Various Artists | Phil Spector Presents the Phillies Album Collection

Legacy (2011)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  November 2, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars


Before finding infamy as a perm-'fro courtroom crazy, the guy who held the Ramones at gunpoint, or the dude who dared helm murky post-Beatles waters, Phil Spector was synonymous with '60s-pop Wall of Sound production. He was Wall of Sound, a girl-group savant who helped propel bubblegum pop into the realm of the profound. Though its attractively packaged mass would indicate otherwise, the seven-disc Phil Spector Presents the Philles Album Collection fails to provide a complete picture of said Wall. First, the focus here is on full-length LPs issued on Spector's Philles label, but Spector's singular talent was the singles market. Therefore, for every "Be My Baby" or "He's a Rebel," one must sit through the likes of "The Wah Watusi," "Frankenstein Twist," "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," etc. Second, groups like the Righteous Brothers and Ike & Tina Turner are absent, which would explain why three of the discs in this set are records by the Crystals. (Those records share a lot of recycled material, FYI.) The disc seven "Phil's Flipsides," a Wrecking Crew comp of surf-pop instrumental b-sides, is a nice if inconsequential addition, but in all the set doesn't hit enough of those extraordinary pop highs to do its subject total justice.
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