Essential Quotes From Legendary Music Producers
I started working on a blog a couple weeks ago to explore what similarities and differences exist across the spectrum of great music producers.
By comparing production styles and musical approaches from a variety of producers, I hope to find some trends that help show what it means to be the best producer you can be.
As I gathered more and more quotes, I realized the idea I was diving into was a little bit bigger than I’d initially expected.
SO… While I’m knocking out the big blog, I want to go ahead and share some of my favorite quotes with you today.
Producer - Multi-instrumentalist - Composer - Arranger - Conductor
Why you might know Q: His career spans six decades in the entertainment industry, a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, and a Grammy Legend Award in 1992. Quincy is also the mastermind behind many of Mike Jackson’s hit records, including production credits on Thriller, Bad, and Off The Wall. Fun fact: Quincy’s nickname for Michael was “Smelly” because when Michael heard a groove he liked he’d say “man, that’s some smelly jelly!” Read more about Quincy Jones on Wikipedia.
Some artists he’s worked with: Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Count Basie, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, & maaaany more.
Musician - Producer - Composer - Arranger - Songwriter - Guitarist
Why you might know Nile: “The co-founder of Chic, he has written, produced, and performed on records that have cumulatively sold more than 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide.” Read more about Nile Rodgers on Wikipedia.
Albums that Nile has touched as a producer include:
Like A Virgin (Madonna)
Random Access Memories (Daft Punk)
Let’s Dance (David Bowie)
She’s The Boss (Mick Jagger)
Producer - Beatmaker
Why you might know Rick: “Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings and also established American Recordings. With the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Geto Boys, and Run-DMC, Rubin helped popularize hip hop music.” Read more about Rick Rubin on Wikipedia.
Artists he’s worked with: Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, Slayer, Adele, Public Enemy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake… I mean COME ON, this list is absurdly gigantic.
Producer - Musician - Songwriter - Sound Designer - Painter
Why you might know Brian: “He is best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to rock, pop, electronic, and generative music.” Plus, he is the composer of The Microsoft Sound. Read more about Brian Eno on Wikipedia.
Artists he’s worked with include: U2, Talking Heads, David Bowie, Genesis, Coldplay, and more.
Producer - Musician - Songwriter
Why you might know Phil: “An American record producer, musician, and songwriter who developed the Wall of Sound, a music production formula he described as a Wagnerian approach to rock and roll.” Also noted as being the first auteur among musical artists (read full hybrid producer / control freak). Also, he’s a murderer (sad trombone).
Artists he worked with: George Harrison, John Lennon, The Ronettes, The Righteous Brothers and more.
Excerpt from a 1969 Rolling Stone interview with Phil Spector (who obviously thought very highly of himself at the time):
Q: What artist do you really feel has not been recorded right that you’d like to record?
A: Bob Dylan.
Q: How would you record him?
A: I’d do a Dylan opera with him. I’d produce him. You see he’s never been produced. He’s always gone into the studio on the strength of his lyrics, and they have sold enough records to cover up everything – all the honesty of his records. But he’s never really made a production. He doesn’t really have to.
Keep an eye out for the big version of this blog, coming soon!