The phrase "Wall of Sound" was coined to describe the production style adopted by eclectic production wizard Phil Spector
in the early-to-mid sixties. The "Wall of Sound" formula was roughly as follows:
Stage one: Standard arrangement, one guitar
, one piano
, one drum
set, one bass
, what have you.
Stage two: For every instrumental
part, add four to seven identical instrumental parts by that same instrument, played simultaneously. Drums and piano inclusive. Apply to vocals
if appropriate. Add plenty of bells and whistles (often literally), and horns
are a must.
Stage three: Don't multi-track
it. Play it live, and stick one mic in the middle of the mess you've created.
I suppose stage four must've been "Profit
!" because the unusual result certainly earned the appeal of the public. "River Deep, Mountain High
" by Ike and Tina Turner
was arguably most representative of the "Wall of Sound" method. This is perhaps arguable because you can somewhat hear the lead
in that song--many of the tracks recorded during this period of his work had such focus on background instrumentals that the hook
was lost. Somehow, it all seemed to work anyway.