River Deep Mountain High Phil Spector Analysis

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Written Assignment #2 The legendary producer Phil Spector is most famous for his creative technique of overdubbing an orchestra size group of musicians. The ensemble would include, “ five or six guitars, three or four pianos, and an army of percussion, including multiple drum kits, castanets, tambourines, bells, and timpani — to produce a massive roar” (Kemp, 2001). Spector would combine the sounds and amplify them by adding substantial amounts of reverb (Sewell, 2014). Developing what would come to be known as The Wall of Sound. Spector used this technique to produce many number one hits, including the 1964 hit, “You Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.’” Although, the wall of sound is what Spector became best known for as a producer, his technique didn’t …show more content…
Which can be seen by the lack of success of the production “River Deep – Mountain High” just two years later. In 1966, “River Deep - Mountain High” was written by husband and wife Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich (Webb, 2009). Right away Spector new the song would be perfect for Tina Turner’s powerful sound. Hence, Spector proceed to offer Ike Turner twenty thousand dollars to work exclusively with Tina (River, 2018). The wall of sound was once again used to produce this song. Spector’s ensemble consisted of, “over 20 top session musicians for the recording,” many back up singers and Tina Turner (River, 2018). As the song starts one can hear the iconic entry of musician layering and heavy use of reverb. Right away Tina enters with her powerful baritone voice. When the orchestra and Tina hit their peaks, there is almost a sense of too much reverb. Additionally, Spector’s use of overdubbing may have seemed a bit extreme as oppose to complimentary. In the end, the single only made to number 88 on the US charts. As to why the song was not as successful as others previously produce using the wall of sound, one can only speculate. Recalling Ike Turner appeared on the single in name only could have played a part, or it may have been Spector’s unpopularity at the time. Spector believed “River Deep – Mountain High” to be his greatest production of his career. As a result of the singles lack of success, Spector announced his

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