Top 5 Favorite Producers and why. Trust me, this was hard.
This list is in no particular order. Really, they are ALL number #1’s in my book. Just google them and see their track record and influence over music.
Rick Rubin – Talk about a diverse resume! Probably the most important, influential, and successfulproducer of our current generation. His influence and sound ranges from the Beastie Boys seminal “Licensed to Ill”, to Red Hot Chili Peppers “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”, Johnny Cash, Slayer, Dixie Chicks, to Jay-Z, and most recently Adele’s Grammy winning album, among many other artists. He also was the Co-founder of Def Jam Records, and brought to the fold Run DMC, Public Enemy, and LL Cool J. Rubin lives in Houdini’s infamous old Mansion in Laurel Canyon and records many of his albums there. Many artists say “The Mansion,” as it is called, must have something inherently spiritual or some unique energy floating around there. Funny, ’cause you can see what legend says is the face of a ghost in the pictures that were taken there and wound up being used for the liner notes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” album.
Bob Rock – From starting as an engineer working for mega successful Canadian producer Bruce Fairbairn, Rock turned Motely Crue into sober pop-rock stars and effectively created the pop rock genre with “Dr. Feelgood.” He then went on to take a little known and obscure thrash metal band into an international conglomerate in the music industry by producing Metallica’s “Black Album.” Rock recently produced a diverse range of artists such as Michael Buble, 311, The Offspring, and Nelly Furtado. Rock is also responsible for the capturing the greatest drum sound aside from John Bonham and Led Zeppelin. Listen to any of Rock’s late 80s and 90s records and you will arguably be listening to the best sounding albums recording. No other producer can capture a band’s performance and present it to listeners like Bob Rock. Ya, and his real name actually is Bob Rock.
Richard Perry – At the peak of his career during the indulgent 1970s and 1980s. Perry was the first Superstar producer. He became more of a celebrity than the artists he worked with. Defined and created the role of the indulgent “Record Producer.” Do a little Google search on him and you will see images ranging from Perry with George Harrison, to Perry with a slew of gorgeous Hollywood Starlets. In the midst of the parties and nightlife, and buying Ronald Regan’s mansion at the top of the Hollywood Hills, Perry had time to give an insane, almost obsessive amount of detail to every song he touched. Known for having an incredible ear. Musicians have been known to question Perry’s compulsively long hours spent striving for perfection on small parts or single chords, but they always end up seeing what he was working toward when the songs were done. Perry was one of only a handful of producers to both own his own successful recording studio and record label when doing so took an enormous amount of capital and credibility. He turned Ringo Starr into a pop singer and effectively made the closest thing to a Bealtes reunion. Produced one of the first songs about a self-absorbed lover in Carly Simon’s “You’re so Vain.” Perry basically made the blueprint for modern synth and drum machine driven dance music with the Pointer Sisters “Jump.” He also rejuvenated Rod Stewart’s career by creating the American Songbook Series, and put the “Lime in the Coconut.”
Mutt Lange – Known for unparrelled stamina and a drill sagrent type demeanor in the studio. He notoriously overworked musicians and engineers to the point of exhaustion that often required medical attention. His studio lore is unlike any other producer. One widely circulated story is when one of his engineers passed out over the recording console and Lange called his personal doctor to shoot his engineer up with a shot of B-12. The engineer did not take a break after. Lange put him right back to work. He is recently known as Shania Twain’s cheatin x-husband. But also is probably the most successful music producer ever. Ya, I know, you can say George Martin, but that was with the Beatles. Not that it should be held against Martin, because what makes a great producer are the great artists they work with. But it was the Beatles he was producing. And you also have Quincy Jones with Michael Jackson’s Thriller. But Lange has produced more albums with Diamond Award certification that any other producer. Diamond Award is RIAA certification for an album that has sold 10 Million or more Copies. Check out Lange’s track record and some of his career highlights. Be sure to also look at the body of work of those artists prior to working with Mutt. Majority of Lange’s artists were relatively unknown prior to working with him. Then when Lange gets his hands on them, many of these artists careers turn to gold…actually, diamond in his case. Here are a few of his more celebrated productions…AC/DC’s “Back n Black”, and “Highway to Hell.” Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” featuring every stripper’s favorite jam “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, Bryan Adams “Everything I Do I Do it For You” (wrote & produced), Shania Twain, and most recently Lady Gaga.