Richards began working at London’s Chappell Studios in 1973 before moving to Montreux, Switzerland where he found work at the then just-opened Mountain Studios. By the time he turned 21, he had already risen to chief engineer at the studio that he would later come to own.
He co-produced Queen’s final four albums, ‘A Kind Of Magic’, ‘The Miracle’, ‘Innuendo’, ‘Made In Heaven’, along with Iggy Pop’s ‘Blah Blah Blah’ and David Bowie’s ‘Never Let Me Down’, ‘The Buddha Of Suburbia’ and ‘Outside’. The producer also won a Juno award in 1978 for Best Jazz Recording and being one of Billboard Magazine’s Producers Of The Month in 1994.
Paying tribute in a statement on their official website, a spokesperson for Queen said Richards “will be remembered by many as a good friend. He was funny and generous and great company, a talented and capable man who had an instinctive “magic touch” in the recording studio. His creative productions will be enjoyed for years to come.”
The Cribs have also spoken about Richards’ death, posting a tribute on their Facebook page. It reads: “We are very sad to have today received the news that our friend David Richards has passed away in Montreux. David was a producer that The Cribs always had a deep admiration for, having produced many of our favourite Queen records back in the 1980’s/90’s. We had the honour of recording with him back in the late summer of 2012, while working on preliminary sessions for ‘In The Belly of The Brazen Bull’.”
They continued: “Spending time out in the beautiful hills of Montreux at Mountain Studios was honestly one of the most cherished memories that we have from our time as a band – Dave and his wife Vivian with their warmhearted hospitality were the perfect hosts. Seeing the sights of Montreux, recording during the day and then staying up late into the night sharing a few whiskeys and listening to some of Dave’s extraordinary stories from throughout the years was a surreal and rare opportunity. We were literally living the dream, and we are so grateful that we got to work with someone who can truly be described as one of the masters. David – thankyou for your generosity, the fun times, and the inspiration. You will be missed, sir.”
Richards is survived by his daughter Wendy and his son Christopher.