star because it IS overpriced. Four CDs for the price of... four, if you get a good deal? Not exactly the best box set pricing. Especially since the run time on each is only around an hour. There are more songs in the catalogue that could have been added, and there was plenty of room.
Aside from that, no alternate takes, peeks into the studio, nothing? It would have been nice to see what happened behind the Wall and get to listen in on Phil instructing everyone and making things happen.
The booklet has been called into question, but it's fine with me.Read more ›
Say what you will about Phil Spector: He was arrogant, demanding, pedantic and every other derogatory adjective you can think of. Even given all this, however, one cannot seriously dispute the fact that he knew how to produce both popular and very memorable music.
What a concept the Phil Spector "Wall of Sound" was! He would start with a whole boatload of instruments; from violins to castanets. To these he would then add some of the most beautifully haunting voices ever heard (those of Darlene Love, Phil's own wife Ronnie, a young singer known then only as Cher and even Tina Turner to name a few). Blended together, these would create a tsunami of sonic power. It creates a force bigger than any song, or any band, and truly become greater than the sum of the parts. Tack on a set of headphones, and you can just relax and let it just wash all over you!
Baseball great Rickey Henderson once said of another great Nolan Ryan: "If he hasn't struck you out, then you ain't nobody." A musical corollary can be said for Phil Spector: If he didn't produce your music, you didn't put your very best work down on the vinyl (remember, this was thirty years ago, when '45's were as compact as discs could get). From the Beatles to Sonny Charles and the Checkmates Ltd., everyone who was anyone is here.
Go back and marvel at what is here. The index of his songs in this set is nothing less that an anthology of some of the greatest music of the early pop era. You might disagree with Cousin Brucie for calling "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" the greatest song of the decade.Read more ›
I can't review tracks individually due to the volume, but I must say that they are ALL worthwhile. Any one of them justifies the purchase (River Deep Mountain High; Then He Kissed Me; Be My Baby), and there are many undiscovered classics in this set (ex: Black Pearl or any Darlene Love track)
Phil Spector has influenced rock and roll immensely, and this box set is a testament to that; these tracks define music history.
I found the sound quality to be very good; don't complain that the tracks are Mono if you buy it (the title should inform you of this condition); I think Stereo would in fact ruin some of the appeal of these records.
If you liked this set, I'd recommend also The Best Of The Ronettes (from ABCKO); there are many important Ronettes tracks that are not here, and that group was probably Spector's most consistently excellent. My only complaint: "Here I Sit" really should have been included instead of "Woman In Love (With You)".
This boxed set contains three CD's packed full of great tracks, from the first track he recorded "To Know Him Is To Love Him" (apparently dedicated to Spector's father) to later classics such as the lush and incredibly layered Ike & Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High" there are any number of tracks that must be heard.
Disc 1 is mostly tracks that show the development of Spector's "Wall Of Sound" while he was mainly producing for a mix of bands and labels before he started Philles records and while A & R head at Atlantic developed his own stable of groups (the 'les' in Philles was his sound engineer).
Disc 2 is full of classic Phil Spector tracks, chock full of titles recorded by The Crystals, The Ronettes and Darlene Love. "Be My Baby" and "Then He Kissed Me", the first two tracks are perhaps the "Wall Of Sound" at it's clearest. One of Spector's trademarks was the way he would use whichever vocalists were at the studio and suited the sound of the track so the line up changes on these tracks can be huge.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This box set should be part of every music lovers collection. The original recordings from the great artists from the sixties produced by Phil Spector. Read morePublished on April 8 2011 by axll33
OF COURSE PHIL IS A GENIUS NOW MEET HIS ENGLISH EQUAL HIS NAME IS ..JOE MEEK HE EVEN DECLARED PHIL OF STEALING HIS IDEA'S GOOGLE JOE VERY INTERESTING FELLOW... Read morePublished on March 5 2009 by James H. Dowbiggin
This is great stuff!.Only why only 4 CD's in this box. Perhaps the true Fan needs ALL his hits (and misses).
The christmas album shines in these dark days.
I originally purchased cassette tapes of Back to Mono when it first came out years ago. I just recently purchased the CDs to enjoy even better quality than I had. Read morePublished on Sept. 15 2002 by angelize47
I bought this to replace my much played and scratched vinyl single album 'Phil Spector's Greatest Hits'. Read morePublished on July 28 2001
...not some mega-riot. And Phil Spector knew that. He made the day-to-day concerns of the teenage world (i.e., "my baby") sound like the world was coming to an end. Read morePublished on March 13 2001
This is a must-have for true fans of pop music (authentic pop of the non-Britney, non-Backstreet variety). Read morePublished on June 5 2000 by Randall Ivey
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