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‘A Woman’s Story’: Amazing Cher rarity, produced by Phil Spector
05.15.2015
02:55 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Cher
Marc Almond
Phil Spector


 

“There are many who have laid with me, then got up and walked away from me.”

Thus begins one of the rarest, and some (like me) would say very best, songs that Cher ever recorded.

I’ve heard Cher’s 70s output referred to as “whore operas” and that’s an especially pointed way to describe her extremely rare 1975 Phil Spector-produced single, “A Woman’s Story.” Written by Nino Tempo, April Stevens and Spector himself, it’s the plaintive lament of “a woman who was passed around” but who has now found true love in her life, and who desperately wants and needs this love. It’s a really tense, haunting, moving, gorgeous, slow-burning number, fairly unique in both Spector’s, as well as Cher’s, oeuvre. Backed by the The Phil Spector Wall Of Sound Orchestra, as you can hear, it’s an absolute show stopper.
 

 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Rolling Stones, Phil Spector and Gene Pitney get drunk and record the X-rated ‘Andrew’s Blues’

Boozing it up
Boozing it up (L-R): Phil Spector, Gene Pitney, Brian Jones, Andrew Loog Oldham, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, and Mick Jagger

On February 4th, 1964, the Rolling Stones entered Regent Sound Studios in London for a session. The group had released a couple of singles at this point, and the studio was quickly becoming their go-to spot. For this recording, the band was joined by some special guests: singer/songwriter Gene Pitney, Graham Nash and Allan Clarke from the Hollies, as well as genius record producer Phil Spector. By night’s end their combined efforts resulted in a few completed tracks, including one called “Andrew’s Blues,” which is quite possibly the raunchiest song the Stones have ever committed to tape—yes, rivaling even this infamous number.

In his autobiography, Stone Alone: The Story of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Band, bassist Bill Wyman wrote about the wild session, which was produced by their manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, the subject of “Andrew’s Blues”:

We’d become friendly with Phil Spector and attended a star-studded party in his honour thrown by Decca a week earlier; so he continued the friendship by dropping in our recording. Graham Nash and Allan Clarke of the Hollies also came and later Gene Pitney arrived direct from the airport, with duty-free cognac. It was his birthday, and his family custom was that everyone had to drink a whole glass. Pitney played piano while Spector and the Hollies played tambourine and maracas and banged coins on empty bottles. We recorded three songs, ‘Little by Little,’ ‘Can I Get a Witness’ and ‘Now I’ve Got a Witness,’ which we invented on the spot. The session then degenerated into silliness, but everybody had a great time cutting ‘Andrew’s Blues’ and ‘Spector and Pitney Came Too’-—both of which were very rude.

Though officially unreleased, “Andrew’s Blues” changed hands for years before the Internet and is now readily available via YouTube. The tune is a twelve-bar blues and very much resembles another number with the same structure, Tommy Tucker’s “Hi-Heel Sneakers,” which had been released just weeks earlier (the song was part of the Stones’ live sets for a time, and a studio take has been leaked).

The main vocalist on the track is Gene Pitney, who became the first artist to cover a Jagger/Richards composition when his version of “That Girl Belongs to Yesterday” was released as a 45 in January of ‘64. Pitney was introduced to the Stones by Oldham the previous November and promptly demoed the song with the band. Oldham, in addition to his duties managing the Stones, would soon become Pitney’s publicist.

The boys lovingly take the piss out of Oldham in “Andrew’s Blues,” but they also mock the hell out of Sir Edward Lewis, the founder and chairman of Decca Records—the Stones’ label—and the track as a whole can be seen as a commentary on the music business. Or just a drunken lark.

Here’s a lyrical sample:

Yes now Andrew Oldham sittin’ on a hill with Jack and Jill (Jack and Jill)
Fucked all night and sucked all night and taste that pussy till it taste just right
Oh Andrew (yes Andrew), oh Andrew (yes Andrew)
Oh suck it Andrew (go on Andrew), fuck it Andrew (go on Andrew)
Oh Andrew Oldham (yeah), a guy who really know his way around (down down down down)

In his book Phil Spector: Out Of His Head, author Richard Williams called the track “startlingly obscene,” and fifty years on it still manages to shock. This is partly to due the fact that the lead vocals are largely handled by Pitney, who had a very straight-laced public image.

As for “Spector and Pitney Came Too,” a song with that title has been bootlegged, but is essentially an instrumental version of “Andrew’s Blues” with some hot lead guitar added.

Okay, escort your mom out of the room, ‘cause here comes “Andrew’s Blues”:
 

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
The Ramones tread very, very softly when talking about working with Phil Spector, 1982
04.17.2013
06:29 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
The Ramones
Phil Spector


 
Phil Spector produced the Ramones’ 1980 album End of the Century. At one point during the recording sessions in Los Angeles, Spector held Dee Dee Ramone at gunpoint, and forced him to play the same riff over and over again.

Perhaps because the King of Mono was still on the outside at the time this interview was filmed, one gets the distinct feeling watching it that the boys from Forest Hills were holding something back…

Joey was the biggest Spector freak in the band. Note how he doesn’t say a word..

Sent our way by the legendary Mr. Danny Fields
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Phil Spector on ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ (with Boyce & Hart)

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Monkees songwriters Boyce & Hart in a 1967 I Dream of Jeannie appearance as the leaders of an untalented rock group. Jeannie blinks the band into having a lil’ mojo, before she sits in herself on drums. Groovedelic, but hey, who is this bigwig record executive-type bobbing his head along as he listens? Well, it’s none other than “tycoon of teen” and future cold-blooded murderer, Phil Spector, playing himself (Oddly, in the credits for the episode (titled “Jeannie, the Hip Hippie”) Spector gets called “Steve Davis,” but twice Jeannie refers to him as “Phil Spector” and “Mr. Phil Spector.”)

“Out and About,” the Paul Revere & The Raiders-esque song Boyce & Hart (and “Jeanie”) perform, reached # 39 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. Seriously, you’re going to wonder where this song has been for your whole life! You are most welcome!
 

 
Boyce & Hart also appeared on Bewitched in 1969, singing a tune called “I’m Gonna Blow You a Kiss In The Wind,” which Elizabeth Montgomery, as “Cousin Serena” also performed in her own inimitable style.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The sound of heaven: isolated vocals tracks from The Ronettes’ ‘Baby I Love You’


 
It just occurred to me, I never wished you all a Happy New Year!

Well, here we are people. We made it past the Mayan apocalypse, past the predictions of the I-Ching and Terence McKenna’s computer, past the fiscal fucking cliff (whatever that actually meant) and we’ve arrived in a new age!  

And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate by sitting back and listening to a 50 year old record, one of the greatest works of popular music to come out of the 20th Century, here stripped of the wall of sound and with its beating heart laid bare. It’s the isolated vocals from the Ronettes all-time, stone-cold classic “Baby I Love You”, and, frankly, it’s stunning. 

This will raise the hairs on your neck high enough to match Ronnie’s infamous beehive. And if rumors are to be believed, one of those backing voices is none other than Cher.

And I completely agree with the sentiment - I love you all and let’s have a Happy New Year! xx

The Ronettes “Baby I Love You” Isolated Vocal mix
 

 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Phil Spector’s 1965 appearance on Merv Griffin’s show gets tense with Eartha Kitt and Richard Pryor

Phil Spector
And this is what he turned into? What a complete shock…
 
So although it’s fairly well-known what a crazy motherfucker Phil Spector is, it’s still somewhat surprising to see that he never even went a little bit out of his way to at least try to affect an air of bare minimum congeniality, or to be charming, or attempt to appear SANE, even when he was on television. From the get-go, he’s hostile to Merv (how can you be hostile to Merv?) and becomes increasingly irritated and paranoid throughout the interview.

By the time Spector alludes to hitting Merv and a very unimpressed and composed Eartha Kitt—who hits him hard with her well-delivered Socrates quip—the audience is hissing and booing him.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Hair raising: More of Al Pacino as Phil Spector

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Al Pacino sporting a giant hairpiece like the one worn by Phil Spector during his trial for the murder of club hostess Lana Clarkson, in 2005.

Filming continues on David Mamet’s biopic of the infamous record producer, though there has been much controversy over Mamet’s alleged belief Spector was wrongly jailed for the killing.

Pics and story here.
 
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Previously on Dangerous Minds

First Look at Al Pacino as Phil Spector


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
First look at Al Pacino as Phil Spector
07.11.2011
06:44 pm

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
Phil Spector
Al Pacino
David Mamet


 
Al Pacino as Phil Spector. This photo was taken in mid-town Manhattan during the filming of an HBO bio-pic on Spector being directed by David Mamet.

I’m not buying the look. Pacino just doesn’t resemble Spector to my eyes (he looks like an aging Rock Hudson). But taking into account Pacino’s tendency to create some over-the-top characterizations we might not notice the gap between reality and artifice. I’m looking forward to it.

Via indiewire

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Horrors’ new offshoot band Cat’s Eyes

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Farris Badwan is lead singer of the British psyche-garage troupe The Horrors, and Cat’s Eyes is his new project, co-founded with the London-based Canadian opera soprano Rachel Zeffira. The pair’s debut album, cunningly titled Cat’s Eyes, has just been released on Polydor, following up their debut Broken Glass EP which came out in January, and it’s really rather good.

What the duo are doing is nothing we haven’t seen before, but they do it very well. Take the dark romanticism of male/female duos like Nancy & Lee, Isobel & Mark, even Kylie & Nick, filter it through the girl-group and 60s pop lens of Phil Spector and inject it with occasional jolts of psyche-rock and you pretty much get the picture. What a lovely picture that is too, a balance of light and shade, of anger and tenderness blended to perfection by veteran producer Steve Osbourne.

Cat’s Eyes is not the first Horror’s off-shoot band. That honor would go to Spider And The Flies, which is Rhys and Tom experimenting with analog synths and Joe Meek-esque production techniques. That too is really good, and floats my particular boat very much. I have to admit I was really wary of the Horrors when the emerged about 5 years ago - I took one look at their haircuts and goth-dandy stylings and dismissed them straight away as another “fashion” act. Their music blew me away though, keeping alive the heavy sleaze-garage vibes of one of my favorite bands from the 90s, Gallon Drunk. Their Primary Colours album from 2009 (produced by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow) took their sound in a more psychedelic/shoegaze direction and straight to the top of the NME’s best albums of the year poll. Now The Horrors have just announced a short string of UK dates for this summer, and their official website says they are currently in the studio.

I eagerly await what they do next, but in the meantime am more than happy to make do with Cat’s Eyes, who have more info (and some free MP3s) at the Cat’s Eyes website. The album Cat’s Eyes is available to buy on Amazon now, here’s a taste of what’s on offer:
 
Cat’s Eyes - “Face In The Crowd”
 

 
Cat’s Eyes - “The Best Person I Know”
 

 
Cat’s Eyes - “Cat’s Eyes”
 

 
Cat’s Eyes - “When My Baby Comes” (Grinderman cover)
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Phil Spector, Nilsson & Cher: A Love Like Yours (Don’t Come Knocking Every Day)
09.23.2010
12:07 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Cher
Phil Spector
Harry Nilsson

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We’ve had plenty of Cher-related novelties here on Dangerous Minds. And we’ve out share of Harry Nilsson and Phil Spector rarities as well. So why not go for a triple-header? Have a listen to what Harry called “Nilssonny & Cher,” produced by the monomaniacal Phil Spector. Recorded during downtime in the recording of John Lennon’s Rock ‘n Roll album, this is one of those “lost” records that came out for a very short time before disappearing completely, but that is now as easy to hear as pressing play below…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Early Cher/Phil Spector team-up: Ringo I Love You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)
09.03.2010
09:20 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Cher
Phil Spector

image
 
Here’s yet another Cher/Phil Spector rarity, “Ringo, I Love You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) from 1964. This surprisingly punky ditty was recorded by a then 18-year-old Cher (performing as Bonnie Jo Mason) and was co-written and produced by Phil Spector, but it never charted. Apparently radio programmers thought her deep voice was a male’s voice, or at least deep enough to be confused as one, meaning that the song would have taken on overtones not orignally intended.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
A Woman’s Story: Cher produced by Phil Spector

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The making of John and Yoko’s Plastic Ono Band LPs

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Over the weekend via that most wonderful invention known as Netflix Instant View I caught an excellent documentary on the making of the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band LP. I found it to be one of the best Lennon related documents I’ve ever seen, worth watching if only for the moments wherein the gloriously raw vocals are isolated, check out the last few minutes of the below clip. Chills up the spine !

 
That they also touch…

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Rarely heard Phil Spector B sides
07.19.2010
01:10 pm

Topics:
Heroes
History
Music

Tags:
Phil Spector
Rare B Sides

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The original flip sides to everybody’s favorite convicted murderer/hugely influential pop music producer Phil Spector‘s string of mega-hits issued on his own Philles label have never been re-issued in any way. Hell, they aren’t even on the above pictured Flips and Rarities LP ! It’s also damn near impossible to get information about these tracks (mostly named for the musicians playing on them or other members of Spector’s crew) let alone hear them so I was thrilled to find this collection of 15 or so of them uploaded to Youtube in bunches. It’s fascinating listening. Ostensilbly these were instrumental throwaways: Jams, half-songs, pseudo jazz workouts whose pupose, I believe, was to ensure that no DJ anywhere would be confused as to which side was the A side. But it’s obvious that Spector was also using these tracks to really push his sonic experiments: Crazy huge reverbs, echo, overloaded pre-amps (I hear the genesis of The Beatles’ Savoy Truffle horns in here), wild-ass solos, etc. I’d sure love to have these all collected and properly mastered. Until then can someone out there tell me where else to find these tracks collected ?
 
FLIP AND NITTY

WALKIN’ ALONG

DR. KAPLAN’S OFFICE

 
Much more after the jump…

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment