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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 127 - 147 of 154 items
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    Classic Tracks: Bob Marley & The Wailers 'I Shot The Sheriff'

    Producers: Chris Blackwell, The Wailers • Engineers: Phill Brown, Tony Platt

    Bob Marley & The Wailers were the first Jamaican musicians to achieve world stardom. Tracked in Kingston and finished in London by Island engineers Phill Brown and Tony Platt, their breakthrough album was a truly international recording and a true reggae classic. Find out how it was recorded...

    Techniques Mar 2006
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    Classic Tracks: Fifth Dimension 'Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In'

    Producer/Engineer: Bones Howe

    The art of the record producer blossomed in the 1960s, with the likes of Phil Spector crafting miniature symphonies in the studio. As that decade drew to a close, Bones Howe masterminded one of its biggest and most innovative hits. Find out how...

    Techniques Feb 2006
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    Classic Tracks: The Staple Singers 'I'll Take You There'

    Producer: Al Bell • Engineers: Terry Manning, Jerry Masters

    For the Staple Singers' landmark 1972 Stax album, engineer Terry Manning and producer Al Bell employed the talents of Memphis's finest musicians and two of the South's most famous studios.

    Techniques Jan 2006
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    Classic Tracks: The Pixies 'Monkey Gone To Heaven'

    Producer/Engineer: Gil Norton

    With their oblique, short and often brutally noisy songs, The Pixies reinvented rock music at the turn of the '90s, and influenced almost everyone who picked up a guitar in the following decade. Producer and engineer Gil Norton helped them to shape their breakthrough single.

    Techniques Dec 2005
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    Classic Tracks: Jimi Hendrix Experience 'All Along The Watchtower'

    Producers: Chas Chandler, Jimi Hendrix • Engineer: Eddie Kramer

    With his searing version of 'All Along The Watchtower', Jimi Hendrix set a standard for Dylan covers that has rarely been equalled. Eddie Kramer was behind the glass as the sessions moved from London to New York.

    Techniques Nov 2005
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    Classic Tracks: The Hollies 'The Air That I Breathe'

    Producer: Ron Richards, The Hollies • Engineer: Alan Parsons

    The Hollies were the third artist in as many years to cut Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood's pop ballad, yet it was their version that became a worldwide top 10 hit. In 1974, Alan Parsons was behind the mixing desk at Abbey Road for the recording.

    Techniques Oct 2005
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    Classic Tracks: The Pretenders 'Back On The Chain Gang'

    Producer: Chris Thomas • Engineer: Steve Churchyard

    In 1982, the Pretenders responded to desperate circumstances with some of the strongest material they would ever produce. Engineer Steve Churchyard was there to record it.

    Techniques Sep 2005
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    Classic Tracks: The Bee Gees 'Stayin' Alive'

    Producers: The Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten, Karl Richardson • Engineer: Karl Richardson

    Disco was an American phenomenon, but its greatest hits were recorded in France by an English band who were trying to play R&B...

    Techniques Aug 2005
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    Classic Tracks: Supertramp 'The Logical Song'

    Producers: Supertramp, Peter Henderson • Engineer: Peter Henderson

    Producer/engineer Peter Henderson spent nine months recording an album that neither he nor the A&M label could afford to fail. Yet when he handed in the masters, Henderson was convinced that Supertramp's Breakfast In America would finish his career...

    Techniques Jul 2005
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    Classic Tracks: 10cc 'I'm Not In Love'

    Producers: 10cc • Engineeer: Eric Stewart

    Disagreement can be destructive, but it can also drive a band on to new heights. So it was when 10cc's Kevin Godley turned up his nose at a love song penned by Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman, insisting that it would have to be completely reinvented in the studio...

    Techniques Jun 2005
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    Classic Tracks: The Who 'Who Are You?'

    Producers & Engineers: Jon Astley • Glyn Johns

    The Who's final album with Keith Moon took almost a year to record and pushed the band to the limit. Engineer and producer Jon Astley tells the remarkable story behind Who Are You?'s title track.

    Techniques May 2005
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    Classic Tracks: Chic 'Le Freak'

    Producers: Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards • Engineer: Bob Clearmountain

    They might have been the greatest production team of the disco era, but even Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards could fall victim to the elitism of New York's club scene — and their response was the most memorable of all Chic's hits.

    Techniques Apr 2005
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    Classic Tracks: New Order 'True Faith'

    Producers: Stephen Hague & New Order • Engineer: David Jacob

    Producer Stephen Hague took New Order into the studio with an ambitious brief: to write and record a single that would break the band in America.

    Techniques Mar 2005
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    Classic Tracks: The Stone Roses 'Fools Gold'

    Producer: John Leckie • Engineers: John Leckie, John Cornfield, Paul Schroeder

    As the '80s drew to a close, The Stone Roses made rock music cool again, melding '60s psychedelia and acid house under the production guidance of John Leckie.

    Techniques Feb 2005
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    Classic Tracks: The Smiths 'The Queen Is Dead'

    Producers: Morrissey, Johnny Marr • Engineer: Stephen Street

    Stephen Street made his name as an engineer working with one of the most influential indie bands ever. He describes the sessions that created the title track of The Smiths' most celebrated album.

    Techniques Jan 2005
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    Classic Tracks: The Cure 'A Forest'

    Producers: Robert Smith, Mike Hedges • Engineers: Mike Hedges, Mike Dutton

    Mike Hedges made his 1980 debut as a producer with one of The Cure's most enduring singles. 'A Forest' and the accompanying Seventeen Seconds album used his and the band's creativity in the studio to the full.

    Techniques Dec 2004
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    Classic Tracks: Sade 'The Sweetest Taboo'

    Producers: Robin Millar, Sade Adu, Mike Pela, Ben Rogan • Engineer: Mike Pela

    Sade's ice-cool vocals and sophisticated, jazz-tinged instrumentation defined a new kind of soul music for the '80s. Engineer and producer Mike Pela describes the organic recording process that produced one of the singer's most memorable hits from 1985.

    Techniques Nov 2004
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    Classic Tracks: David Bowie 'Heroes'

    Producers: David Bowie, Tony Visconti • Engineer: Tony Visconti

    With 'Heroes', David Bowie pulled off the rare feat of having a major hit with a highly experimental piece of art-rock, which featured among other highlights live synth treatments from Brian Eno, pitched feedback from guitarist Robert Fripp, and a lead vocal with level-triggered ambience.

    Techniques Oct 2004
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    Classic Tracks: The Sex Pistols 'Anarchy In The UK'

    Producer: Chris Thomas • Engineer: Bill Price

    When punk rock broke in 1976, the Sex Pistols caused panic in establishment Britain — and more than a few raised eyebrows in Wessex Studios, where Chris Thomas and Bill Price recorded the band's milestone EMI debut album.

    Techniques Sep 2004
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    Classic Tracks: Michael Jackson 'Black Or White'

    Producers: Michael Jackson, Bill Bottrell • Engineer: Bill Bottrell

    The 18-month gestation period behind Michael Jackson's Dangerous album and its lead single 'Black Or White' saw '80s studio perfectionism taken to extremes — and despite their success, the experience helped to convince co-writer, engineer and co-producer Bill Bottrell that there had to be another way to make records!

    Techniques Aug 2004
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    Classic Tracks: Duran Duran 'The Reflex'

    Producers: Duran Duran, Alex Sadkin, Ian Little • Engineers: Phil Thornalley, Pete Schwier

    When Duran Duran began work on their third album in 1983, they were already one of the biggest bands in the world — and with eight months of studio time and half a million pounds spent, huge expectations surrounded Seven And The Ragged Tiger...

    Techniques Jul 2004


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