Legendary American music producer Phil Spector died in prison Saturday, where he was serving his sentence for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson, the California Prison Department said in a statement Sunday.
The 81-year-old producer known for his innovative methods, at the helm behind hits like the Beatles’ album “Let It Be”, died of “natural causes”, California prison services said, adding that an autopsy would be performed .
New Yorker of origin, Phil Spector will have reigned over the 60s and the beginning of the 70s, stringing together a series of hits, from “Be My Baby” by Ronettes to “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon.
He invented the technique known as the “sound wall”, which consisted in superimposing several sounds to densify the production, in particular many instruments.
Phil Spector thus took advantage of the new technical possibilities of the studios during the 60s, also using reverberation or spill, a sound effect obtained by capturing other sounds in the studio.
After producing “Let It Be”, from the last Beatles recording sessions, then several solo albums by former members of the group, Phil Spector saw his star waver as the 1970s wore on.
From musical setbacks to long litigation, he will no longer be able to find success. He will also be overtaken by chronic psychological disorders, his “demons”, to use his expression.
The bushy-haired man was also known for his passion for guns, regularly visiting the studio armed.
He will be talked about again in 2003, with the discovery, by the police, of the body of actress Lana Clarkson in the producer’s home in Alhambra, California.
Phil Spector will claim that the forty-something had shot herself in the mouth, a version cut to pieces by the prosecution.
After two trials, Harvey Phillip Spector, by his full name, was sentenced in 2009 to a minimum of 19 years imprisonment.