Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Songs for a Tuesday Morning: The smell of burning leather as we hold each other tight

Since I've been feeling more walled up than a Poe protagonist lately, here are three Wall Of Sound-related tunes, two produced by Phil Spector and one a loving homage to all things Spectorish.

"River Deep--Mountain High"  from 1966 barely climbed to 88 on the Billboard 100 and was one of the most expensive singles ever produced at the time, costing over $20,000 in 1966 dollars (that's $138,000 in Today Cash)--which didn't include Phil Spector's private arrangement with Ike Turner (Spector paid him $20K just to stay away from the recording studio while Spector cut the single and the album with  Tina Turner).  The failure of the single to chart depressed Spector so much that he didn't do another musical thing for the next two years except sing the phrase "Music critics suck" over and over again.

River Deep, Mountain High

This next one is not as Wall-of-Soundy as RDMH, but it's definitely memorable for its subject matter alone.  Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and recorded by The Crystals in 1962, the song was supposedly created after Goffin and King discovered that Little Eva (the singer on their "Do The Locomotion") was being beaten by her boyfriend, and when they asked why she put up with it, she replied that it was because he loved her.  (Shades of Carousel.)

He Hit Me And It Felt Like A Kiss

And finally, on a (thankfully) much sillier note, we have this hot and sweaty duet between Fee Waybill and Re Styles from The Tubes' second album, which was arranged in Wall Of Sound style by Jack Nitzsche.  It's one of my favorite songs, and it totally deserves to be in a John Waters movie somewhere. Or have John Waters direct a video of it.

Don't Touch Me There

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