10

Dr. Dre

 

Produced: Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, Mary J Blige, The Game

Leaving aside Andre Romelle Young’s astounding career as an artist in his own right (first in N.W.A. then solo with the Grammy-winning debut ‘The Chronic’), Dr Dre has left an indelible mark on hip hop and urban music through countless other acts. ‘The Real Slim Shady’ and ‘In Da Club’ are just the tip of the iceberg.

 
 
 

Produced: Nirvana, Garbage, Sonic Youth

Thought ‘Nevermind’ was a bit good? You’ve got this behind-the-scenes genius to thank. Garbage’s drummer was the driving force behind many of the best grunge and alt rock albums of the early nineties, including The Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Gish’, and Sonic Youth’s ‘Dirty’. TC

 
 
 

Produced: The Beach Boys, The Honeys, Sharon Maria

While the world loves ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’, ‘God Only Knows’ and the rest, few consider quite how groundbreaking Brian Wilson’s studio techniques were in the mid-60s. Hand written notations, multi-track experimentation, flirtations with echoes and reverb and the concept of the studio itself as an instrument all joined forces to produce an LP, ‘Pet Sounds’, that would baffle...

 
 
 

Produced: US, Coldplay, Nico, David Lynch, Depeche Mode

Brian Eno’s management refer to him as a “sonic landscaper” rather than a producer, but while that may sound howlingly pretentious coming from most quarters, with him it kind of fits. The man previously known as Roxy Music’s keyboardist has left popular music, and the outlying territories of sound, an awful lot, from Windows’ start up theme to U2’s most epic work, as well as Coldplay’s bombast.

 
 
 

Produced: Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Run D.M.C., Johnny Cash, AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine, Aerosmith

One of Rick Rubin’s greatest strengths as a producer, aside from his technical know-how and his way with a mixing desk, is his ability to get on with anyone and coax the best from them, regardless of genre. His seven Grammy wins (and numerous nominations) stretch across all types of music, from rap to metal and country. Run DMC, Slayer, and the Dixie Chicks are just three wildly diverse acts from an astonishing...

 
 
 

Produced: The Ronettes, The Crystals, John Lennon, The Righteous Brothers, The Beatles, Ramones

Writing, singing on, and producing a chart-topping hit record before your 20th birthday aint a bad way to kick start a career, and that’s exactly how Phil Spector announced himself to the world with The Teddy Bears’ ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him’. His CV stretches from The Ronettes to The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’, Tina Turner’s ‘River Deep Mountain High’, ‘Imagine’ and ‘Happy Xmas (War Is...

 
 
 

Produced: Chic, Madonna, David Bowie, Diana Ross, Sister Sledge

Nile Rodgers’ CV from the ‘80s reads like a who’s who of who was hot and on top during that decade. Having resucitated disco with Chic’s raft of hi-NRG hits (‘Le Freak’, the astonishingly good ‘I Want Your Love’ and ‘Good Times’, which also went on to pretty much define hip hop via the Sugahill samples) he went on to produce a frankly embarrassing wealth of riches. Diana Ross’ ‘Upside...

 
 
 

Produced: Michael Jackson, George Benson, Leslie Gore

Where to even begin with this one? 55 years in the business, 79 Grammy nominations, 110 million record sales (and that’s just for ‘Thriller’) – Quincy is about as legendary as they come. Yes he was the guy responsible for ‘Billie Jean’ but old QJ (as he’s known to his mum) did so much more than that. 33 film scores for a start, from writing The Italian Job to producing John Williams’ work on...

 
 
 

Produced: The Beatles, Cilla Black, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, James Bond Live And Let Die soundtrack, Jeff Beck

What is it that makes a truly great producer, beyond the ability to successfully commit a band’s ideas to tape? If it’s to bring new ideas to the table, such as the strings on ‘Yesterday’, or to provide orchestration and instrumentation on a complete variety of tracks, or to translate an artist’s vague ideas and hopeful humming into a tangible melody on a proper instrument (as he did with ‘Penny...

 
 
 

Produced: The Tornados, Tom Jones, Gene Vincent, Petula Clark, Shirly Bassey

To truly appreciate Meek’s genius, and understand why he’s placed above usual favourites Martin and Spector, we have to go back to Matt Bellamy’s dad, and his band The Tornados. Their early hit, ‘Telstar’, was the first single by a British band to reach the top spot on the Billboard 100 (and this was before the tragic days of 1D). The reason? It was unlike anything anyone had heard before, packed full of...

 
 
 
 
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