This afternoon legendary record producer Phil Spector was found guilty at the conclusion of his trial for the second degree murder of Lana Clarkson in February, 2003. Above all the whole affair is obviously a horrific and tragic story, and would be regardless of who was responsible. But Spector’s conviction also raises the question of how it will affect his legacy. Will we ever again be able to hear his music without thinking of the crime he perpetrated? Should we be listening to his music at all? You may not think this is a question that concerns you. Most people could only name, at best, a handful of hits he produced, notably the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Loving Feelin'” and “Unchained Melody” and “River Deep, Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner. However, Spector in his ’60s and ’70s heyday was extremely prolific and worked with Leonard Cohen, the Ramones and even, later, the “Trio” country supergroup of Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton. He also substantially tinkered with the Beatles’ troubled Let It Be album and, following the dissolution of the Fab Four, worked with both George Harrison and John Lennon.
So should we stop listening to Lennon’s “Imagine” or Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” or “The Long and Winding Road” just because Spector had a hand in their creation? Or is this a case where someone’s art can be separated from their crime?
More from EW’s Music Mix:
Wilco’s new DVD: An exclusive full-song clip
Will you buy the new Beatles remasters?
Bob Dylan’s free single: Snap judgment
Neil Young Archives: They’re really coming this summer
addCredit(“Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images”)