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The 50 Greatest Producers Ever? Ask NME

Posted by Michael Venia on

It's pretty hard to find a music junkie who doesn't love lists of the top-whatever so-and-so's of all time—or at least isn't prone to pointing out the faults of and omissions from said lists. We'll leave the second part to the pundits—not only because we like to think of ourselves as, in the likely mangled words of Nick Hornby, "professional appreciators," but mainly because we're so excited that the mighty British music rag NME has come out with its list of the 50 greatest producers of all time. We're sure each of you would create a distinctly different version of these rankings given the opportunity (and a page to print them on). But unless you're a one-mic-hanging-from-the-ceiling die-hard punk-rock purist (and we're guessing you're not if you're reading this), you'll probably agree that production is a vehicle that can take a raw song in a million possible—and, if done right, super trippy—directions. Of course, we're down with the minimalist approach too. (It's the only way Jason, our editor, knows.) Anyway, check out NME's list of the greatest producers of all time. Even if you're not 100 percent behind all the entries, you'll probably learn a thing or two. The top 10:

10: Dr. Dre (No, not the one from Yo! MTV Raps—the one with the killer beats who discovered the man now known as Snoop Lion.)

9: Butch Vig (Stuck in the '90s like some of us? Rejoice!)

8: Brian Wilson (If you're into The Shins and about a million other "indie" bands of the new millennium, thank the strangest Beach Boy.)

7: Brian Eno (Probably the most articulate person on this list.)

6: Rick Rubin (Who else in the world could have done what he's done with Run DMC, The Dixie Chicks and Slayer???!!!)

5: Phil Spector (This may be the first item we've read about him in the past decade that didn't involve a bailiff. Gotta love that Wall of Sound.)

4: Nile Rodgers (Genius of the '80s.)

3: Quincy Jones (Could Thriller have sounded anywhere near as good without his innovations?)

2: George Martin (Fifth Beatle blah blah blah. And man, did he make those lads sound good.)

1: Joe Meek (Oh, NME. You always have to push the envelope. But we love that an old-school, all-analog innovator took the top billing.)


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