December 31, 2007

The Many Sons of Spector

A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector was released the day John F. Kennedy was shot. I'm not gonna blame Phil Spector for that. I'm not blaming him for commercializing the Christmas song; that distinction has to go to Bing Crosby's 1945 White Christmas or Elvis' 1957 Christmas Album, both of which better deserve a place on the RS list than A Christmas Gift... , at least in an historical sense. I'm not going to blame him for the over-produced holiday drivel like Trans-Siberian Orchestra or Mannheim Steamroller although I really want to. Hell, I'm not even going to blame him for breaking up the Beatles and messing up the Ramones.

What I want to blame Spector for is how his "Wall of Sound" over-production has infected hip-hop. How computer programs like Pro Tools and Fruity Loops have made it far too easy for Joe Hip Hop Producer to play mini-Phil. And how a legion of largely white male mini-Phils have descended locust-like onto an African-American art form and turned it into A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector.

That was the plan. Exhibit A was to be some song by the Runners. They are so Wall of Sound. Multiple sirens, mass overproduction, epic atmospherics, sound affects, lots of artists, and far too much song stimuli. Computer programs birthed these hit machines. I thought about what their newest hit track would be and guessed on the "I'm So Hood remix" (see above NSFW), which sounds pretty similar to their other hit songs, like "(Everyday I'm) Hustlin", "We Takin' Over", "Reppin' Time", etc...

It's gotten to the point where other people's songs sound just like theirs. See Exhibit B (see left), Rick Ross' (yes he of the Runners' "(Everyday I'm) Hustlin" fame) new single "Street Money"which evidently was produced by someone named J-Rock the Rock Monsta.

At this point the Phil Spector-The Runners' defense team would take the stand and show you Exhibit C: a chart of my browsing and youtube listening history from the past few hours. Multiple replays of all their tracks, searches for more tracks, and even a viewing of The Runners' themselves speaking on a Streets Talk DVD about their aim of becoming "super-producers". Was Phil Spector the first rock/r&b/rap super-producer? Probably.

They might even have hidden camera shots of me smiling, bobbing my head, and calling the wife over with "I can't believe how great the first four verses are." and continuing with "I love Young Jeezy." Decidedly something no man should ever tell his wife.

I would then be forced to admit that despite my sanctimonious orthodox-hip hop bluster I love the Runners' Wall of Sound and by extension have to grudgingly admit that there is a wonderful place in pop, rock, and rap for the many Sons of Spector be they Springsteen's "Born to Run", My Bloody Valentine's Loveless or Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. And you know what, I might enjoy the Arcade Fire every now and then. What's wrong with epic cinematic overblown overwrought wonderment. You can't listen to Pavement everyday, can you? Maybe Phil Spector isn't so bad. Sometimes more is more.

Ronny Spector's vocals...well, that's another story altogether.


polchic said...

Daaaaaamn Seed! That was awesome.

I knew you couldn't front on Rick Ross - even though you wanted to.

LenBarker said...

I hear ya. I would love to hate Spector for being an obnoxious, emotionally-stunted, misogynistic psychopath, but. . .

venerableseed said...

all allegedly, right?