But the reign of the boy-man who owned pop music seemed doomed by the "British Invasion", and Spector spiraled into paranoid isolation and peculiar behavior. Though he seemed to improve for a time, and even returned to the recording studio to work, his renascence didn't last, and in 2003, the actress Lana Clarkson was found at his home, dead from a gunshot wound.
©2007 Mick Brown; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Bloodcurdling....This book would feel like a crime story even if its subject were not currently on trial for Ms. Clarkson's murder." (The New York Times)
"[This] uber-detailed study of pop's scariest visionary is just about as good as a music bio can get." (Kirkus Reviews)
"[A] remarkable book about, among other things, fame, obsession, genius, money and madness....This is the definitive study of the man and the myth that engulfed him." (Observer)
Clearly bonkers, but his life sadly echoes one of his favourite films, Citizen Kane.
The only thing that could have improved this reading would be to have the songs playing in the background as they are being described, so get yourself a copy of Back to Mono as you listen to this.
Tell us about yourself! I love to escape into a good book.
This book is fascinating and I could not stop listening to this.
This is an incredible well researched book, that tries to portray a history of very complex man. Phil Spector worked with some of the most seminal musicians of the 20th century.
I have to echo the thoughts of a previous members review, it would have been great to have snippets of the music mentioned in the book playing in the background. I would look up the songs on the Internet to become familiar with the music. A complex man who finally succumbed to his demons, as talented as he was it is no excuse for his actions.
A cautionary tale for those who live in Ivory towers and have no real friends to point out that they need help. This is not a book about Lara Clarkson, and this is only mentioned in the afterword. This is a book about confronting the dark side of genius and the madness of a wounded soul.
If you're any kind of music buff (like I am) at all, you'll really enjoy this book. I couldn't put it down because of the way that it described one of the most compelling figures our musical history, Phil Spector. I didn't know that he was so instrumental in the lives and careers of so many of my musical favorites throughout the years. You could almost see the tragic end coming in Phil's life, but it still keep my attention throughout and it brought back so many memories of my years growing up and listening to music the way that I did.
I highly recommend this book, especially if you're a fan of music and were around during the 60's, 70's!
Wow, what an amazing life, timely or not. He made or knew anyone who was anyone in the early 60's. The guy was brilliant and knew it, but he had his problems and dealt with them as good as he knew how. A well written/well narrated story that will be enjoyed whether you knew all the music mentioned as I do or not. It's still an amazing story. Listen and Enjoy!
This is really a fantastic book,I enjoyed every minute of it. Having the Phil Spector trial going on while I was listening to it made it even more fascinating, but I think anyone at any time would be interested in listening to it. It is very well written and researched. Spector had a very interesting history and has led an unusual life. He may be a genius or a murderer or both; you decide for yourself.
Story is well told and very interesting. I enjoyed every minute of it. Since he is still alive, his story continues on each day with his trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson.
Author Mick Brown does a mostly excellent job of capturing rock & roll's early days and the seminal role Phil Spector played (although Brown could have benefited from fact-checking, e.g., Amy Heckerling, not Cameron Crowe, directed "Fast Times at Ridgemont High;" Bobbie Gentry, not Jeannie C. Riley, had a hit with "Ode to Billy Joe.")
But the narrator, Ray Porter, drove me nuts! How can the narrator of a book about rock & roll consistently mispronounce Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner's first name (as though it's the lady's name, Jan)? Worse, he has stock accents and intonations for each character "type": Women are all read in a fast, high-pitched breathless tone; British musicians are all Cockney-accented; British and Irish non-musicians have indeterminate accents that come and go; and German musician and legendary Beatles sideman, Klaus Voorman, is given a flossy British accent (although, on second thought, perhaps it's better that Porter didn't attempt Voorman's German accent). Why do so many audio book narrators feel compelled to act up a storm rather than rely on their natural vocal gifts?
I bought this book because I knew very little about Phil Spector and I was intrigued by his seeming peculiarity. I had heard about his trial and wanted to know something of the character of this alleged murderer. This book provides a modicum of information about his early life, a great deal (too much) information about his recordings, some good trivia about famous singers, and some very interesting information about the murder victim and the prosecution's case. While I enjoyed hearing (once) about the intricacies of setting up and conducting a recording session and Phil's unbelievable demands on the session participants, I got bored hearing essentially the same story over and over. It was interesting hearing tidbits about his dealings with such artists as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Sonny and Cher, and Brian Wilson, and I loved the documentation of his many, many self-aggrandizing lies ("I produced Elvis".) I was unable to connect emotionally with any of the characters except Phil's monstrously neglected children and the murder victim, who was not discussed until the last hour of the book. The author seems to make the case that Phil Spector is unknowable. After about 18 hours of listening, I have to agree.
Good biography of the father of the wall of sound. Lots of insights into his genius and madness and how this led to his rise and ultimate downfall.
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