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One Speaker


Before he became a murder trial celebrity, Phil Spector was more celebrated for producing some of the greatest hit records of the 1960s and for inventing the so-called “wall of sound.” Spector reportedly held out against the innovation of stereo sound for some time. He was said to play the songs he produced through a tinny little speaker as a kind of final test to see how they would playback on an average monophonic transistor radio.

This is more or less what I have in my vehicle in 2008. Every song undergoes the Phil Spector test. Naturally most songs are “produced” in a way that was unimaginable in Spector’s heyday. You can hear everything quite clearly, even when you don’t want to. Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” comes to mind.
Can you imagine no first dance,
freeze dried romance five-hour phone conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had . . . and me.
Yeah, its that “best soy latte” line. I know not everything has to be universal, but that particular lyric has always struck me as way too specific. Don’t most people despise soy milk? I’ve been putting it on my cereal for the last three months and I still have to fight my gag reflex every morning.

Look, even with the one speaker turned way down it doesn’t actually sound like Elton is singing “Hold me closer, Tony Danza.” My friend Andrew is particularly fond of this. He’s from Rockingham and they see the world a little differently.

So what for why am going on about this? Well – my question is – should I get a new car radio?

I’m pretty sure the answer is no. I guess if it was good enough for Phil Spector 40 plus years ago, then it’s damn well good enough for me.

Mr Trivia


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