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Pop artists who also produce.......


Lawyer fan

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The first name that comes to mind is probably Buddy Holly. After him, Brian Wilson seems to have set the standard for all who followed. Obviously, George Martin took care of the The Beatles so at times, I wonder where the John/Paul/George left off and Martin took over.

Now, ....well, not much of anything being created.

Marc

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I've always REALLY respected Todd Rundgren. He's done production work for Cheap Trick, Meat Loaf, The Tubes, Badfinger, and numerous others, yet has produced some incredible solo albums on his own. "Something/Anything," "A Wizard, A True Star," "Todd," "Almost Human," and his new one "Liars" are terrific.

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Very intereting thread. Rundgren is one of those rare artists who is as respected for the work he has done as a producer (he's also produced Hall & Oates), as he is for his recording work. Same applies to Brian. How about Jeff Lynne? I'm ot fond of all his work, but no denying his body of work. Another interesting one is Linda Ronstadt. Of course she's made her name as a recording artist, but over the last 10 years or so, she's done a lot of producing and is quite in demand. Of course Linda's former producer Peter Asher did a lot of work with James Taylor and other California artists, and prior to producing, he was part of the Peter & Gordon ("World Without Love") duo.

Marvin

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I recall, backstage years ago at a Jan and Dean concert, Dean mentioned something to a bunch of us about Jan being the one who showed Brian Wilson a lot of recording techniques in the early days. Jan, with a genius IQ, was quite a music talent in his own right. Until that day in 1966 when his Vette hit that parked truck.

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Yes Marvin, I believe Jeff Lynne could and should be up there with the most prolific rock producers ever. He was the George Martin of the 70s, 80s and 90s, except he also produced his own amazing body of work. Speak of "borrowing", like the other thread? Boy, was he a culprit -- but did it beautifully, in my opinion.

Rundgren is also one of the great ones, but he is very self absorbed, and I hear very difficult. He produces himself very well -- he is always reinventing his direction. I think in order to produce others, you need to have acceptance of the artists vision. I remember, though, he actually had a "forum" on Compuserve, in 1996, called the TR-1 forum, and he was generally on there (and very few others were). We had a few IM conversations, and was actually quite pleasant, and very happy to tal kabout HIS work -- he didn't want to discuss Badfinger or Grand Funk.

Spector was not one to accept the artists vision -- but then again, you went to him, to use him, when you wanted HIS sound, full stop.

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Ernie I have had the pleasure of seeing Jackson a number of times in concert when I was living on the East coast. A truly captivating performer whose songwriting and lyrics has been a major, major influence in my own music. Jackson's early work was produced by Rolling Stone writer Jon Landau (who went on to produce and manage Bruce Springsteen). In recent years Jackson has shared production duties with his band members mostly sometime Heartbreaker Scott Thurston.

Marvin

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I'm a HUGE Todd fan, an admirer of both his solo and Utopia work and his productions for others.

It's interesting that, in at least a couple of cases, the artists he's produced have gone on the record about how difficult and unpleasant he is to work with...yet their collaborations may have been the artists' finest albums.

Badfinger's "Straight Up" and XTC's "Skylarking" come to mind. Neither BF or XTC had nice things to say about working with Todd, but the results were undeniably high points and commercial breakthroughs.

Other artists who produce that come to mind:

Mark Hudson, previously discussed on this forum, who made wonderful pop records with the Hudson Brothers before becoming a popular producer with Ringo Starr and Aerosmith

Nick Lowe, the sonic architect of Elvis Costello's classic early albums and himself no slouch as a singer/songwriter

Prince certainly knows his way around a recording studio, and has crafted hit albums for proteges The Time, Sheila E and Vanity 6

Pete Townshend has produced others, most notably the classic "Hollywood Dream" album by Thunderclap Newman, which yielded the hit "Something in the Air"

Phil Collins had a good run as a producer for hire, bringing his trademark sound to the work of Howard Jones, Eric Clapton and David Crosby

--Howard

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Here's one - how about Jon Brion? He's done some great work with Aimee Mann. Check out Aimee's "Whatever", one of my favorite albums of all time. Great songs, really cool instrumentation and definitely Beatle-like in places. He's known more as a producer but has a few albums out on his own. He contributed to the "Magnolia" soundtrack and, most recently, "I Heart Huckabees".

A couple more - Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Lanois produced the best Neville Brothers album, in my opinion, "Yellow Moon". Lanois has some cool records out and is an interesting guitar player. Eno is known for his ambient-type recordings as well as well as producing U2 (as did Lanois). Maybe my writings here should be under the category of "producers who are also artists". Sorry guys...

As far as Todd, I grew up in the same town as him so I've been following him since The Nazz days (late 60's). At one time in the 70's, he was the highest paid producer. As an artist, it's been a difficult ride to follow all his stuff but, to me, he is one of the true artists in rock along with Frank Zappa (RIP), Van Morrison and Neil Young. He follows his muse and, if you are to follow him, expect the unexpected. It's been said he could've been big along the lines of an Elton John but, for whatever reasons, chose to pursue more artistic and less commercial interests. His latest CD from 2004 "Liars" is pretty amazing considering he wrote, performed, arranged and recorded all the music himself (he's done this many times). There are not many artists in rock that can do even one of those things as well as him.

One last thing, it's interesting to note the Eric-Todd connection. Bernie's book has some good info on this - Todd supposedly stealing from "I Can Remember" for "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" and also writing his "I Saw The Light" after hearing the 'Berries version. They were two of rock's brightest post-Beatles guys at the time...

Paul

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I too have to give the thumbs-up to Todd. I know it was hard for XTC to work with him on the "Skylarking" album, but to this day it's tied for first place with me as my favorite of theirs (along with "Apple Venus Vol. 1"). One of those rare CDs I can listen to over and over without wanting to skip a single cut...and so many of them segue smoothly from one to another (Todd's idea) that I don't really want to.

I also have a fond place in my heart for ""War Babies," the Hall & Oates album he produced.

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Todd....the "Back to the bars" tour....the OLD

Cleveland Agora.....what a show.

Another amazing tidbit...Todd played ALL the guitars

on the Meatloaf "Bat out of hell album"

All you guitarists.....listen to the orchestrated

guitar work on the "Bat out of hell" title cut.

Amazing! A truly great production

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