Since domestic (or any other kind of) violence is as ancient as the species, it's understandable the title of this one alone would have given pause, hence the fact that it wasn't withdrawn so much as put into a proverbial 'closet' (since it's an uncommon but not rare 45).
I've always wondered about the Goffin/King dynamic. Gerry was the producer and (usually) lyricist; Carole was the melodist, musician, arranger, and we can be sure some duties were shared. For that reason one must wonder how the title--let alone the lyrics--could have been considered viable by a duo working within a family of artists, writers, arrangers, producers and execs that thought the song alone would have passed censors, or the public. If one dwells on this too much, then we must accept then as now: private lives are private unless what's inside becomes too disturbing to ignore. Like Bobby Marchan's version of "There Is Something on Your Mind" the violence is not really implied, it's blatantly there, but (for this recording) is it DM or S&M?
Today, of course, probably most any act could get away with such things, given the busy, noisy, overproduced and overcompressed sounds that seem to render words an afterthought.
a few years back I bought a Spector collection that included three legitimate copies of "let's dance the screw"...two promo copies were sold on eBay and I kept the only know stock copy. And yes all the stampers, printing etc etc were correct on all three..... & same color label as the promo...Phil did whatever he wanted regarding labels record #'s printing size and more when it came to "his" label ...had a couple of small hole 45s that apparently weren't supposed to exist that sold quickly... so it shouldn't surprise anyone that a stock copy of "the Screw"exists. PS I also have the River Deep mountain High lp and the sp 100 compilation that Phil sent (along with with a letter) to a few of his favorite DJ's...some test pressings... blue vinyl Righteous brothers..and some unreleased hand written sheet music...who knows what else is out there that hasn't appeared....happy hunting
To clarify the story behind this release: Phil Spector and Lester Sill start Philles Records in 1961. The relationship quickly sours. Spector's ego and inability to work well with others results in Phil behaving badly so as to annoy Les into selling out his interest in the label. Sill finally agrees to a buyout estimated at $60k just to be rid of Spector. Phil withheld that payment, claiming that Les owed him back royalties. Les sued Phil to get the buyout money owed him. "Let's Dance the Screw' was Phil's response to that lawsuit. The record was never intended for release, only a "last word." Sill was the only person intended to hear the record, and he was the only person to whom a copy was delivered. The reason multiple copies exist is because the pressing plant had a minimum order size. After Spector got his one copy to give to Sill, the remaining records were supposed to be destroyed. Remaining copies could include the copy given to Sill, archive copies kept by the record company/pressing plant, souvenirs taken home by pressing plant employees, and/or records that accidentally went out with shipments to eventually be purchased as "warehouse" stock by collectors or jobbers. That the catalog number is reused for Darlene Love's "Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry" would indicate Phil never intended "Screw" to hear the light of day. Otherwise, royalties from "Today" would have legally been owed to Sill, if indeed his settlement with Phil involved royalties on a to-be-released record. By never offering the record for public sale/broadcast, Phil could just destroy the records and re-use the catalog number. Given how big the Crystals were at the time, it's highly unlikely that the initial pressing of 500 would not have sold out if it indeed was made available to the public. No matter how bad the record was. And it is bad.
Have added scans that appear to be the same printing as the main scans. The only real difference is the variation in label coloring. My scans are a much deeper orange color than those posted, and accurately reflect the color of my copies as opposed to a printer variation. Whether they would be considered upgrades is an open question, but the quality is superb, and I think would be of interest to Philles collectors.