Dion’s Phil Spector-produced masterpiece reissued on 180g vinyl. Comes with printed inner bag with a new interview about the recording with Dion.
“You know I was honoured. I just felt with the work he did, that if he wanted to work with me, I sure wanted to work with him.” Dion DiMucci is reflecting on events that 40 years ago brought him to record with Phil Spector. The album they made together, now available on vinyl for the first time since the 80s, is considered the producer’s last great work, but for years it languished in Dion’s mind as an episode he would rather forget.
In an interview conducted specifically for this reissue, Dion recalls how Spector approached him in early 1975 to see if they could work together. The pair had history, having first met in the late 50s when Dion and the Belmonts and Spector’s group the Teddy Bears toured together. Dion admired Spector’s great recordings of the 1960s and liked the idea of his voice topping the producer’s trademark Wall Of Sound.
But the sessions proved tempestuous. Fresh from the misadventures of working with John Lennon on what would become the “Rock ‘n’ Roll” album, Spector was not in the right place mentally. The sessions were a stop/start affair with him spending as much time entertaining his entourage as actually recording. After what seemed like an age, Dion pulled the plug, with only a handful of tracks completed.
But what emerged was beautiful, the title track a dirge-like treatment of the Chordettes’ oldie with Dion’s voice floating over the top of the reverb-laden backing track. The sound was monolithic and claustrophobic, perfectly tailored for Dion’s mature voice. The album was completed by two tracks previously recorded by Dion with other producers, well-chosen to complement the mood.
Released only in the UK, the album was hardly noticed at the time, but as the years have passed it has become much admired. Those who have declared their love for the record include Pete Townshend, the Flaming Lips, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie and Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce, while the Arctic Monkeys have covered ‘Only You Know’ and Jarvis Cocker has sampled the song. Today “Born To Be With You” is widely regarded as a masterpiece.