I admit there are a lot of times when I associate an artist’s music strictly with that artist. As in, I forget all of the behind-the-scenes people that make a significant impact on the final work.
Record producers get credit, and you usually see their name in the liner notes, but I don’t think they always get what they deserve. (Of course, a whole heck of a lot of people don’t get the credit they deserve for successful artists, but that’s another post; for now, producers).
Without the overall guidance and crafting provided by a producer, a lot of artist’s careers and sound would be way different. Or, they may not be at all.
Here are a few producers that have significantly impacted music, followed by a sample of artists they’ve worked with: George Martin (The Beatles), Phil Spector (The Ronettes, The Ramones), Quincy Jones (Michael Jackson, Ray Charles), Glyn Johns (The Who, Eagles), Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix), Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash), Steve Lillywhite (U2, Phish), Timbaland (Justin Timberlake), Brian Eno (Talking Heads, C0ldplay), Phil Ramone (Billy Joel, Madonna).
I realize that based on my listing of producer names and artists that the producer’s importance is not necessarily being proven, but I guarantee it is irreplaceable.
An artist has to exist, and a song has to exist.
But the right person has to exist to put it all together.