Phillip Harvey Spector (born Harvey Phillip Spector, December 26, 1939) is an American record producer, musician, and songwriter who developed the Wall of Sound, a popular music production formula he described as "a Wagnerian approach to rock and roll." From 1960 to 1965, Spector produced more than twenty-five Top 40 singles for various artists, but following sporadic work in the 1970s, he remained largely inactive. In the 2000s, Spector became the subject of two trials for murder and a second-degree conviction. He is serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life and will be 88 years old before becoming eligible for parole.
Spector began his career in 1958 as the producer and co-founder of the Teddy Bears, performing on guitar and vocals. At the height of his career, he was a pioneer of the 1960s girl-group sound, writing, co-writing, or producing for artists such as the Ronettes and the Crystals and, later, the Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Dion DiMucci, and the Ramones. Spector is often called the first auteur among musical artists for acting not only as a producer, but also the creative director, writing or choosing the material, supervising the arrangements, conducting the vocalists and session musicians, and masterminding all phases of the recording process. He helped pave the way for art rock and various aesthetically oriented music genres, with numerous artists later citing his work as a major influence.
The 1965 song "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", produced and co-written by Spector for the Righteous Brothers, is listed by BMI as the song with the most US airplay in the 20th century. For co-producing George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh (1971), Spector earned the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. In 1989, Spector was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a nonperformer. In 1997, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #63 on their 2004 list of the "Greatest Artists of All Time". In their list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time", they included the Spector-produced Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes (1964), A Christmas Gift for You (1963), and Back to Mono (1991). In 2008, The Washington Times named Spector the second greatest record producer in music history.