This portal is focused on music production within the era of written records through sound recordings, digital downloads, and beyond. Its scope includes articles that document the considerations and mechanisms used by, and consistent with, the purview of the production element. As an art form, music predates transcription and simultaneously transcends descriptive limitations. As an industry, music has demonstrated consistent viability over time. The record producer conjoins these potential, and serves as a broker to bridge the demand (spawned by their aspirations) with supply and satisfaction. The results are measurable and attributable, derived from effort and skillful application of craft, to a manifestation of the art in its melodic form. (Read more)
Born in London of Italian and French parentage, Barbirolli grew up in a family of professional musicians. After starting out as a cellist, he was given the chance to conduct, from 1926 with the British National Opera Company, and then with Covent Garden's touring company. On taking up the conductorship of the Hallé he had less opportunity to work in the opera house, but in the 1950s he conducted productions of works by Verdi, Wagner, Gluck, and Puccini at Covent Garden with such success that he was invited to become the company's permanent musical director, an invitation he declined. Late in his career he made several recordings of operas, of which his 1967 set of Puccini's Madama Butterfly for EMI is probably the best known. (Full article...)
"Speechless" is a song by the American recording artist Michael Jackson, included on his tenth studio album, Invincible (2001). It was only released as a promotional single in South Korea. The singer was inspired to write the ballad after a water balloon fight with children in Germany. Jackson collaborated on the production with musicians such as Jeremy Lubbock, Brad Buxer, Novi Novoq, Stuart Bradley and Bruce Swedien. Andraé Crouch and his gospel choir provided backing vocals.
The album introduced an acoustic samba-based music that is mellower, moodier, and less ornate than Ben's preceding work. Its largely unrehearsed, nighttime recording session found the singer improvising with Trio Mocotó's groove-oriented accompaniment while experimenting with unconventional rhythmic arrangements, musical techniques, and elements of soul, funk, and rock. Ben's lyrics explore themes of romantic passion, melancholy, sensuality, and – in a departure from the carefree sensibility of past releases – identity politics and elements of postmodernism, while featuring women as prominent characters. (Full article...)
Following multiple changes in personnel after the release of Last Splash (1993), singer and songwriter Kim Deal was the only remaining constant member of the Breeders by 1996. The next year, she returned to the studio in an attempt to record a follow-up album, but her behavior—including drug use and demanding expectations—alienated many of the musicians and engineers with whom she worked. (Full article...)
U2 performing in Brussels, Belgium, August 2017. from left to right: Larry Mullen Jr.; The Edge; Bono; Adam Clayton
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin, formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). Initially rooted in post-punk, U2's musical style has evolved throughout their career, yet has maintained an anthemic quality built on Bono's expressive vocals and the Edge's chiming, effects-based guitar sounds. Bono's lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal and sociopolitical themes. Popular for their live performances, the group have staged several elaborate tours over their career.
Shortly after independent release in June 1987, the JAMs were ordered by the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society to destroy all unsold copies of the album, following a complaint from ABBA. In response, the JAMs disposed of many copies of 1987 in unorthodox, publicised ways. They also released a version of the album titled 1987 (The JAMs 45 Edits), stripped of all unauthorised samples to leave periods of protracted silence and so little audible content that it was formally classed as a 12-inch single. (Full article...)
Reign in Blood is the third studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on October 7, 1986, by Def Jam Recordings. The album was the band's first collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, whose input helped the band's sound evolve. The release date of the album was delayed because of concerns regarding the lyrical subject matter of the opening track "Angel of Death", which refers to Josef Mengele and describes acts such as human experimentation that he committed at the Auschwitz concentration camp. The band's members stated that they did not condone Nazism and were merely interested in the subject.
Reign in Blood was well received by both critics and fans, and was responsible for bringing Slayer to the attention of a mainstream metal audience. Today, it is often mentioned among the greatest heavy metal records ever. In their 2017 listing of the 100 Greatest Metal albums of all time, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Reign in Blood at #6. Alongside Anthrax's Among the Living, Megadeth's Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?, and Metallica's Master of Puppets, Reign in Blood helped define the sound of the emerging US thrash metal scene in the mid-1980s, and has remained influential since. The album was Slayer's first to enter the US Billboard 200, peaking at number 94, and was certified Gold on November 20, 1992. In 2013, NME ranked it at number 287 in its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. (Full article...)
Romance is the eighth studio album by Mexican singer Luis Miguel. It was released by WEA Latina on 19 November 1991. Although the production was originally intended as another collaboration with Juan Carlos Calderón, that plan was scrapped when Calderón was unable to compose songs for the album. Facing a new-material deadline in his recording contract, at his manager's suggestion Miguel chose bolero music for his next project. Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero was hired by WEA Latina to co-produce the album with Miguel. Recording began in August 1991 at Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, California, with Bebu Silvetti the arranger.
On the album Miguel covers twelve boleros, originally recorded from 1944 to 1986. The first two singles, "Inolvidable" and "No Sé Tú", reached number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart in the United States and spent six months atop the Mexican charts. "Mucho Corazón" and "Cómo" were in the top five of the Hot Latin Songs chart, and "Usted" and "La Barca" received airplay throughout Latin America. Miguel promoted the record with a tour of the United States and Latin America. The album was generally well received by music critics, who praised Miguel's singing and the record's production. The singer received several accolades, including a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Pop Album. (Full article...)
Smith performing on the Britain's Got Talent Live tour
Faryl Smith (born 23 July 1995) is a British soprano whose performance repertoire includes opera, classical and classical crossover. Her diverse concerts draw a wide range of audiences, and she particularly enjoys introducing new audiences to classical music. Faryl has released two albums with Decca Records both in the UK and the US and works frequently with many different charities.
Faryl rose to fame after appearing on the second series of the ITV television talent show Britain's Got Talent in 2008. After the show, she, unlike other finalists, did not sign with the judge Simon Cowell's record label Syco. Smith signed a contract with Universal Classics and Jazz for a £2.3 million advance in December 2008, the largest ever granted to a schoolgirl. Her debut album, Faryl, was recorded from December 2008 to January 2009 and released in March 2009. Faryl became the fastest-selling solo classical album in British chart history, selling 29,200 copies in the first week. It debuted at number six and rose to number four the following week, making Smith the third Britain's Got Talent contestant to have a top ten album. In 2010, on account of Faryl, Smith was nominated for two Classical BRIT Awards and became the youngest artist ever to receive a double nomination. (Full article...)
Odd Future toured in support of the album, and four singles were released from it, all of which received music videos. The album peaked at number 5 on the US Billboard 200 and received mostly positive reviews from critics, receiving a score of 71 out of 100 on review aggregator Metacritic. Critics generally praised the presence of Tyler and Ocean, the vintage style of production and album closer, "Oldie". (Full article...)
Named after a lyric in the album's opening song "Pray for Plagues", Count Your Blessings is representative of the band's early deathcore sound, which was phased out on later releases and eventually abandoned in favour of other, less aggressive styles. The band members were young when they recorded the album, and the band has largely disregarded it later in their career; it began as early as 2008, when guitarist Lee Malia was already criticising the album's quality. Most of the songs on the record quickly faded from the band's live setlists. Most band members recorded their parts individually, rather than the group doing so as a whole, with the central location of the studio credited as "a distraction." The album received some negative reviews, with the main complaints revolving around musical originality, although it still reached number 93 on the UK Albums Chart. (Full article...)
The album was recorded and mixed in two weeks at Atlantic Studios in New York City. Much of its material was premiered live over the preceding months and combines blues, jazz and country music to varying degrees. It includes re-workings of "Trouble No More" and "Don't Want You No More," as well as notable originals such as "Dreams", which highlighted the band's jazz influence, and "Whipping Post", which became a crowd favorite. Although the group was arranged to work with producer Tom Dowd (whose credits included Cream and John Coltrane), he was unavailable, and they instead recorded with house engineer Adrian Barber. The album's artwork was photographed in Macon and surrounding areas. (Full article...)
Songs by George Harrison is a book of song lyrics and commentary by English musician George Harrison, with illustrations by New Zealand artist Keith West. It was published in February 1988, in a limited run of 2500 copies, by Genesis Publications, and included an EP of rare or previously unreleased Harrison recordings. Intended as a luxury item, each copy was hand-bound and boxed, and available only by direct order through Genesis in England. The book contains the lyrics to 60 Harrison compositions, the themes of which West represents visually with watercolour paintings. Starting in 1985, Harrison and West worked on the project for two years, during which Harrison returned to music-making with his album Cloud Nine, after focusing on film production for much of the early 1980s. The book includes a foreword by his Cloud Nine co-producer, Jeff Lynne, and a written contribution from Elton John.
The musical disc contains three songs that Warner Bros. Records had rejected in 1980 for inclusion on Harrison's album Somewhere in England, together with a live version of his Beatles track "For You Blue". This last song was recorded during Harrison's controversial 1974 North American tour, when his singing was marred by the effects of laryngitis; it remains the only vocal performance from that tour to have been made available outside of concert bootlegs. While "Lay His Head" was issued as the B-side to his 1987 single "Got My Mind Set on You", the Songs by George Harrison EP remains the sole official release for this live version of "For You Blue" and for the studio tracks "Sat Singing" and "Flying Hour". (Full article...)
Omen is the fourth studio album by the Norwegian Christianextreme metal band Antestor, released by Bombworks Records on November 16, 2012. Recording began in 2011, and was mostly conducted at the home of vocalist Ronny Hansen. The album cover is a painting by Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński, and depicts a deformed, many-fingered humanoid creature playing a trumpet. Antestor met with critical praise for its musicianship and the progressive sound on the recording. Critics described the sound as primarily black metal, though the band prefers the more general term "extreme metal" to describe the sound on Omen.
To promote the album, the band went on tour in Brazil in January 2013, but encountered difficulties. The venue at Belém was cancelled due to a banking error, and while at Belo Horizonte Antestor was stormed by violent protestors antagonistic to the Christian beliefs of the band members, and police had to usher the band to safety. Despite these setbacks, Antestor considered the tour a success, and wished no ill will on its attackers. On February 18, 2013, a music video was released for the song "Unchained". (Full article...)
Wildlife is the second studio album by American post-hardcore band La Dispute, released October 4, 2011, on independent label No Sleep Records. Recording sessions for the album took place primarily at StadiumRed in New York City in April 2011. The band members took control of all of the production duties alongside the album's recording engineers, Andrew Everding and Joseph Pedulla. Wildlife was their last release on No Sleep Records before forming their own record label, Better Living.
The Hot Rock is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Sleater-Kinney, released on February 23, 1999, by Kill Rock Stars. It was produced by Roger Moutenot and recorded at the Avast! recording studio in Seattle, Washington in July 1998. The Hot Rock marks a considerable change in the band's sound, veering into a more relaxed and gloomy direction than the raucous punk rock style of its predecessors. The lyrical themes of the album explore issues of failed relationships and personal uncertainty.
Upon release, The Hot Rock reached number 181 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and number 12 on the Heatseekers Albums chart, becoming the first Sleater-Kinney album to enter the charts. Two songs from the album, "Get Up" and "A Quarter to Three", were released as singles. The album received positive reviews from music critics, who praised the songwriting and the vocal and guitar interplay between band members Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein. (Full article...)
Diva is the third studio album by Puerto Ricanreggaetón recording artist Ivy Queen. It was released on August 23, 2003 and independently distributed by Real Music Group after being dropped from Sony Discos. The recording followed her two previous studio albums which were commercially unsuccessful and a hiatus from her musical career beginning in 1999. It featured collaborations with Latin hip hop artists including Mexicano 777, Bimbo and K-7 while the album's production was handled by a variety of musical producers; Luny Tunes, DJ Nelson, Noriega, and Iván Joy were enlisted, while DJ Adam produced a majority of the tracks. Lyrically, the album explored female empowerment, infidelity, heartbreak and love with "a veritable compendium of her artistic passion, femininity, and culture". The musical styles of the recording alternate between reggaetón and hip-hop while Queen experiments with R&B, dancehall, and pop balladry.
Diva spawned a total of seven singles: "Quiero Bailar", "Quiero Saber", "Papi Te Quiero", "Guillaera", "Tuya Soy", "Tu No Puedes", and "Súbelo", which were released over the course of three years. "Quiero Bailar" became a commercial success and her first big hit in the United States and Puerto Rico, while the other six singles failed to acquire chart success on national charts. Highly anticipated and acclaimed, Diva peaked at number twenty-four on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart, number eight on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart for the South Atlantic area, number four on the Billboard Reggae Albums and number one on the Billboard Tropical Albums chart. The album lead the latter chart for four non-consecutive weeks in 2004, becoming the eighth best-selling Tropical Album of 2004; making Queen the eighth best-selling Tropical Artist of that year. The album has been recognized as a "door-opener" for reggaetón's mainstream exposure in 2004-2005. (Full article...)
Live Peace in Toronto 1969 is a live album by the Plastic Ono Band, released in December 1969 on Apple Records. Recorded at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival, it was the first live album released by any member of the Beatles separately or together. John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono received a phone call from the festival's promoters John Brower and Kenny Walker, and then assembled a band on very short notice for the festival, which was due to start the following day. The band included Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, and drummer Alan White. The group flew from London, and had brief unamplified rehearsals on the plane before appearing on the stage to perform several songs; one of which, "Cold Turkey", was first performed live at the festival. After returning home, Lennon mixed the album in a day.
The album peaked at number 10 on the Billboard 200 and was certified a gold album by the RIAA, representing 1,000,000 copies in sales. The album did not chart in the UK. The original LP included a 13-month 1970 calendar. A video of several performances, not just the Plastic Ono Band's set, was released. Since its first release, the album has been reissued a number of times. (Full article...)
Prior to the release of Start the Party, the Blackout embarked on a brief tour of the United Kingdom, and released music videos for "Start the Party" and "Running Scared". The album's artwork shows Dirty Sanchez' stunt performer Mathew Pritchard crowd-surfing. For promotion, the Blackout went on another headlining UK tour, a European support slot for Yellowcard, and made appearances at the Soundwave festival in Australia. Music videos for "Radio" and "Take Away the Misery" were released in mid-2013, and the Blackout embarked on a UK tour at the end of the year. (Full article...)
Image 15The TASCAM 85 16B analog tape multitrack recorder can record 16 tracks of audio on 1-inch (2.54cm) magnetic tape. Professional analog units of 24 tracks on 2-inch tape were common, with specialty tape heads providing 16 or even 8 tracks on the same tape width, for greater fidelity. (from Multitrack recording)
Image 18Hip hop producer and rapper RZA in a music studio with two collaborators. Pictured in the foreground is a synthesizer keyboard and a number of vinyl records; both of these items are key tools that producers and DJs use to create hip hop beats. (from Hip hop production)
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the British record industry. In the 2000s the chart week ran from Sunday to Saturday, and the top 40 singles were revealed each Sunday on BBC Radio 1. Before the advent of music downloads, it was based entirely on sales of physical singles from retail outlets, but since 2005 permanent downloads have been included in the chart compilation.
During the 2000s, 275 singles reached the No. 1 position on the chart, the most of any decade so far. Over this period, Westlife were the most successful group and music act at reaching the top spot, with 11 No. 1 singles. Rihanna and Jay-Z's song "Umbrella" spent 10 weeks at No. 1 in 2007, the longest spell at the top of the charts since Wet Wet Wet's 1994 hit "Love Is All Around", which topped the charts for 15 weeks. The Internet allowed music to be heard by vast numbers of people on social networking sites such as YouTube and Myspace; it also increased piracy. This and the introduction of the UK Singles Downloads Chart in 2004 led to a decrease in record sales and a reduction in the number of copies sold of a No. 1 record on the singles chart. Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" became the first song to reach the top of the charts based on downloads alone in 2006, remaining at No. 1 for nine consecutive weeks. (Full article...)
Hot Country Songs is a chart that ranks the top-performing country music songs in the United States, published by Billboard magazine. In 1969, 23 different singles topped the chart, which was published at the time under the title Hot Country Singles, in 52 weekly issues of the magazine. Chart placings were based on playlists submitted by country music radio stations and sales reports submitted by stores.
In the issue of Billboard dated January 4, Johnny Cash's single "Daddy Sang Bass" climbed from number 19 to the top spot, replacing "Wichita Lineman" by Glen Campbell. Cash's single remained at number one for six weeks, the longest unbroken run of the year. The singer returned to the top of the chart later in the year with "A Boy Named Sue", which spent five weeks at number one. His cumulative total of eleven weeks atop the chart was the highest by any artist in 1969. Merle Haggard, Sonny James and Buck Owens each reached number one with three different singles, the most by any act. All three of James' chart-toppers were cover versions of successful rock and roll and pop songs from the late 1950s and early 1960s; the singer achieved the majority of his more than 20 country number ones with versions of pop songs. Owens also took a country reworking of a rock and roll classic to the top spot, with a live version of Chuck Berry's 1958 song "Johnny B. Goode". Haggard's three chart-toppers included "Okie from Muskogee", one of the best-known songs of his career. (Full article...)
The Record Mirror is a former British weekly pop music newspaper. From 1955 until 1962, the Record Mirror compiled its own record chart which was used by many national newspapers. It formed as a rival to the existing chart published by NME. The Mirror's chart was based on the postal returns from record stores that were financed by the newspaper, whereas the rival chart in the NME was based on a telephone poll. On 22 January 1955, the Mirror published its first chart, compiled using figures from 24 shops. The first chart-topper was "Mambo Italiano" by Rosemary Clooney, with the newspaper having compiled a Top Ten. The chart was expanded from a Top Ten to a Top Twenty on 8 October 1955. In the early 1960s some national newspapers switched to using a chart compiled by Melody Maker and, ultimately, the cost of collecting sales figures by post led to the chart's demise. On 24 March 1962, the paper stopped compiling its own chart and started publishing Record Retailers Top 50.
Record charts in the United Kingdom began life on 14 November 1952 when NME imitated an idea started in American Billboard magazine and began compiling a hit parade. Prior to 15 February 1969, when the British Market Research Bureau chart was established, there had been no universally accepted chart. During this time the BBC used aggregated results of charts from the Mirror and other sources to compile the Pick of the Pops chart. However, according to The Official Charts Company and Guinness' British Hit Singles & Albums, the NME is considered the official British singles chart before 10 March 1960. After that date and until 1969 a chart compiled by Record Retailer is considered the official British singles chart. ('Full article...)
Top Pops is a former British weekly pop music newspaper. It was founded as a monthly publication by Woodrow Wyatt in May 1967, becoming fortnightly in November 1967. On 25 May 1968, editor Colin Bostock-Smith began compiling a singles sales chart using a telephone sample of approximately twelve W H Smith & Son stores – the first single to reach number one on the Top Pops chart was "Young Girl" by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap. The charts and paper were published weekly with effect from 22 June 1968. On 20 September 1969 the paper was rebranded Top Pops & Music Now, and subsequently became Music Now from 21 March 1970 – at this point the chart was sampling between 30 and 40 stores. From 27 February 1971 the chart was no longer published and in May 1971 the newspaper ceased publication. During the publication of the chart, 55 different singles reached number one. The only one to be knocked off number one and then regain the top spot was "Mony Mony" by Tommy James and the Shondells. The final chart-topper was "My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison.
From January 2007 to May 2007, the number-one singles in Canada were compiled by the American-based music sales tracking company, Nielsen SoundScan. The chart is compiled every Wednesday, and is published by Jam!Canoe on Thursdays. On 31 March 2007, Billboard magazine created the Canadian Hot 100, a chart specifically designed for Canada and the first Hot 100 chart that Billboard created for a country outside the United States. The chart was made available for the first time via Billboard online services on June 7, 2007, and it served as the successor to the Canadian Digital Song Sales Chart. (Full article...)
In 1956, Billboard magazine published three charts covering the best-performing country music songs in the United States. At the start of the year, the charts were published under the titles Most Played in Juke Boxes, Best Sellers in Stores, and Most Played By Jockeys, with the genre denoted in an overall page heading. With effect from the issue of Billboard dated June 30, the genre was added to the specific titles of the charts, which were thus published as Most Played C&W in Juke Boxes, C&W Best Sellers in Stores, and Most Played C&W By Jockeys, the C&W standing for "country and western". All three charts are considered part of the lineage of the current Hot Country Songs chart, which was first published in 1958.
The number-one positions on both the juke box and best sellers charts were dominated in 1956 by Elvis Presley, who spent a total of 26 weeks in the top spot on the best sellers listing and 28 weeks (including one tied with another single) atop the juke box chart with four different singles. Presley achieved the first country chart-topper of his career in February when he reached the number one spot on the best sellers chart with "I Forgot to Remember to Forget"; its B-side, "Mystery Train" was listed jointly at number one for the first week of the run only. The release was the final single which he recorded for Sun Records, the label for which he had honed his early rockabilly style. After he signed for new label RCA Victor, his recordings began to show more of a pop music influence, but for a time continued to appear on the country charts, and one week after "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" was replaced at number one, Presley regained the top spot with the two-sided success "Heartbreak Hotel" / "I Was the One", which remained atop the listing for 17 consecutive weeks. He would go on to be regarded as the most successful and influential recording artist of all time and feted as the "King of Rock and Roll". (Full article...)
The Grammy Award for Best Music Video is an honor presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards, to performers, directors, and producers of quality short form music videos. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".
Originally called the Grammy Award for Best Video, Short Form, the award was first presented in 1984, as was a similar award for Best Long Form Music Video. From 1986 to 1997, the category name was changed to Best Music Video, Short Form. However, in 1988 and 1989, the award criteria were changed and the video awards were presented under the categories Best Concept Music Video and Best Performance Music Video. The awards were returned to the original format in 1990. The category was called Best Short Form Music Video until 2012, from 2013 it was shortened to Best Music Video. Award recipients include the performers, directors, and producers associated with the winning videos, except for its first two years when the Grammy went to the performing artist only. For unknown reasons, the award for the Best Music Video in 1987 - Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits - went to the band only, not to the director(s) and/or producer(s). (Full article...)
Hot Country Songs is a chart that ranks the top-performing country music songs in the United States, published by Billboard magazine. In 1970, 23 different singles topped the chart, which was published at this time under the title Hot Country Singles, in 52 issues of the magazine, based on playlists submitted by country music radio stations and sales reports supplied by stores.