“I make records for people, not for other musicians. When people listen to an album, they want to hear passion. They want to hear the singer spilling his or her guts.” Tony Visconti has been putting that philosophy into practice for the past 40-plus years. Best known for his groundbreaking work with David Bowie and [...]
“I’ve always liked brave and dramatic music. And I’ve always gravitated toward things that are ‘heavy,’ whether that’s heavy metal, or heavy orchestral or heavy themes.” For anyone who’s familiar with the career of Bob Ezrin, those words from the man himself will come as no surprise. From the Alice Cooper Group’s seminal early ’70s [...]
Talking with T Bone Burnett is like entering an alternate universe of free-flowing creativity. Within minutes it becomes obvious why such a wide variety of artists, in both the musical and visual worlds, are so comfortable working with him. With no apparent effort, he manages to pull off the seemingly impossible feat of being at [...]
“Diabolical trickery.” That’s the phrase producer Jim Dickinson uses, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, to describe his methods for getting the best from a recording artist. In a career that’s spanned nearly 40 years, the longtime Memphis resident has applied those tricks to a host of seminal albums, including Big Star’s Third, the Replacements’ [...]
What trait do all great songwriters have in common? “I often think about that,” says Don Was, when presented with the question. “And the answer is, none.” He laughs and continues. “Actually that should be encouraging to aspiring songwriters. If there’s anything they have in common—the greatest ones—it’s that they have no idea where the [...]
For five decades this eminent producer has been delivering records for some of the best-known names in jazz and pop: Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, George Benson, David Sanborn, Dave Mason, Joao Gilberto, Al Jarreau, Michael Franks, Bob James, Natalie Cole and Diana Krall to name but a few.
Here’s a fun — albeit a little geeky — way to kill a few minutes in any well-stocked record store. Comb the racks until you’ve amassed discs by 10 different Texas artists. Now check the producer credit on the back of each album. Amazing, ain’t it? You’d almost think this Lloyd Maines character had a [...]
Like a cat with nine lives, Peter Collins’ career has had multiple incarnations. He’s a pop producer. He’s a rock producer. He’s a folk producer. You’d have to look long and hard to find anyone who’s worked with a more diverse group of artists. Though he started out as a jingle writer in his native [...]
From Amy Winehouse to Bob Dylan, Mark Ronson has established himself as a producer who’s just as eager to work with legends in the making as living legends. Co-producer of the recently-deceased troubled torch singer Amy Winehouse’s smash Back to Black album, two tracks on pop diva Christina Aguilera’s 2006 No. 1 Back to Basics [...]
Few, if any, producers can boast a body of work that matches that of Rick Rubin in terms of variety, influence and substance. First as co-founder of Def Jam Records in 1984, then in his role as head of American Recordings, Rubin has produced some of the most important albums of the past 20 years. [...]
Orrin Keepnews, one of the most respected producers in jazz history, played an integral role in the birth of modern jazz.