Since its inception in 1985, SOUND ON SOUND magazine has always included insightful interviews with the artists and technicians involved in the recording process of many top albums, across all manner of musical genres.
We don't ask them the colour of their underwear or who they're dating — SOS concentrates on "tech talk". And we regularly feature interviews with our very own readers, in Studio SOS and Readerzone, to discover how the gear we test is being creatively used and abused in the real world.
Below is a monthly-updated list of articles from various sections to whet your appetite! To find more, please use the SEARCH page and select options from the dropdown menus.
Producer: Martin Hannett • Engineer: Phil Thompson
Engineer Phil Hampson didn’t even like punk rock — yet, with an inexperienced Martin Hannett, he recorded one of the defining records of the era.
In 1987, swimming against the tide of MIDI–powered pop records, Cowboy Junkies went into a church to record an album into a single microphone in a single day.
In their 39–year career the Fall have always embraced chaos, but perhaps nowhere more so than in the studio.
Engineer Brian Humphries tells the story of recording Pink Floyd’s nine-part lamentation to their lost colleague, Syd Barrett.
Producer: Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange • Engineer: Tony Platt
In 1980 AC/DC were on a roll and nothing — not even the death of their lead singer — was going to stop them.
Producer: Daniel Lanois • Engineers: Kevin Killen, David Bascombe
When Peter Gabriel made the transition from prog to pop with 'Sledgehammer' he did it on his own exacting terms...
Producer: James Brown • Engineer: Ron Lenhoff
'Papa's Got A Brand New Bag' was James Brown's statement of intent as he abandoned soulful ballads in favour of a raw and frenetic new sound.
Producer & Engineer: Bob Tischler
His role as producer of The Blues Brothers soundtrack left Bob Tischler in charge of recording some of the best musicians of the 20th century, while managing conflicting shooting schedules and coping with the day-to-day effects of John Belushi's prodigious cocaine habit.
Producer: 808 State • Engineer: Graham Massey
Born of the fertile late‑'80s Manchester music scene, 808 State's 'Pacific State' was a landmark in British house music.
Producer: Mark Wirtz • Engineer: Geoff Emerick
Tomorrow's pioneering paean to the joys of communal public transport has proved to be a classic of the British psychedelic underground.
Producers: Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne • Engineer: Richard Dodd
While Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne’s writing partnership was certainly successful, it was the partnership between Jeff Lynne and engineer Richard Dodd that gave the records their distinctive sparkle.
Producers: John Barry, George Martin. Engineer: Eric Tomlinson.
Engineer Eric Tomlinson recorded a host of classic soundtracks during his 40-year career, not to mention what's...
Producers: Andy Warhol, Norman Dolph, Tom Wilson • Engineers: John Licata, Ami Hadani
Its status as one of pop's most influential albums is clear, but the circumstances surrounding the creation of The Velvet Underground & Nico have always been clouded. We asked Andy Warhol's co-producer to set the record straight.
Engineer: Simon Humphrey
When the Clash entered the studio for the first time they were determined not to sacrifice their punk principles, and the fates — not to mention a sympathetic engineer and a negligent record company — were on their side...
Producer: Jeff Lynne • Engineer: Mack
Melding Beatlesque pop melodies with symphonic strings, multi-layered vocals and leader Jeff Lynne's generally overblown production of his own compositions
Producers: Beastie Boys & Mario Caldato Jr (Mario C) • Engineer: Mario Caldato Jr
The standout track from the Beastie Boys' smash hit Ill Communication album nearly didn't make it onto the record at all — and when it did, it was the eight-track ADAT mix that made the final cut.
Originally intended for another group, ‘Kiss’ was quickly reclaimed by Prince when he heard David Z’s arrangement. Despite record company scepticism, the track became his third number one single and rejuvenated his career.
Producer: Chris Thomas • Engineer: David Nicholas
Pulp’s infectiously catchy commentary on the joys of class tourism helped propel the group to fame after nearly two decades of obscurity. Engineer David Nicholas tells us how ‘Common People’ was recorded.
Producers: Tom Newman, Simon Heyworth • Engineers: Tom Newman, Simon Heyworth
Forty years after its original release, Mike Oldfield tells us the story of recording his hugely successful debut album, Tubular Bells.
Producer: George Michael • Engineer: Chris Porter
Wham! went their separate ways in 1986, but the triumph of George Michael’s debut album Faith in 1987 meant that the success of his solo career was never really in doubt.
Producer: Chris Hughes • Engineer: Alan Douglas
To say that producer Chris Hughes was closely involved with Recording Adam & The Ants’ biggest records would be a bit of an understatement — he got so involved he joined the band...
Producer: Voyle Gilmore • Engineer: John Palladino
In 1956, Frank Sinatra revived his flagging career with an album that would define the swing sound and go on to become one of the most highly regarded in history. John Palladino, now in his 92nd year, was at the controls...
For many, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? is Oasis’s masterpiece. Producer and engineer Owen Morris tells us the story of its creation.
Although the shock value of its lyrics and ensuing censorship earned it notoriety, ‘Closer’ perfectly exemplifies Trent Reznor’s radical use of sampling and singularly focused musical vision.
The unlikely result of a collaboration between two 4AD bands, the release of ‘Pump Up The Volume’ by MARRS was a great day for house music and copyright lawyers alike.
'Parisienne Walkways' showcased Gary Moore's virtuoso guitar work and quickly became his signature song. Its recording also provided a young engineer at Morgan Studios with his first, unexpected production credit.
Recording the White Album was a major project by any standards, not least for Ken Scott, who, at the age of just 21, found himself engineering the biggest band in the world...
'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' was a huge global hit, but it also represented a tour de force in coaxing the perfect vocal from a singer, as explained by producer Narada Michael Walden.
Soft Cell's cover of 'Tainted Love' not only catapulted the duo to stardom in the UK, but also went on to spend a record-breaking 43 weeks on the American Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The story of Don McLean's 'American Pie' goes from cryptic beginnings to massive chart success, and an eventual position as a perennial US radio favourite.
Recording Sinéad O’Connor’s breakthrough hit was easy in some ways, but difficult in others — for example, all compression was forbidden...
The single ‘Downtown’ gave Petula Clark a worldwide hit and rejuvenated her career. Presiding over the session was engineer Ray Prickett, who tells us how it happened...
The Buggles' JG Ballard-inspired 'Video Killed The Radio Star' hit the number one spot in no fewer than 16 different countries, and confirmed Trevor Horn in his career as a producer in the process.
The haunting dub of ‘Ghost Town’ perfectly captured the mood of its time, and spent three weeks at the top of the British charts during the turbulent summer of 1981.
Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road has proved to be one of his most popular and enduring works. The man at the controls, David Hentschel, tells us how it came to be.
But for the timely intervention of Mick Ronson, John Cougar’s celebrated portrait of small-town American life might never have existed at all, let alone topped the Billboard Hot 100.
Dr Alex Paterson tells us how the Orb’s cavalier sampling and devil‑may‑care attitude towards copyright took ambient house from the chill‑out room to the top of the charts.
As the ’60s came to a close, Marvin Gaye was forced to ask some serious questions about the world as he found it; the result was the sublimely soulful piece of social commentary, ‘What’s Going On’.
Jerry Lee Lewis’s raucous piano playing is the stuff of rock & roll legend, but his discovery and signing to Sun Records was the result of a series of lucky chances. Engineer Jack Clement tells us the story...
Producer: Flemming Rasmussen • Engineer: Flemming Rasmussen
...And Justice For All marked a turning point for Metallica — one that would launch the cult band into the mainstream. The man at the controls, Flemming Rasmussen, tells us how it happened.