Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: the Rise and Fall of Phil Spector, By Mick Brown

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The Independent Culture

Phil Spector was afforded the title of "genius" while producing some of the finest pop records of the 1960s, orchestrating a signature quasi-Wagnerian "wall of sound". Then he retired and walled himself up in a mansion in a nondescript, out-of-the-way region of LA.

In December 2002, Mick Brown was granted the first major interview for 25 years with the by-then legendarily eccentric recluse. Two days after it was published, the true magnitude of this scoop became apparent when news broke that a B-movie actress, Lana Clarkson, had been shot dead in his mansion, and Spector arrested on suspicion of murder.

For the paperback edition of this thoroughly researched and scrupulous biography that he then wrote, Brown has added a chapter about the case, which ended in a mistrial. It is a somewhat sad but riveting portrait of a man variously driven and haunted by his insecurities, and corrupted by wealth and fame.