River Deep Mountain High – Ike and Tina Turner

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………………on March 7th of 1966 Tina Turner laid down vocal tracks for the Phil Spector produced “River Deep Mountain High”, which would go on to reach #3 in the UK and #88 in the US. This was written by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Phil Spector. Greenwich and Barry were married from 1962-1965 but kept working together after their divorce. They were one of the most successful songwriting teams of the ’60s, with a string of hits that included “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” and “Leader of the Pack.” Spector was a legendary producer famous for his “Wall Of Sound” recording technique, which he had used with great success on other songs he worked on with Greenwich and Barry, including hits by The Ronettes and The Crystals. Greenwich, Barry and Spector each had separate ideas for songs which they combined to form “River Deep – Mountain High.” The melody is a composite of three different unfinished songs. It had been over a year since Phil Spector produced a hit record, and he went all out on this one. When it flopped in America, he was shocked and very upset. He announced his retirement, went into seclusion and stopped working until 1970, when he returned to the studio to work on The Beatles Let It Be album and produce solo works by George Harrison and John Lennon. This was written specifically for Tina Turner to sing. Phil Spector made very dense recordings that required a strong vocalist to cut through, and he knew Turner and her flamethrower voice could handle it. Although this is credited to Ike And Tina Turner, Ike had no part in the recording process. Phil Spector wanted his own people to record this, and made sure Ike was not in the studio during the sessions.