Friday, January 8, 2010

1001 Albums You Must Hear....the producers

Its taken a while but I finally have a definitive analysis of producers. There were a couple of major problems in the original data. Firstly multiple attributions meant that I had to go through the data and create separate entries for each producer where there was more than one producer on an album. Secondly, inconsistent spellings meant that I had to review the data to ensure that a producers name was spelt the same each time - e.g. Brian Eno rather than B. Eno or Eno.

So now you appreciate he gargantuan task (cheer here), here are the results.

There were 900 different producers accredited amongst the 1001 albums.

672 producers had only one album on the list.
144 producers had exactly two albums on the list.
42 producers had exactly three albums on the list.

Only 42 producers had four or more albums on the list.

So who are the uber-producers?

First by a long way is Brian Eno - with 13 entries as follows:

Ambient no.1: Music for Airports Brian Eno
Another Green World Brian Eno
Before & After Science Brian Eno
Here Come the Warm Jets Brian Eno
My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts Brian Eno / David Byrne
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! Devo
Schleep Robert Wyatt
Fear of Music Talking Heads
More Songs About Buildings and Food Talking Heads
Remain in Light Talking Heads
Achtung Baby U2
All That You Can't Leave Behind U2
The Joshua Tree U2

Even this understates his influence - as he didn't receive production credits for Low, Heroes and Lodger with Bowie.

In second position is Rick Rubin with 9 entries:

Licensed to Ill Beastie Boys
American IV: The Man Comes Around Johnny Cash
Blood Sugar Sex Magik Red Hot Chili Peppers
Californication Red Hot Chili Peppers
Raising Hell Run-DMC
Reign in Blood Slayer
System Of A Down System Of A Down
Electric The Cult
De-loused at the Crematorium The Mars Volta

Sharing the bronze medal with 8 entries each are two Davids, Bowie and Briggs. As you would imagine, many of Bowie's entries are for his own albums:

Aladdin Sane David Bowie
Heroes David Bowie
Hunky Dory David Bowie
Low David Bowie
Station to Station David Bowie
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars David Bowie
The Idiot Iggy Pop
Transformer Lou Reed

Most of David Briggs's are for his work with Neil Young:

After The Goldrush Neil Young
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere Neil Young
On the Beach Neil Young
Ragged Glory Neil Young
Rust Never Sleeps Neil Young
Tonight's the Night Neil Young
Henry's Dream Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
Twelve Dreams of Doctor Sardonicus Spirit

With 7 entries each are Bob Johnston, George Martin and Steve Lillywhite.

Bob Johnston has worked with an interesting range of singer-songwriters:

Blonde On Blonde Bob Dylan
Highway 61 Revisited Bob Dylan
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash at San Quentin Johnny Cash
Songs From A Room Leonard Cohen
Songs of Love and Hate Leonard Cohen
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme Simon & Garfunkel

George Martin's are all with The Beatles:

A Hard Day's Night The Beatles
Abbey Road The Beatles
Revolver The Beatles
Rubber Soul The Beatles
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band The Beatles
The Beatles (White Album) The Beatles
With The Beatles The Beatles

Steve Lillywhite has an interesting assortment of UK bands:

Vauxhall and I Morrissey
III Peter Gabriel
Talk Talk Talk Psychedelic Furs
The Scream Siouxsie And The Banshees
The La's The La's
If I Should Fall from Grace with God The Pogues
War U2

Here is the full list of producers with four or more entries:




Brian Eno


Rick Rubin


David Bowie; David Briggs


Bob Johnston; George Martin; Steve Lillywhite


Chris Blackwell; Chris Thomas; Neil Young; Nigel Goodrich; Paul Simon; Scott Litt


Bob Ezrin; Daniel Lanois; Gary Katz; Jimmy Miller; Jimmy Page; Joe Boyd; John Leckie; Ken Nelson; Nick Lowe; Sonic Youth; Stephen Street; Todd Rundgren; Tom Dowd; Tom Wilson; Tony Visconti


Arif Mardin; Dave Fridmann; Dr. Dre; Flood; Gil Norton; Glyn Johns; John Cale; John Simon; Ken Scott; Mike Hedges; Paul Rothchild; Phil Spector; Robert John Lange; RZA; Shel Talmy; Stevie Wonder

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