In the music industry
, "record producer
" designates a person responsible for completing a master recording so that it is fit for release. In earlier days, record producers bore the title of A&R men
, for Artists and Repertory
, which gives a clearer picture of their function: controlling the artists and choosing the material.
In the first part of the 20th century, the record producer's role resembled that of a film producer, in that the record producer supervised recording sessions, paid technicians, musicians and arrangers, and sometimes chose material for the artist. By the 1960s, record producers took a more direct role in the musical process, including arranging, engineering the recording, and even writing the material. Through it all, record producers have had a strong influence, not only on individual careers, but on the course of popular music.
Compare Audio engineer
Notable Record Producers
For more record producers, see List of record producers.
- John Hammond, one of the first, with a career that spanned decades, recorded and produced Leadbelly, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Pete Seeger, and Bruce Springsteen.
- Ralph Peer, pioneer producer, discovered and recorded the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers, the singing brakeman
- Lester Melrose, pioneer blues A & R man
- Chet Atkins, noted guitarist and creator of smooth "countrypolitan" form of country music.
- Milt Gabler, producer of "Rock Around the Clock"
- Les Paul, guitarist and technical innovator in both music and recording, created many common techniques, multi-tracking.
- Buddy Holly, one of the first recording artists to control his own production
- Sir George Martin, producer of the Beatles and recordings of the Goon Show. His Goon Show work was what made the Beatles want to work with him.
- Brian Eno producer on some of David Bowie's most artistically successful albums.
- Leonard Chess, producer of "Maybellene", many other rock and roll and blues classics, founder of Chess Records.
- Willie Dixon, bass player and major producer with Chess Records.
- Phil Spector, responsible for the "Wall Of Sound" production style, now mainly associated with girl groups
- T-Bone Burnett, producer for Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, The Wallflowers, Counting Crows, Marshall Crenshaw, Sam Phillips, Los Lobos, Bruce Cockburn, Gillian Welch, and the soundtrack for the Coen Brothers film, O Brother, Where Art Thou.
- Sonny Bono, worked with Phil Spector, produced Sonny and Cher records
- Terry Melcher, son of Doris Day, produced many acts on Columbia Records, associated with the Beach Boys, auditioned Charles Manson but turned him down.
- Dan Rothchild, producer for Better Than Ezra's Deluxe, Fiona Apple's Tidal
- Rick Rubin, producer for LL Cool J, System of a Down, Slayer, Danzig and The Black Crowes.
- Steve Lillywhite, producer for U2, Dave Matthews Band, XTC, Morrissey and others.
- Nigel Godrich, producer for all of Radiohead's material, and some of Beck's.
- Lee Scratch Perry, producer for Bob Marley, and influential in the beginnings of Dub