Phil Spector and Elvis

May 17, 2003

Phil Spector wrote and produced some of the most important recordings of all time, including the classic 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling'. Last week he was charged with the murder of actress Lana Clarkson after her body was discovered at his mansion. Spector not only produced for The Beatles but also produced some of Elvis' demos during the 1960s.

Spector was a good friend of writer Doc Pomus (18 Elvis compositions 'Little Sister', 'Viva Las Vegas' & 'His Latest Flame' etc) producing some of his demos for Elvis. One of these, 'Night Rider', had such a complex arrangement that Elvis & the band tackled it on 2 separate recording sessions never achieving a satisfactory Master.

Phil Spector's & Elvis' lives were linked in several other ways.

In 1972 Spector introduced Elvis to his own bodyguard Mike Stone who, like Elvis, was interested in martial arts. Stone would later become Priscilla's karate instructor and their affair would help lead to Priscilla & Elvis' divorce in 1973.

Singer Darlene Love was the lead singer of Spector's The Crystals before becoming part of The Blossoms who worked with Elvis on the 68 Comeback Special. She sang the beautiful lead vocal on the gospel song 'Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child'.

Phil Spector was famous for his 'Wall Of Sound' producing defining pop classics such as The Ronettes 'Be My Baby', The Crystals 'He's A Rebel', Ike and Tina Turner's 'River Deep Mountain High' as well as John Lennon's 'Imagine'. Several of Spector's 'Wall Of Sound' musicians also worked with Elvis including super-drummer Hal Blaine & guitarist Barney Kessel.

Spector has been quoted as saying that Elvis sometimes used his Spector-produced demo backing-tracks, with Elvis just providing a new vocal, rather than re-record them with his own band. While Elvis may have expressed this desire there is no proof that this ever actually occurred. Whatever the truth, Phil Spector is certainly the only producer with links between Elvis and also The Beatles.

Phil Spector was a huge Elvis fan who once said, 'Elvis is sensational. He can do anything with his voice. He can sing anything you want him to, anyway you tell him. The unquestionable King of Rock n' Roll'.

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