New York (May 19, 2008)–Grammy-winning recording engineer Larry Levine, who worked on hit records with early rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues artists and is closely identified with Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound,” has died at the age of 80. Levine died May 8 in Encino, CA.
Levine was a staff engineer at Hollywood’s famed Gold Star Recording Studios, where he first collaborated with Spector in 1962 on the Crystals’ “He’s A Rebel.” The Wall of Sound would be heard on many more hits of rock’s early years, including “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling” and “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers; the Crystals’ “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Then He Kissed Me;” and “Walking in the Rain” and Be My Baby” by the Ronettes. He also worked with Eddie Cochran.
Levine’s Grammy, for best engineered recording, was won for his work on Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass’ recording of “A Taste of Honey.” Alpert later hired Levine as chief engineer at the former’s A&M Studios. Levine also worked on the Beach Boys’ 1966 classic, Pet Sounds and Ike and Tina Turner “River Deep, Mountain High,” also in 1966. He worked with Spector into the 1970s on projects, including the Ramones’ End of the Century, released in 1980.