Best producer / worst producer

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from SonicsMonksLyresVicars. Show SonicsMonksLyresVicars's posts

    Best producer / worst producer

    To me - and I am NOT trying to provoke - Phil Spector is the worst by far.  Not that he didn't do some brilliant, legendary things....but he was only able to make his sort of sound.  The worst Beatles album?  "Let It Be".  The worst Ramones album?  "End of the Century".  

    Exhibit A:

    Phil Spector's Rock and Roll high school:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnzzMZWsx9w

    Ed Stasium's Rock and Roll High School:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQFEo5pj-V8

    I think the best producers make bands sound like themselves, only better.

     

    The best?  Difficult.  In a sense, good producers should be like good umpires i.e. facilitating the talent, not planting a flag on their head.  Of famous producers, I'd have to say Glyn Johns.  

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    Is producer the same as sound engineer?

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    Some of my favorite producers are the bands themselves; I think it takes a certain confidence and honesty to do so, but it often ends with more unified, uncompromised results.

    I also think this is especially true of solo-centric artists.  Prince comes to mind immediately.

    That aside, there seems to be an elite strata of producers (e.g. Brian Eno, Quincy Jones, George Martin) and then a larger sub-elite group that has done a lot of good work with a few homeruns to their credit.

    The engineer question is interesting, too - Gary Katz (Steely Dan) would be a standout for me in that sense.

    Like musicians, producers work within certain genres and eras.  Many of the hottest producers today are like rock stars in their own right.

     

     

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    I am going to add Mutt Lange to the list.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    I like the job Nick Lowe did on Elvis Costello's early albums

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    In response to SonicsMonksLyresVicars' comment:

    To me - and I am NOT trying to provoke - Phil Spector is the worst by far.  Not that he didn't do some brilliant, legendary things....but he was only able to make his sort of sound.  The worst Beatles album?  "Let It Be".  The worst Ramones album?  "End of the Century".  

    Exhibit A:

    Phil Spector's Rock and Roll high school:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnzzMZWsx9w

    Ed Stasium's Rock and Roll High School:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQFEo5pj-V8

    I think the best producers make bands sound like themselves, only better.

     

    The best?  Difficult.  In a sense, good producers should be like good umpires i.e. facilitating the talent, not planting a flag on their head.  Of famous producers, I'd have to say Glyn Johns.  



    I know what you're saying about Spector. His style has its uses, but it was misused on "Let It Be." But I don't know if I'd call him the worst. He was a one-trick pony so I wouldn't put him with the best. But he was great at what he did, so I can't put him as the worst.

    And I don't mean to threadjac, but I disagree with the notion that "Let It Be" is the worst Beatles album. I love the album. Yes, it's overproduced and the "Let It Be - Naked" has a better sound, but the the songs themselves IMHO overcome the overproduction.

    It's hard to call any Beatles album as the "worst" Beatles album, but "Let It Be" ranks among my favorite Beatles albums.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    Alan Parsons and Todd Rundgren did some great work. The Tubes album Remote Control produced by Rundgren is by far the best ever by the Tubes.

    Martin Birch produced many Heavy Rock acts and most of the albums I know that are produced by him are just great LPs.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    Alan Parsons and Todd Rundgren did some great work. The Tubes album Remote Control produced by Rundgren is by far the best ever by the Tubes.

    Martin Birch produced many Heavy Rock acts and most of the albums I know that are produced by him are just great LPs.



    Agree on Rundgren! Don't forget his work with Meatloaf "Bat Out Of Hell"

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    Alan Parsons and Todd Rundgren did some great work. The Tubes album Remote Control produced by Rundgren is by far the best ever by the Tubes.

    Martin Birch produced many Heavy Rock acts and most of the albums I know that are produced by him are just great LPs.



    Yes, agreed on Martin Birch.  Anybody who has Deep Purple and BOC albums on his resume has to be pretty good.  And any musician who talks about him speaks highly of him.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    I'd add - Jeff Lynn, Reinhold Mack, T-Bone Burnett, Sam Phillips and Butch Vig

     
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  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from SonicsMonksLyresVicars. Show SonicsMonksLyresVicars's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    In response to royf19's comment:

    In response to SonicsMonksLyresVicars' comment:

     

    To me - and I am NOT trying to provoke - Phil Spector is the worst by far.  Not that he didn't do some brilliant, legendary things....but he was only able to make his sort of sound.  The worst Beatles album?  "Let It Be".  The worst Ramones album?  "End of the Century".  

    Exhibit A:

    Phil Spector's Rock and Roll high school:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnzzMZWsx9w

    Ed Stasium's Rock and Roll High School:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQFEo5pj-V8

    I think the best producers make bands sound like themselves, only better.

     

    The best?  Difficult.  In a sense, good producers should be like good umpires i.e. facilitating the talent, not planting a flag on their head.  Of famous producers, I'd have to say Glyn Johns.  

     



    I know what you're saying about Spector. His style has its uses, but it was misused on "Let It Be." But I don't know if I'd call him the worst. He was a one-trick pony so I wouldn't put him with the best. But he was great at what he did, so I can't put him as the worst.

    And I don't mean to threadjac, but I disagree with the notion that "Let It Be" is the worst Beatles album. I love the album. Yes, it's overproduced and the "Let It Be - Naked" has a better sound, but the the songs themselves IMHO overcome the overproduction.

    It's hard to call any Beatles album as the "worst" Beatles album, but "Let It Be" ranks among my favorite Beatles albums.



    Hi roy.  "worst" is a bit pejorative so let's drop the term.  I think Abbey Road is one of the saddest albums ever.....I wasn't old enough to know it at the time, but in retrospect it's so easy to see the breakup of - to me - the greatest songwriting team ever.

    As with Jagger/Richard, Marriot/Lane, etc. Lennon/McCartney was in part a business arrangement.  In the early days I think they collaborated heavily on many songs and musically I can't always hear the primary composer....except the primary always (I think) sang.

    The White Album is pretty stark re non-collaboration....but Abbey Road is mostly, sadly, guys laying down tracks when the other blokes bird wasn't around.

     
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    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    In response to RidingWithTheKingII's comment:

    My favorite old school producers are people like Tom Dowd, Glyn Johns, Jimmy Miller (one of the best), Mutt Lange for those AC/DC records. Chirs Blackwell was outstanding. All those Marley records sound phenomenal.

    New school, Rick Rubin, Jack Joseph Puig, Paul Stacey does nice work, Marc Ford makes fantastic sounding albums, T Bone Burnett is good, etc.

    Worst? Anyone who doesn't like to use actual instruments and enjoys taking away the organic sound of those instruments.



    Exactly.....like Toe Rag and Circo Perrotti.  100% analog.  It's laughable that bands will spend 100k.....200k....500k....millions when Liam (Toe Rag) or Jorge (Circo Perrotti) can kick doo dah's @rse in 3 weeks for a fraction of the cost.

     

     
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    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    In response to RidingWithTheKingII's comment:

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    Is producer the same as sound engineer?

    No.


    May I suggest it's often a hedge or a business arrangement driven by points?

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    Agreed, Tom Dowd is a god.

    Some other legends: Holland-Dozier-Holland, Jerry Wexler, Brian Wilson, George Clinton, Bob Ezrin, Teo Macero, Lee Perry, Tony Visconti...

    And a few more recent: Rick Rubin, Tchad Blake, Brendan O'Brien, Nigel Godrich, Butch Vig, Phil Ek, Gil Norton...

     

     

     

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    In response to SonicsMonksLyresVicars' comment:

     

    In response to RidingWithTheKingII's comment:

     

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    Is producer the same as sound engineer?

    No.

     

     


    May I suggest it's often a hedge or a business arrangement driven by points?

     

     

    On the Deep Purple albums he did, Martin Birch is credited as engineer.  On the BOC albums he did, he's listed as producer and engineer.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    Is producer the same as sound engineer?

    No.

    May I suggest it's often a hedge or a business arrangement driven by points?

    On the Deep Purple albums he did, Martin Birch is credited as engineer.  On the BOC albums he did, he's listed as producer and engineer.

    Not an expert, by any measure, so this is just my 2 cents based on my ex's experience.   

     

    He's a recording studio engineer *and* producer, professionally, as are many in that line of work.   He at times only fulfilled the role of recording engineer (as he put it, "twiddling the knobs per request" to get the desired sound) but if he was hired to also produce, he fulfilled that role as well.   It depended on the project.  He'd give advice re: arranging, all of the aesthetics, where / how they could improve the song or music, all of it.   If the band was pig-headed, they did not take the advice -- often to their own detriment.  

    When times were very low, when recording began to experience a sea change, he took projects that paid horribly because work was drying up so badly. (in all truth, he has recorded and knows some of the most famous alt bands in history, and is a name brand professionally).  Some of the young bands thought they knew more than he did ... and this was very difficult, if not insulting.  I remember him saying ..." they don't really know who I am -- they have no idea what they could get out of me, but they won't listen" ...  not the best of times.   (Things did come back on an upswing, I'm glad to say).  

    Here are some funny lines I've copied from a thread on another board re: this topic:

    "An engineer says, "That guitar is out of tune!"
    The producer says, "It's supposed to be!"

    "Producer asks everyone "what do you think?" and then tells the engineer to do what the engineer has already done 1/2 an hour ago."

    "Only the producer gets paid what the engineer can only dream about."

    "Also while the engineer mostly records super models...the producer has one hanging from his hand. "

     
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  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from SonicsMonksLyresVicars. Show SonicsMonksLyresVicars's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    In response to RidingWithTheKingII's comment:

    In response to SonicsMonksLyresVicars' comment:

     

    In response to RidingWithTheKingII's comment:

     

    My favorite old school producers are people like Tom Dowd, Glyn Johns, Jimmy Miller (one of the best), Mutt Lange for those AC/DC records. Chirs Blackwell was outstanding. All those Marley records sound phenomenal.

    New school, Rick Rubin, Jack Joseph Puig, Paul Stacey does nice work, Marc Ford makes fantastic sounding albums, T Bone Burnett is good, etc.

    Worst? Anyone who doesn't like to use actual instruments and enjoys taking away the organic sound of those instruments.

     



    Exactly.....like Toe Rag and Circo Perrotti.  100% analog.  It's laughable that bands will spend 100k.....200k....500k....millions when Liam (Toe Rag) or Jorge (Circo Perrotti) can kick doo dah's @rse in 3 weeks for a fraction of the cost.

     Or anyone that relies on Pro Tools too much.  I don't mind analog, however.  There is a clear richness in the sound that digital doesn't necessarily capture.

    Go listen to any 180G vinyl reissue of a Stax studios album or HI Records in Memphis (Ann Peebles Straight From The Heart) and then go listen to the majority of albums that are released today, and it's just not close.

    i don't think digital is bad, but I actually sometimes prefer analog.



    Hi King.  I have to ask you something....no BS, no agenda, no bias, it's an honest question.  I honestly believe you love music at least as much as I do....I believe you have a wider knowledge of music history than I do....and I believe you have a greater technical knowledge of music than I do.  

    But you wrote "I don't mind analog"....I can't, and don't - with respect - believe you really believe that.  Your own words about vinyl reissues seems to me to belie your own words.

    I think there is an obvious difference in the sound quality of vinyl vs a CD....even on a home stereo, but it's huge on a powerful sound system.  But digital?  It's a gigantic gulf to me....there is no comparison.  I'm nothing special, know nothing, knew nothing, have forgetten even that....but can instantly tell if a DJ is playing mp3s.....when we stumble across such "DJs"we ritually kill them, boil them down and in 10 million years our decendents will make them into 7" singles.  ;-)

     

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from LloydDobler. Show LloydDobler's posts

    Re: Best producer / worst producer

    In response to SonicsMonksLyresVicars' comment:

    To me - and I am NOT trying to provoke - Phil Spector is the worst by far.  Not that he didn't do some brilliant, legendary things....but he was only able to make his sort of sound.  The worst Beatles album?  "Let It Be".  The worst Ramones album?  "End of the Century".  

    Exhibit A:

    Phil Spector's Rock and Roll high school:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnzzMZWsx9w

    Ed Stasium's Rock and Roll High School:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQFEo5pj-V8

    I think the best producers make bands sound like themselves, only better.

     

    The best?  Difficult.  In a sense, good producers should be like good umpires i.e. facilitating the talent, not planting a flag on their head.  Of famous producers, I'd have to say Glyn Johns.  



    Wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts on Spector. If you've heard "Let It Be -- Naked," it so much better than the original "Let It Be."

     

     
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