New Year, New Look

As we’re entering 2015 you’ll quickly notice that I’ve given Cue Castanets a graphic overhaul.

I quite liked the retro design of the Typo theme I started out with. But I thought a change to something more user friendly was called for due to a combination of a growing number of daily visitors & views and the fact that the blog continues to evolve content-wise.

I can see that quite a few visitors find their way here through search engines so I decided on this different theme, Twenty Fourteen. It has some good features for giving first-time visitors a quick and easy overview of past posts and categories. I hope you like the new look.

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s start off the new year with some more Spector-related content.

Below you’ll find a list of my 15 all-time favorite Spector productions – and brace yourselves.

No Be my Baby, River Deep Mountain High or Lovin’ Feeling! To my ears, those songs have been played so much to death that I always find myself going back to some of the more overlooked songs.

Back in the late 90s, this Righteous Brothers compilation was my first introduction to Spector's otherworldly sounds. Next stop was obviously the Back to Mono box.
Back in the late 90s, this Righteous Brothers compilation was my first introduction to Spector’s otherworldly sounds. Next stop was obviously the Back to Mono box.

Spectorblogger’s 15 favorite Spector productions in random order

The Ronettes – I Wonder

Darlene Love – He’s a Quiet Guy

The Righteous Brothers – Just Once in my Life

The Ronettes – You Baby

Ike & Tina Turner – I’ll Never Need More than This

The Righteous Brothers – The White Cliffs of Dover

The Crystals – Then He Kissed Me

Modern Folk Quartet – This Could Be the Night

The Ronettes – Do I Love You?

Checkmates Ltd – Black Pearl

The Crystals – Uptown

The Ronettes – Walking in the Rain

The Treasures – Hold Me Tight

Darlene Love – Lord, If You’re a Woman

Dion – Baby Let’s Stick Together

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2 thoughts on “New Year, New Look”

  1. Fun list, but nothing pre-Philles? I’d have on my list The Spector’s Three’s “I Really Do” (for its delicate production presaging The Paris Sisters) and The Teddy Bears’ exquisite “Oh, Why” and “You Said Goodbye” (for the gorgeous songs as well as the more-mileage-from-fewer-instruments production). Of course,The Paris Sisters’ “He Knows I Love Him Too Much” (or pretty much any of their work on Gregmark) – call it “The Velvet Wall of Sound” – must be represented. There’s also a special spot in my heart for “A Woman’s Story” in which he finds the perfect showcase for Cher’s acquired-taste voice (in my opinion); the track is as thick as simmering chocolate pudding on a stove, yet it cooks in its own throbbing way; her rough voice is perfect for the defiant lyrics.

    It is still hard and very sad for me to associate the musical genius behind such a huge array of original styles and great songwriting with the monster he became.

    Thank you for your excellent blog; I’m so glad I discovered it! Happy New Year, too!

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    1. Hi Paul.

      Thank you for your nice words about the blog. Yep, no pre-Philles songs on my list. I obviously love all the ones you mentioned but not enough to earn a place among my top 15 as of writing.

      I do love the sound he achieved on those early productions – your Velvet Wall of Sound term is spot-on! ‘When I Saw You’ and ‘So Young’ by the Ronettes are two other examples that come to mind. I personally think that there are other acts who used that sort of velvety, ultra-soft approach for even better results; the Fleetwoods and the Flamingos for example.

      Curiously, I almost had to flip a coin when deciding if I was going to include that Dion track or ‘A Woman’s Story’ on the list. I absolutely love all three tracks Spector cut with Cher. As a matter of fact, I’m a big fan of his unjustly overlooked 70s productions and plan to write a blog post about that in the near future. So keep your eyes out for that,

      I share your feelings about Spector the man and how his actions have sadly come to overshadow the achievements both him and others put so much talent, love and care into. That’s a big part of why I write this blog. It’s my own modest contribution in terms of not letting recent actions tarnish what Philles-era artists, the Wrecking Crew, Jack Nitzsche and others left us.

      Like

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