Phil Spector Presents the Philles Album Collection

[Phil Spector Records/Legacy]

Phil Spector was never about albums. Monaural 7-inch 45s ruled his world, and with them he elevated the pop single to an art form. Give Spector three minutes and he—with the help of his handpicked, world-class songwriters, engineers, vocalists and musicians—could tell a story for the ages. Nonetheless, Spector did release albums on his own Philles label, and Phil Spector Presents the Philles Album Collection aims to showcase those more extended visions for reconsideration. The first six albums released by Philles between 1962 and ’64—three by the Crystals, one by Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, one by the Ronettes and a collection of hits featuring all of the above and more—were in record-store racks for the taking, although few wanted them at the time. Their loss. While it’s apparent Spector didn’t always utilize his full “Wall of Sound” arsenal on tracks he knew he would never release as a single, several tucked-away gems can be found on each album. But the real reason for Phil-o-philes to get excited about this new box set—available for the first time on CD—is its seventh disc, “Phil’s Flipsides.” Spector delighted in crafting oddly titled B-sides for his singles (many named after friends and cohorts). –J. Tamarkin

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