In the early 1960s, a great experiment was underway at Goldstar Studios in Los Angeles. Vocal groups, a great studio band, top recording engineers, were turning simple pop songs into grand symphonies, pushing technology to its limits to catch complex layers of instruments and voices, via the huge echo chamber in the basement.
There was only so much room on the magnetic recording tape they used back them, but at Goldstar, they figured out how to squeeze huge amounts of sound onto it. The resulting records still stand as pop classics, essential songs that continue to affect audiences and musicians. The style became known as the "wall of sound".
Its architect, Phil Spector, died in January. I cannot bring myself to eulogise this dangerous man, a convicted murderer. Instead, I remember the singers, the musicians, who performed these great songs. The Crystals. The Ronettes, Righteous Brothers and more.
Listen to my ABC Radio piece on the wall of sound
Richard is a writer, podcaster, radio and TV broadcaster, an editor, and a lover of music. He tells the stories of how great songs are made, and of the people who make them.