Record producers can make or break an album, wouldn't you agree?
Would The Dark Side Of The Moon have sounded so magnificent without the contributions of Alan Parsons?* How about Roy Thomas Baker, producer of Queen and the Cars in their mega platinum heydays. Both bands cite him as a major reason for their successes, pushing Queen to new levels of, erm, sonic majesty and molding the Cars into the cool metronomic hit machine that birthed that amazing debut in 1978.
Trevor Horn, one time Buggles (Video Killed The Radio Star, anyone?) front man, pretty much ruled the airwaves during the 1980’s. ABC’s The Lexicon Of Love, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the Ethiopia charity simgle "Do They Know It’s Christmas" (far superior to it’s American counterpart "We Are The World", in my opinion), Tina Turner, Pet Shop Boys, Paul McCartney, to name but a few. His production techniques were immediately identifiable, there was no mistaking his mark.
How about George Martin, the widely acknowledged 5th Beatle. I know I don’t need to remind you of his contributions
Mutt Lange, responsible for AC/DC’s breakthrough Back In Black, was Trevor Horn’s heavy metal doppelganger during the 80’s. Whatever he touched went platinum or better, and in most cases MUCH better.
Brian Eno, Rick Rubin, Daniel Lanois, Bob Ezrin (The Wall, Welcome To My Nightmare, etc), Martin Hannett, Nick Lowe, the list is endless. Producers are integral to the sound and feel of an album and sadly, in most cases, go unnoticed and unheralded.
I’d like to hear your input, gentle readers, on who you think deserves to be on this list. I'd be even more curious to hear which producers you think should be banished fom music studios forever.
Come on, I know you’ve got an opinion…
*I know that Parson's was engineer on Dark Side Of The Moon, but he also was integral in the production of the album, specifically with the sound effects. Or so I've heard.
For a fascinating article entitled "The Death Of High Fidelity", cut and paste the following link: