Legend has it that the relative failure of Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” was the final nail in the coffin of the fragile young Spector’s ego. Who’s to say? It is a fantastic production, and the fact that the track never caught on commercially is just one of those inexplicable things. That was in 1966, but contrary to popular belief, Phil kept at it. The final track on The Essential is from 1969, “Black Pearl,” by Sonny Charles And The Checkmates Ltd.
Obviously a great deal has gone on in Phil Spector’s life since 1969. He famously recorded The Beatles, and John Lennon solo - not to mention The Ramones’ End Of The Century in 1980. Then there were the guns, the terrorism of Ronnie Spector…the stories are frightening, sad, and ugly.
Then you go back and listen to The Essential Phil Spector again, and just marvel at what once was. It was an amazing run.