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Classic Tracks

We break down and analyse how these golden classic tracks were created, then recorded, mixed, and produced -- with contributions from the record producers, sound engineers and artists involved.

Displaying 22 - 42 of 154 items
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    Classic Tracks: Public Image Ltd ‘Rise’

    Producer: Bill Laswell

    In 1985 John Lydon found himself in a New York studio with producer Bill Laswell and a group of session musicians. The result was to become one of PiL’s most recognisable tracks.

    Techniques Dec 2016
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    Classic Tracks: ABC ‘The Look Of Love’

    Producer: Trevor Horn • Engineer: Gary Langan

    1982’s ‘The Look Of Love’ paired an ambitious band with an ambitious producer, and the result was a perfect piece of pop music.

    Techniques Jul 2016
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    Classic Tracks: Spiritualized ‘Come Together’

    Engineer/Mixer: Darren Allison

    Recording the centrepiece of Spiritualized’s celebrated space rock masterpiece took engineer Darren Allison on a trip into the unexpected.

    Techniques Apr 2016
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    Classic Tracks: The Zombies ‘Time Of The Season’

    Producer: The Zombies • Engineers: Peter Vince, Geoff Emerick

    Now considered one of the classic tracks of the 1960s, the Zombies’ ‘Time Of The Season’ almost disappeared without trace...

    Techniques Feb 2016
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    Classic Tracks: Buzzcocks 'Spiral Scratch'

    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.

    Techniques Dec 2015
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    Classic Tracks: Cowboy Junkies ‘Sweet Jane’

    Producer: Peter J Moore

    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.

    Techniques Oct 2015
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    Classic Tracks: Throbbing Gristle ‘Hamburger Lady’

    Released: 1978 • Producer: Throbbing Gristle

    Throbbing Gristle’s highly individualist approach to music extended as far as making their own instruments and, ultimately, their own genre.

    Techniques Aug 2015
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    Classic Tracks: A Guy Called Gerald ‘Voodoo Ray’

    Released: 1988

    Hailed as the first British acid house single, A Guy Called Gerald’s sublime ‘Voodoo Ray’ has since become a classic in its own right.

    Techniques Jul 2015
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    Classic Tracks: Arctic Monkeys ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’

    Released: 2005 • Producer: Jim Abbiss

    In 2005 the only problem facing Arctic Monkeys was how to capture their frenetic live sound in the studio. Producer Jim Abbiss was ready to accept the challenge...

    Techniques Apr 2015
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    Classic Tracks: The Fall ‘Hit The North’

    Producer: Simon Rogers • Engineer: Ian Grimble

    In their 39–year career the Fall have always embraced chaos, but perhaps nowhere more so than in the studio.

    Techniques Mar 2015
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    Classic Tracks: Pink Floyd 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond'

    Producer: Pink Floyd • Engineer: Brian Humphries

    Engineer Brian Humphries tells the story of recording Pink Floyd’s nine-part lamentation to their lost colleague, Syd Barrett.

    Techniques Dec 2014
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    Classic Tracks: AC/DC 'Back In Black'

    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.

    Techniques Nov 2014
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    Classic Tracks: Peter Gabriel 'Sledgehammer'

    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...

    Techniques Aug 2014
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    Classic Tracks: James Brown 'Papa's Got A Brand New Bag'

    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.

    Techniques Jun 2014
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    Classic Tracks: The Blues Brothers 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love'

    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.

    Techniques May 2014
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    Classic Tracks: 808 State 'Pacific State'

    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.

    Techniques Apr 2014
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    Classic Tracks: Tomorrow 'My White Bicycle'

    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.

    Techniques Mar 2014
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    Classic Tracks: Tom Petty 'Learning To Fly'

    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.

    Techniques Feb 2014
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    Classic Tracks: Shirley Bassey 'Goldfinger'

    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...

    Techniques Jan 2014
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    Classic Tracks: The Velvet Underground 'Heroin'

    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.

    Techniques Nov 2013
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    Classic Tracks: The Clash 'White Riot'

    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...

    Techniques Oct 2013


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