Filled With Speculation
In addition to presenting a profile of Celine Dion, the feature article "Naked Ambition," appearing in Entertainment Weekly (3/29/96), placed considerable emphasis on the aborted collaboration between the Canadian songbird and the reclusive producer, Phil Spector. Ultimately their month-long efforts failed to spawn any material suitable for use on Falling Into You. In his own defense, Spector faxed a three page statement to Entertainment Weekly, which also printed counter-arguments from others involved with the project. Because of the relative rarity of public remarks made by Phil Spector in recent years and the current success of Celine Dion, the story (particularly his side of it) was quickly syndicated and began appearing in newspapers and magazines the world over. The following out-takes, as originally published, present a more balanced view.
Phil Spector - while praising the talents of Celine, claims her management "simply wanted to record 'hits' even if they were contrived and repugnant - or nothing more than Whitney Houston- and Mariah Carey- rejected, soundalike songs and records. It became apparent that the people around Ms. Dion were more interested in controlling the project, and the people who recorded her, than making history." Spector also said her management team should recognize that "you don't tell Shakespeare what plays to write, or how to write them. You don't tell Mozart what operas to write, or how to write them. And you certainly don't tell Phil Spector what songs to write, or how to write them; or what records to produce, or how to produce them."
Celine Dion and husband/manager Rene Angelil - state that the failure occurred when they were forced to leave the sessions before they were complete because of European tour commitments.
Producer David Foster - places emphasis on Spector's ego. "He comes out saying that this is the project he's chosen for his comeback, as if the rest of us have nothing to do with it. That's a little pompous."
Jim (got the job done) Steinman - maintains that the "turbulent" proceedings were a "pretty hilarious nightmarish experience. They just had problems. I'll leave it at that. They ended up with nothing they could use."
Phil Spector - with specific reference to Steinman, says he neither wished to remake "River Deep, Mountain High" or work with other producers he calls "amateurs, students, and bad clones of yours truly."
With all due deference, the Prodigal Son replies simply...
"I'm thrilled to be insulted by Phil Spector. He's my God, my idol. To be insulted by Phil Spector is a big honor. If he spits on me I consider myself purified."