Phil Spector, born in the Bronx in 1940, grew up an outsider despised by his peers. Yet after his family moved to California, he learned everything he could about music, formed a band, and had a number-one hit with "To Know Him Is to Love Him". He quickly became the top producer of early rock and roll and the originator of such girl groups as the Ronettes. He was a millionaire by age 21 and owned his own record label by 22. Hit followed hit, and for all of them he used a new recording style and technique called the "wall of sound". But the reign of the boy-man who owned pop music seemed doomed by the "British Invasion", and Spector spiraled into paranoid isolation and peculiar behavior. Though he seemed to improve for a time, and even returned to the recording studio to work, his renascence didn't last, and in 2003, the actress Lana Clarkson was found at his home, dead from a gunshot wound.
Nominee, 2008 Audie Award, Biography/Memoir
"Bloodcurdling....This book would feel like a crime story even if its subject were not currently on trial for Ms. Clarkson's murder." (The New York Times)
"[This] uber-detailed study of pop's scariest visionary is just about as good as a music bio can get." (Kirkus Reviews)
"[A] remarkable book about, among other things, fame, obsession, genius, money and madness....This is the definitive study of the man and the myth that engulfed him." (Observer)
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Descent Into Madness