Songs about or including lyrical references to Phil Spector

The mother of all Spector tributes, 'Please Phil Spector' by THE ATTACK (Philips [UK] 1585) is a tongue-in-cheek tune written (as Mike Lendell), sung, and co-produced (with Johnny Cymbal) by Spectropop's own Mike Rashkow. There's no better way to get into the spirit of this article than to quote the song's lyrics in full. (See also Part 2: Quote Unquote)

Please Phil Spector,
Make me a star;
Help me get up where the Righteous Brothers are.
I know I can make it if you'll help me along;
All it would take is a really perfect song and you, so
Please Phil Spector,
Give me a break.
All the big disc jockeys play the records that you make.
Get Gene or Garry or Specs to write the charts;
Give me the Blossoms to sing background from their hearts,
Oh, please, now...
Mr. Spector, I'd get down on my knees to you;
If you won't help me, I'll get Bob Crewe.
Please Phil Spector,
I need your helping hand
And if you please, one hundred pieces in the band.
But as a favor, let me have my choice
Of who you're gonna use, baby, to overdub my voice.

'Phil Spector's Birthday Song' by THE SLEAZY BEATS appears on the various-artists CD 'Pure Spun Sugar' (Candy Floss 017/American Pop Project 201). Sample lyrics: 'Kind of like the Wall of Sound/You stand tall forever...' The line 'It's getting better, Phil' appears throughout the song as well. (See also Part 2: Quote Unquote)

Released on too many bootlegs to specifically cite here, and under a variety of titles including 'And the Rolling Stones Met Phil and Gene' and 'Fuckin' Andrew', is a studio jam recorded on February 4, 1964 and involving THE ROLLING STONES, Gene Pitney, and Phil Spector. (The one-sided acetate at left gives the title as 'Andrew's Blues' while the flip side of the acetate of 'Not Fade Away', completed during the same sessions, shows it as 'Song for Andrew'.) Phil sings lead on the filthy four-bar blues, recorded during the sessions that also yielded 'Now I've Got A Witness' (see Part 3: It Says Here… ). At one point, the following exchange is heard: Phil: 'The Rolling Stones are a great fucking group!' Jagger: 'Oh, what a load of bull. Phil Spector's a load of shit'. Phil: 'I thought Phil Spector was a lot of shit; then I heard the group. Now I know they're a lot of shit'. Later in the song, Mick adlibs a roll call of sorts, including (non-contiguously) Phil's first and last names among those sung.

On the various-artists CD 'Santa's Got a GTO: Rodney on the ROQ's Fav X-Mas Songs' (Dionysus 123353) there is a track called 'The Characters Visit Rodney' credited to THE CHARACTERS with RODNEY BINGENHEIMER. It's a spoken word oddity on which the band members enumerate the things on their Christmas wish lists, among them '...Phil Spector's Greatest Hits on CD'.

'Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)' by REUNION (RCA 10056) mentions Spector among scores of other recording luminaries; the song was covered by Tracey Ullman on her 'You Broke My Heart In 17 Places' LP (MCA 5471).

THE BEACH BOYS' 'Mona', from their 'The Beach Boys Love You' LP (Reprise 2258) includes the lyric 'Come on, listen to 'Da Doo Ron Ron' now, listen to 'Be My Baby', I know you're gonna love Phil Spector'. A demo version appears on the bootleg LP 'Brian Loves You'.

LENNY BRUCE mentions Phil at the very end of his 'Lenny Bruce Is Out Again' LP (Philles 4010) - 'Later...Phil Spector...'. Introducing a different bit, not long after the beginning of side three of his LP 'The Berkeley Concert' (Bizarre 6329) he says, 'Phil Spector had, like, a big rock 'n' roll jamboree at TAMI; he's filming it...'.


Phil is mentioned in the lyrics to THE RAMONES' 'It's Not My Place (In The 9 To 5 World)' on their 'Pleasant Dreams' LP (Sire 3571) - '...Hangin' out with Lester Bangs you all/And Phil Spector really has it all...'.

Phil is name-checked ('I've been Phil Spector resurrected') in the lyrics to 'A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission)' on SIMON AND GARFUNKEL's 'Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme' LP (Columbia 2563 [mono]/9363 [stereo]). There is a cover version by Witchy Poo on their 'Mixed Metaphor' single (Kill Rock Stars 220), also found on their 'Public Works' CD (5 Rue Christine 010).


Phil is mentioned in the lyrics of 'Jerry Lewis In France', from THE BEN VAUGHN COMBO's LP 'Beautiful Thing' (Restless 72216) - '...I feel like Jerry Lewis in France/When you hold me in your arms/I feel like I've got Phil Spector's bodyguards/On either side just to keep me from harm...'.

THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS' version of 'Oo-Poo-Pah-Doo' from their 'Just Once In My Life' LP (Philles 4008) includes a spoken reference to Phil - 'Who is this little squirt? I've never seen him before?' 'That's Phil Spectator...'.

In Phil's own production of 'Hot Pastrami' (credited to THE CRYSTALS but actually sung by the Ronettes), Ronnie warbles in the final verses, 'Phil Spector, yeah...Jack Nitzsche, yeah...'. The track is on 'The Crystals Sing The Greatest Hits Volume 1' (Philles 4003).

Over the instrumental intro to her version of 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' on the various-artists CD 'Christmas In The City' (CBS 46297), BRENDA K. STARR proclaims, 'This is a Christmas song, and I'm gonna do it my way. So, Mr. Phil Spector, dig this!' No such hubris is displayed on the Spanish-language version of the CD, released simultaneously as 'Fiesta En Navidad' (CBS Discos 80455), where the song title becomes 'Navidad (Por Favor Vuelve Amor)', or on her subsequent English remake of the tune on 'A Freestyle Christmas' (Metropolitan 1229), another various-artists CD.

'King Of The Hooks', the B-side of JONATHAN KING's version of 'He's So Fine' (UK [UK] 132), consists of lyrics in which the artist compares himself (favorably, of course) to other musical legends. His acknowledgment of Phil goes, 'All your feet came off the ground/When you heard the Spector sound'. The track can now be found on King's eight-CD box set, 'King Of Hits' (UK [UK] 001).

JONATHAN KING again invokes Spector's name in the song 'Mama Cass Sat In The Hamburger Hamlet', found on his CD 'Anticloning' (Sounds of Revolution [UK] 01). The second verse begins, 'Down the road, in Ben Franks Deli/Phil Spector was holding court and jelly...'

ERASURE's album 'Other People's Songs' includes their versions of 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'' and 'Walking In The Rain'. A promo item entitled 'Other People's Songs Interview CD' (Mute [UK] 215), in the form of an open-ended chat with the boys, includes several incidences of Spector namedropping. As it turns out, Andy Bell had originally intended to record a solo album of Spector covers (including the Ronettes' 'Do I Love You' in addition to those named above), but eventually agreed to a broader selection of material as an Erasure project, with Vince Clarke and producer Gareth Jones sharing song-selection duties.

The title track of a 1979 promo-only double LP called 'L.A. Radio' from Los Angeles station KROQ, by STEVEN T., is an homage to that city's radio scene. Phil and Ronnie are referenced in the lyrics, along with Brian Wilson and KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer. The very limited release is on the Freeway Records label and bears no catalog number. The song begins, 'In L.A., radio stations played all day/By the schoolyard gate down at Fairfax High School/And some say those really were the days/There were many ways to prove that you were cool/Phil and Ronnie Spector out on the air/Be my baby now...' Steven T. released an LP called 'West Coast Confidential' on the Dream label the preceding year, but it does not include 'L.A. Radio'.

They're not actually very honorable mentions, but Phil is referred to extensively in THE NEANDERTHALS song listed in Part 8 and the BLESSED ETHEL song listed in Parts 2 and 8, although his name only appears in the former.

There's an entire song about Phil, 'The Ballad of Phil Spector', on KIM FOWLEY's CD 'Adventures in Dreamland', Weed 7915. The lyrics to the largely objective but not entirely sympathetic song incorporate song titles and other keywords from throughout Spector's career.


[ Contents ]
[ Part 1 ]
[ Part 2 ]
[ Part 3 ]
[ Part 4 ]
[ Part 5 ]
[ Part 6 ]
[ Part 7 ]
[ Part 8 ]