Phil Spector Presents The Philles Album Collection
Box sets as catalog ghetto
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., Dec. 23, 2011
Phil Spector Presents The Philles Album Collection(Legacy)
The bricks in Phil Spector's legendary Wall of Sound number very few. Spector reigned supreme as producer of the Crystals, the Ronettes, and the Righteous Brothers from 1962 to 1965, with a trademark symphonic swell. This 7-CD box features six Philles in miniature vinyl replicas plus a bonus disc of B-sides and rarities. Included are the teen queen Crystals (Twist Uptown, He's a Rebel, Greatest Hits Volume 1); soulful Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans (Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah); the Ronettes' satiny 1964 debut, Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes; and a bonus disc from the Phil Spector Wall of Sound Orchestra (Phil's Flipsides). It's all fun, but Spector produced singles and that was his strength, like the orchestral opening of "Be My Baby." Presented in LP form, the material is often repetitive: nine of Twist's 11 tracks are on Rebel, then repeated in hits discs. If Spector's genius lay in his ear for voices and instrumentation, he also knew songs. The set beautifully captures the heyday of the pop songwriting teams – Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann's brilliant "On Broadway" as sung by the Crystals, Carole King and Gerry Goffin's brutal "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)," Jackie DeShannon/Sharon Sheeley diamond in the rough "I Shook the World" – amid schlocky offerings, but Spector's style is undeniable musical genius.