The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson Spent Decades Trying to Figure Out How Phil Spector Made 1 Song


  • The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson tried to figure out how Phil Spector made a classic song.
  • Spector discussed what he thought of Wilson listening to the song over and over.
  • The song became a hit in the United States.
The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson at a studio
The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Phil Spector said The Beach Boys‘ Brian Wilson went “cuckoo” trying to figure out how he made one of his songs. Spector revealed how difficult it was to create songs in his signature style. In addition, he contrasted his production with the production of Motown songs.

Why Phil Spector said Motown could turn out hit songs faster than he could

In the 2009 documentary The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector, Spector said it was difficult for him to create his signature sound in the studio. “It would take me days — I’d go in and we’d go in for days [and] never get the same sound,” he said. “I’d have to throw away thousands of dollars of studio time, and Motown would have 10 hits in the same amount of time because they had the same sound, but it was a hit sound.”

Spector praised Motown’s songs, saying they were good and catchy. Despite this, he said it was impossible to tell The Supremes apart from The Four Tops. He said he envied how Motown could make hits so easily.

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Phil Spector said The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson went ‘cuckoo’ trying to deconstruct The Ronettes’ ‘Be My Baby’

Spector then discussed Wilson. “Ask Brian Wilson what it’s like to get the Spector sound,” he said. He’s still, at age 65, going through craziness, dreaming of playing ‘Be My Baby‘ every morning he writes in his articles and interviews trying to figure out how I got ‘Be My Baby’ 40 years later — dreaming how I got the ‘Be My Baby’ sound.”

Spector called Wilson “cuckoo.” “Going crazy figuring it out,” he said. “He’s a little cuckoo over it. I’d like to have a nickel for every joint he smoked trying to figure out how I got the ‘Be My Baby’ sound. He’s demented about it. I love him.”

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How The Ronettes’ ‘Be My Baby’ and its parent album performed on the charts in the United States

“Be My Baby” became The Ronettes’ highest-charting song in the United States. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Be My Baby” stayed on the chart for 13 weeks.

“Be My Baby” appeared on the album … Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes. The album peaked at No. 96 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for eight weeks. The group never released another album, although some of their songs appear on the record A Christmas Gift to You From Phil Spector.

“Be My Baby” became a hit — and it meant something to Wilson.

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