Back to Mono (1958–1969)

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Back to Mono (1958-1969)
Box set by Phil Spector
Released November 12, 1991
Recorded 1958-1969
Genre Pop
Length 206:12
Label ABKCO
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars [1]

Back to Mono (1958–1969) is a box set four-disc compilation of the recorded work of record producer Phil Spector, during the decade of the 1960s, released in 1991 by ABKCO as #7118-2. The first track, "To Know Him Is to Love Him," presents the only exception as it was released in 1958, featuring Spector as performer as well, as part of the group The Teddy Bears. Initially a vinyl album-sized package, the box contained a booklet with photographs, complete song lyrics, discographical information, and a reproduction of the essay on Spector by Tom Wolfe, "The First Tycoon of Teen." The package also contained a small, round, red "Back to Mono" pin.

Content[edit]

Back to Mono surveys recordings featuring and immediately leading up to the Wall of Sound, Spector's famed production trademark. Starting with "He's A Rebel" on disc one, through "I'll Never Need More Than This" and including disc four, all of the musical arrangements are by Jack Nitzsche. The list of musicians contributing to the tracks number in the hundreds, but prominent among them are Hal Blaine, Sonny Bono, Red Callender, Glen Campbell, Al DeLory, Steve Douglas, Jim Gordon, Jim Horn, Carol Kaye, Barney Kessel, Larry Knechtel, Jay Migliori, Ray Pohlman, Don Randi, Lyle Ritz, Billy Strange, Tommy Tedesco, Bill Pitman, and Nino Tempo.

The set collects every single produced by Spector and issued on the Philles label, with the exception of Philles 132, "White Cliffs of Dover" by The Righteous Brothers, which did not chart. Of the catalogue items Philles 100 through 136, the set omits: Philles 101, 103, and 104, produced by Spector's early business partner and label namesake, Lester Sill; Philles 133, produced by Jeff Barry, although its b-side produced by Spector, "When I Saw You," does appear; and Philles 134, produced by Bob Crewe. Philles 105, withdrawn initially in 1962 owing to its controversial subject matter, has also been included. Both "Walking in the Rain" by The Ronettes and "Stumble and Fall" by Darlene Love are listed in most discographies, including the box booklet, as Philles 123. The single "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," initially released in 1963 as Philles 119, was re-released the following year as Philles 125 with a different b-side, and did not chart either year. Philles 134 through 136 were not released in the United States.

In addition to the Philles singles catalogue, the first three discs present Spector productions for other labels, various unreleased material, and two album tracks from Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes featuring Veronica, Philles 4006, and one from River Deep - Mountain High, Philles 4011. Spector created additional imprints for specific projects, such as the Phil Spector label to promote the solo career of Veronica, the future Mrs. Spector, Veronica "Ronnie" Bennett of The Ronettes. Some of those items also appear on these discs.

The fourth disc contains the entirety of the holiday album released on the same day as the JFK assassination, A Christmas Gift for You, purportedly the only long-playing album from his Philles heyday that Spector worked on with the same intensity that he generally lavished on the singles. It peaked at #13 on the Christmas Albums chart in 1963, although a reissue in 1972 went to #6.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 64 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. With the exception of an anthology of his productions for the girl group The Paris Sisters, Back to Mono represents the totality of Spector's singles from this period in print, as of Spring, 2007.

Track listing[edit]

All selections produced by Phil Spector, except "Spanish Harlem" produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

Disc One[edit]

Track Catalogue Release Date Chart Peak Song Title Writer(s) Artist Time
1. Dore 503 December 1958 #1 To Know Him Is To Love Him Phil Spector The Teddy Bears 2:23
2. Dunes 2002 January 1961 #9 Corrina, Corrina Mitchell Parish, Bo Chatman, J. Mayo Williams Ray Peterson 2:40
3. Atco 6185 1961 #10 Spanish Harlem Jerry Leiber and Phil Spector Ben E. King 2:51
4. Dunes 2007 August 1961 #7 Pretty Little Angel Eyes Tommy Boyce and Curtis Lee Curtis Lee 2:45
5. Musicor 1011 September 1961 #42 Every Breath I Take Gerry Goffin and Carole King Gene Pitney 2:43
6. Gregmark 6 October 1961 #5 I Love How You Love Me Barry Mann and Larry Kolber The Paris Sisters 2:06
7. Dunes 2008 November 1961 #46 Under the Moon of Love Tommy Boyce and Curtis Lee Curtis Lee 2:50
8. Philles 100 January 1962 #20 There's No Other Like My Baby Phil Spector and Leroy Bates The Crystals 2:31
9. Philles 102 May 1962 #13 Uptown Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann The Crystals 2:19
10. Philles 105 withdrawn He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss) Gerry Goffin and Carole King The Crystals 2:32
11. Philles 106 August 1962 #1 He's A Rebel Gene Pitney The Crystals 2:25
12. Philles 107 January 1963 #8 Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Ray Gilbert and Allie Wrubel Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans 2:49
13. Philles 108 February 1963 #43 Puddin' N' Tain Gary Pipkin, Alonzo Willis, Brice Coefield The Alley Cats 2:48
14. Philles 109 February 1963 #11 He's Sure The Boy I Love Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil The Crystals 2:44
15. Philles 110 March 1963 #38 Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Hearts Ellie Greenwich, Tony Powers, Phil Spector Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans 2:48
16. Philles 111 May 1963 #39 (Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry Greenwich, Powers, Spector Darlene Love 2:48
17. Philles 112 June 1963 #3 Da Doo Ron Ron Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Phil Spector The Crystals 2:17
18. unreleased Heartbreaker Greenwich, Barry, Spector The Crystals 2:34
19. Phil Spector 2 Why Don't They Let Us Fall In Love Greenwich, Barry, Spector Veronica 2:39
20. unreleased Chapel of Love Greenwich, Barry, Spector Darlene Love 2:24
21. Philles 113 July 1963 #63 Not Too Young To Get Married Greenwich, Barry, Spector Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans 2:27
22. Philles 114 September 1963 #26 Wait Til My Bobby Gets Home Greenwich, Barry, Spector Darlene Love 2:23
23. Philles 122 August 1964 #98 All Grown Up Greenwich, Barry, Spector The Crystals 2:49

Disc Two[edit]

Track Catalogue Release Date Chart Peak Song Title Writer(s) Artist Time
1. Philles 116 October 1963 #2 Be My Baby Greenwich, Barry, Spector The Ronettes 2:40
2. Philles 115 September 1963 #6 Then He Kissed Me Greenwich, Barry, Spector The Crystals 2:37
3. Philles 117 November 1963 #53 A Fine Fine Boy Greenwich, Barry, Spector Darlene Love 2:46
4. Philles 118 February 1964 #24 Baby, I Love You Greenwich, Barry, Spector The Ronettes 2:50
5. Philles LP 4006 1964 #96 I Wonder Greenwich, Barry, Spector The Ronettes 2:51
6. unreleased Girls Can Tell Greenwich, Barry, Spector The Crystals 2:36
7. Philles 119x February 1964 #92 Little Boy Greenwich, Barry, Spector The Crystals 2:59
8. Shirley 500 Hold Me Tight John Lennon and Paul McCartney The Treasures 2:53
9. Philles 120 May 1964 #39 The Best Part of Breakin' Up Vini Poncia, Pete Andreoli, Phil Spector The Ronettes 3:02
10. unreleased Soldier Baby Of Mine Poncia, Andreoli, Spector The Ronettes 2:52
11. Philles 131 Strange Love Poncia, Andreoli, Spector Darlene Love 3:00
12. Philles 123 1964 Stumble And Fall Poncia, Andreoli, Spector Darlene Love 2:22
13. Philles 133b 1966 When I saw you Spector The Ronettes 2:43
14. Phil Spector 1 So Young William Tyus Veronica 2:36
15. Philles 121 August 1964 #34 Do I Love You? Poncia, Andreoli, Spector The Ronettes 2:50
16. unreleased Keep On Dancing Greenwich, Barry, Spector The Ronettes 2:32
17. Philles LP 4006 1964 #96 You, baby Cynthia Weil, Barry Mann, Phil Spector The Ronettes 2:56
18. unreleased Woman in love Weil, Mann, Spector The Ronettes 2:56
19. Philles 123 December 1964 #23 Walking in the Rain Weil, Mann, Spector The Ronettes 3:16

Disc Three[edit]

Track Catalogue Release Date Chart Peak Song Title Writer(s) Artist Time
1. Philles 124 December 1964 #1 You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' Weil, Mann, Spector The Righteous Brothers 3:46
2. Philles 126 March 1965 #52 Born to Be Together Weil, Mann, Spector The Ronettes 2:57
3. Philles 127 May 1965 #9 Just Once in My Life Goffin, King, Spector The Righteous Brothers 3:56
4. Philles 129 July 1965 #4 Unchained Melody Hy Zaret and Alex North The Righteous Brothers 3:37
5. Philles 128 June 1965 #75 Is This What I Get for Loving You? Goffin, King, Spector The Ronettes 3:21
6. unreleased Long Way to Be Happy Gerry Goffin and Carole King Darlene Love 2:48
7. Philles 130b January 1966 (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons Deek Watson and William Best The Righteous Brothers 2:47
8. Philles 130 January 1966 #5 Ebb Tide Carl Sigman and Robert Maxwell The Righteous Brothers 2:48
9. unreleased This Could Be the Night Harry Nilsson and Phil Spector The Modern Folk Quartet 2:39
10. unreleased Paradise Perry Botkin Jr., Gil Garfield, Nilsson, Spector The Ronettes 3:37
11. Philles 131 June 1966 #88 River Deep - Mountain High Greenwich, Barry, Spector Ike & Tina Turner 3:35
12. Philles 135 I'll Never Need More Than This Greenwich, Barry, Spector Ike & Tina Turner 3:27
13. Philles 136 A Love Like Yours (Don't Come Knockin' Everyday) Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland Ike & Tina Turner 2:57
14. Philles LP 4011 September 1966 #102 Save the Last Dance for Me Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman Ike & Tina Turner 2:47
15. unreleased I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine Greenwich, Barry, Spector The Ronettes 3:49
16. A&M 1040 You Came, You Saw, You Conquered Toni Wine, Irwin Levine, Spector The Ronettes 2:49
17. A&M 1053 July 1969 #13 Black Pearl Wine, Levine, Spector Sonny Charles and The Checkmates, Ltd. 3:19
18. A&M 1039 May 1969 #65 Love Is All I Have to Give Bobby Stephens and Phil Spector The Checkmates, Ltd. 4:09

Disc Four: A Christmas Gift for You[edit]

Initially released as Philles 4005, November 22, 1963

Track Song Title Writer(s) Artist Time
1. White Christmas Irving Berlin Darlene Love 2:52
2. Frosty the Snowman Steve Nelson and Walter Rollins The Ronettes 2:16
3. The Bells of St. Mary A. Emmett Adams and Douglas Furber Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans 2:54
4. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie The Crystals 3:24
5. Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish The Ronettes 3:00
6. Marshmallow World Carl Sigman and Peter DeRose Darlene Love 2:23
7. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus Tommie Connor The Ronettes 2:37
8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Johnny Marks The Crystals 2:30
9. Winter Wonderland Felix Bernard and Dick Smith Darlene Love 2:25
10. Parade of the Wooden Soldiers Leon Jessel The Crystals 2:55
11. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry and Phil Spector Darlene Love 2:45
12. Here Comes Santa Claus Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans 2:03
13. Silent Night Josef Mohr and Franz X. Gruber Phil Spector and Artists 2:08

References[edit]