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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 64 - 84 of 154 items
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    Classic Tracks: John Cougar 'Jack & Diane'

    Producers: Ron Albert & Howard Albert • Engineer: Donald Gehman

    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.

    Techniques Sep 2011
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    Classic Tracks: The Orb 'Little Fluffy Clouds'

    Producer: Dr Alex Paterson

    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.

    Techniques Aug 2011
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    Classic Tracks: Marvin Gaye 'What's Going On?'

    Engineer: Ken Sands

    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’.

    Techniques Jul 2011
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    Classic Tracks: Jerry Lee Lewis 'Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On'

    Engineer: Jack Clement

    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...

    Techniques Jun 2011
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    Classic Tracks: Metallica 'One'

    Producer & 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.

    Techniques May 2011
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    Classic Tracks: The Undertones: 'Teenage Kicks'

    Producer: Davy Shannon • Songwriter: John O'Neill

    'Teenage Kicks' was the punk-pop gem that, with a little help from John Peel, kick-started the Undertones' career.

    Techniques Apr 2011
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    Classic Tracks: A-ha 'Take On Me'

    Engineers: Neill King & Gerry Kitchingham

    'Take On Me' was a huge hit, but its birth was a difficult one, taking three years, three versions and a pioneering video to finally give A-ha their first chart success.

    Techniques Mar 2011
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    Classic Tracks: Green Day 'Basket Case'

    Engineer: Neill King

    'Do you have the time to listen to me whine?' asked Green Day in the opening lines of their song 'Basket Case'. For 16 million people, the answer was apparently 'yes'...

    Techniques Feb 2011
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    Classic Tracks: Elvis Costello & The Attractions 'Oliver's Army'

    Producer: Roger Béchirian

    A song named for Christmas-cancelling regicide Oliver Cromwell may seem like an unlikely hit, but the infectious ebullience of 'Oliver's Army' provided Elvis Costello with his biggest-selling single...

    Techniques Jan 2011
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    Classic Tracks: Pet Shop Boys 'It's A Sin'

    Producer & engineer: Julian Mendelsohn

    Protests against Catholicism have taken many forms, Martin Luther nailing his objections to the cathedral door, but the Pet Shop Boys chose to make theirs in disco...• Producer: Julian Mendelsohn • Engineers: Julian Mendelsohn, Stephen Hague

    Techniques Dec 2010
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    Classic Tracks: Talking Heads 'Road To Nowhere'

    Engineer: Eric Thorngren

    As the first issue of SOS hit the shops in October 1985, Talking Heads were already climbing towards their highest UK chart position. The song was 'Road To Nowhere'. Engineer Eric Thorngren tells the story of its recording. • Producer: Talking Heads • Engineer: Eric Thorngren

    Techniques Nov 2010
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    Classic Tracks: The Eagles ‘Hotel California’

    Producer: Bill Szymczyk

    1977's Hotel California saw The Eagles abandon their country origins in favour of full-blown rock & roll, and made them one of the biggest-selling groups in the world. Producer Bill Szymczyk tells SOS how it happened.

    Techniques Sep 2010
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    Classic Tracks: Crosby, Stills & Nash ‘Suite: Judy Blue Eyes’

    Producers: David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash • Engineer: Bill Halverson

    As the '60s drew to a close, David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash came together to form a new group, the unique sound of which was perfectly demonstrated by their first recording, 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes'.

    Techniques Aug 2010
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    Classic Tracks: Human League ‘Don’t You Want Me’

    Producer & Engineer: Martin Rushent

    When producer Martin Rushent took the Human Leagues leaden new song and turned it into pop gold, the band hated it — but that didnt stop it from being a number one hit on both sides of the Atlantic...

    Techniques Jul 2010
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    Classic Tracks: Tommy James & The Shondells ‘Crimson & Clover’

    Producer: Tommy James • Engineer: Bruce Staple

    In 1968, Tommy James made a dramatic stylistic turnaround, swapping bubblegum pop for full-blown psychedelic rock. The result was the superlative single Crimson & Clover.

    Techniques Jun 2010
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    Classic Tracks: Bob Dylan ‘Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands’

    Producer: Bob Johnston

    It took a while for Bob Dylan to hit his stride on his seventh studio album, but once he did there was no stopping him. Producer Bob Johnston recalls the difficult birth of Blonde On Blonde.

    Techniques May 2010
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    Classic Tracks: Miles Davis ‘Round Midnight’

    Producer: George Avakian • Engineer: Frank Laico

    In 1956, Miles Davis was at Columbia Studios to record an album with the musicians who subsequently became known as his First Great Quintet. Engineer Frank Laico was at the controls...

    Techniques Apr 2010
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    Classic Tracks: Bruce Springsteen ‘Born In The USA’

    Producers: Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt • Engineers: Toby Scott, Bob Clearmountain

    Seven top 10 singles isnt bad going for a career, let alone one album, yet thats precisely what Bruce Springsteen achieved with his smash hit 1984 LP, Born In The USA. This is the story of how it was made...

    Techniques Mar 2010
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    Classic Tracks: Joan Jett ‘I Love Rock & Roll’

    Producers: Ritchie Cordell, Kenny Laguna, Glen Kolotkin • Engineer: Glen Kolotkin

    Joan Jett's heartfelt reworking of the Arrows I Love Rock & Roll became an international hit in 1982 and turned her career around. Glen Kolotkin tells us how it happened.

    Techniques Feb 2010
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    Classic Tracks: Public Enemy ‘Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos’

    Producers: The Bomb Squad • Engineer: Nick Sansano

    Hank Shocklees 1988 collaboration with Public Enemy brought a new aggression to hip-hop — both sonically and politically...

    Techniques Jan 2010
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    Classic Tracks: New York Dolls ‘Personality Crisis’

    Producer: Todd Rundgren • Engineer: Jack Douglas

    The fact that they achieved little commercial success didnt stop the New York Dolls from making one of the most influential albums in the history of pop music.

    Techniques Dec 2009


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