Tony Visconti
Visconti in 2007
Visconti in 2007
Background information
Birth nameAnthony Edward Visconti
Born (1944-04-24) April 24, 1944 (age 80)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation(s)Producer, arranger, musician
Instrument(s)Bass guitar, guitar, piano, flute, recorder, mandolin
Years active1967–present
Member ofHoly Holy
Formerly ofHype
  • Siegrid Berman
  • (m. 1971; div. 1981)
  • (m. 1989; div. 2000)

Anthony Edward Visconti (born April 24, 1944)[3] is an American record producer, musician and singer. Since the late 1960s, he has worked with an array of performers. His first hit single was T. Rex's "Ride a White Swan" in 1970, the first of many hits in collaboration with Marc Bolan. Visconti's lengthiest involvement was with David Bowie: intermittently from the production and arrangement of Bowie's 1968 single "In the Heat of the Morning" / "London Bye Ta-Ta" to his final album Blackstar in 2016, Visconti produced and occasionally performed on many of Bowie's albums.[4] Visconti's work on Blackstar was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical and his production of Angelique Kidjo's Djin Djin received the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album.

Early life

Visconti was born in Brooklyn, New York, to parents of Italian descent.[5] He started to play the ukulele when he was five years old and then learned guitar. He attended New Utrecht High School.[6] Throughout his teenage years Visconti was involved with both a classical brass band (playing tuba) and a traditional orchestra (playing double bass), as well as playing rock-and-roll-oriented guitar, valuable experience that served him well in later years. By the age of 15 he had focused his efforts on playing in local Brooklyn bands.[7]

After leaving school he played guitar in a band called Ricardo & the Latineers in the Catskills; the band also included Artie Butler, later a leading arranger.[7] In 1960 he played his first recording session and over the next few years became one of the leading guitarists in New York nightclubs. He played in lounge acts, including the Ned Harvey Band and the Speedy Garfin Band, before joining a touring version of The Crew-Cuts, where he met his future wife. As Tony and Siegrid, the pair released two singles; the first, "Long Hair," was a regional hit in New York in 1966, but they could not maintain its success.[2]


Visconti then became in-house producer for his publisher, the Richmond Organization. Through this position, in 1968, he met British producer Denny Cordell, who asked him to assist in recordings for successful jazz vocalist Georgie Fame, prompting Visconti to move to London.[2]

One of his first production projects in England was with the British outfit Tyrannosaurus Rex (later to become T. Rex) on their debut album My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows (1968). This began a relationship with T. Rex that would last for their next eight albums and eleven UK Top Ten singles in a row, commencing with "Ride a White Swan" (1970). One of Visconti's greatest successes was Electric Warrior (1971), the album that made T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan a superstar and cemented Visconti's producing prowess.

More early production work included David Bowie's second album (1969) and for the Welsh group The Iveys (later known as Badfinger). He produced several tracks for the Iveys' first LP, Maybe Tomorrow (1969), and Magic Christian Music (1970), released on the Beatles' Apple label.

He produced the first two albums by influential progressive rock band Gentle Giant. Shortly afterwards, Visconti began to work again with Bowie and, along with guitarist Mick Ronson and drummer John Cambridge, formed and toured with the band The Hype, in which he played bass. Although the band name would be very short-lived, most of the line-up persisted and—with Woody Woodmansey replacing Cambridge—would go on to record Bowie's album and single The Man Who Sold the World in 1970.[4][8] He would further go on to work on Bowie's albums Diamond Dogs (1974), Young Americans (1975), Low (1977), "Heroes" (1977), Lodger (1979), Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (1980), Heathen (2002), Reality (2003), The Next Day (2013), and his final album, Blackstar (2016).[9]

In late 1970 and early 1971 Visconti produced both the debut and sophomore albums by UK Afrorock pioneers Osibisa. These were 1971’s self titled debut and its follow up Woyaya. Both albums also featured early examples of Roger Dean’s artwork.

Visconti scored the orchestral arrangements for Paul McCartney and Wings' 1973 album Band on the Run. He later produced two albums for the Moody Blues, The Other Side of Life (1986) and Sur La Mer (1988).

Visconti, c. 2000.

In 1990 he produced several tracks on the Moody Blues' Keys of the Kingdom album (1991), Luscious Jackson's Electric Honey, Leisure Noise by Gay Dad, Soul Caddy for Cherry Poppin' Daddies, and Dawn of Ananda for Annie Haslam. In 1997, Visconti produced the debut album of The Stone Roses member John Squire's new band, The Seahorses, entitled Do It Yourself.

He produced and played bass on a handful of tracks from The Dandy Warhols' 2003 album, Welcome to the Monkey House. In 2003 he teamed up with the Finn Brothers (Neil and Tim of Crowded House and Split Enz) to record and produce their second collaborative album, eventually released in 2004. That same year, he produced three songs on the Manic Street Preachers album Lifeblood. In 2005, he collaborated with Copenhagen band Kashmir, whose fifth album, No Balance Palace, featured David Bowie. He has also collaborated as co-writer and producer on an album project by Richard Barone. He worked in Rome and produced the No. 1 UK album by Morrissey Ringleader of the Tormentors.

His autobiography, Bowie, Bolan and The Brooklyn Boy, co-written with Richard Havers,[10] was published in February 2007 by HarperCollins UK. The book has been translated into French by Jérôme Soligny as Bowie, Bolan et le Gamin de Brooklyn, published by Tournon.

In 2007 and 2008 Visconti was very active in the studio with Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo, producing her Grammy-winning album Djin Djin, which included guest artists Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, Joss Stone, Josh Groban, and Carlos Santana. He has also produced two albums at Saint Claire Recording Studio in Lexington, Kentucky: The Bright Lights of America by Pittsburgh punk band Anti-Flag and Alejandro Escovedo's album Real Animal, released in June 2008. He produced the new No. 1 album (in France) by French artist Raphael in Paris and New York. He produced and mixed the Kristeen Young album Music for Strippers, Hookers, and the Odd On-Looker, released in 2009, and arranged the Fall Out Boy album Folie à Deux. 2010 marked the release of Richard Barone's Visconti-produced Glow album,[11] which includes five songs co-written with Barone and a remake of T. Rex's "Girl"; he also played bass, guitar, synth, and Stylophone on the album and performed live in concert with Barone on numerous occasions.

Visconti produced the 2013 David Bowie album The Next Day and remixed and remastered both The Slider anniversary box set and Electric Warrior 40th-anniversary box set by T. Rex. In 2013, he produced Solar Secrets by Capsula.[12]

In 2014 Visconti produced and arranged several tracks on Marc Almond's album The Dancing Marquis. Almond had wanted to work with Visconti since hearing some of Visconti's earliest production work with T-Rex and David Bowie, stating, "It was a dream to work with Tony".[13]

From 2016 to 2022 Visconti was a jury member of the ANCHOR-Award, linked to the Reeperbahn Festival.[14]

In 2018 Visconti produced Evil Spirits for The Damned, their first album in ten years. He also produced, sang, and played recorder on Merrie Land, the second album by The Good, the Bad & the Queen (2018).

In 2019 Visconti produced the song "The Dragon Cries" with Band-Maid vocalists Miku Kobato and Saiki Atsumi. The track was released on Band-Maid's 2019 release Conqueror.

Visconti served as music producer on the 2022 film Moonage Daydream, a documentary about Bowie written, produced, directed, and edited by Brett Morgen.[15][16]

Personal life

After divorcing his first wife, Siegrid, Visconti married Welsh folk singer Mary Hopkin in 1971; they divorced in 1981. The pair have two children, musicians Jessica Lee Morgan and Morgan Visconti.[17] In 1989 he married his third wife, May Pang; they had two children before they divorced in 2000.[18] Visconti currently lives with his girlfriend of 20 years, musician Kristeen Young.[19]


Visconti playing bass with Holy Holy in 2017

Visconti played bass on David Bowie's 1970 album The Man Who Sold the World.[20] Since 2015 he has toured the UK, Japan, and the US with the Bowie cover band Holy Holy, playing the album in its entirety and other early Bowie classics, along with the album's original drummer Mick Woodmansey and other well-known musicians, including singer Glenn Gregory and guitarist James Stevenson. The band have followed this up with later shows in which they perform The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album.

Visconti Studio

In September 2016 Kingston University opened Visconti Studio, a tape-based recording studio in partnership with Visconti, the British Library, and London's Science Museum.


Studio albums

Albums produced

With Tyrannosaurus Rex / T. Rex
With David Bowie
With Badfinger
With Gentle Giant
With Strawbs
With Mary Hopkin
  • 1971: Earth Song/Ocean Song
  • 2007: Valentine (1972–80)
  • 2008: Recollections (1970–86)
  • 2009: Now and Then (1970–88)
With Osibisa
With Tom Paxton
  • 1972: Peace Will Come
  • 1973: New Songs For Old Friends
With Ralph McTell
With Carmen
With Sparks
With Omaha Sheriff
  • 1977: Come Hell or Waters High
  • 1977: Long Fingers in the Soft Rain
With Thin Lizzy
With Hazel O'Connor
With Boomtown Rats
With Elaine Paige
With Modern Romance
With The Moody Blues
With Les Rita Mitsouko
With Phillip Boa
  • 1993: Boaphenia
  • 1994: God – Phillip Boa
With Dean & Britta
With Kristeen Young
With Alejandro Escovedo
  • 2008: Real Animal
  • 2010: Street Songs of Love
  • 2012: Big Station
With other artists



  1. ^ "Bowie producer Tony Visconti claims Adele's voice could have been "manipulated"". Fact. June 8, 2016. Archived from the original on February 7, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Ankeny, Jason (April 24, 1944). "Tony Visconti | Biography". AllMusic. Archived from the original on August 3, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 2599. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  4. ^ a b "Protonic Reversal Ep184: Tony Visconti (Producer: David Bowie, T. Rex, Iggy Pop, Thin Lizzy)". July 6, 2020. Archived from the original on December 28, 2021. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  5. ^ Clayton-Lea, Tony (January 4, 2020). "Tony Visconti on Bowie: 'There was always a feeling of adventure in the air'". The Irish Times. Dublin. Archived from the original on October 29, 2020. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  6. ^ Benarde, Scott R. (2003). Stars of David: Rock'n'roll's Jewish Stories. UPNE. ISBN 9781584653035 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ a b Visconti, Tony (2007). Tony Visconti: the Autobiography: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780007229444 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ "We Spoke Of 'Was' And 'When': Tony Visconti Interviewed". Archived from the original on September 1, 2023. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  9. ^ Hiatt, Brian (January 13, 2016). "David Bowie 'Thought He Had a Few More Months,' Says Tony Visconti". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  10. ^ Sexton, Paul (January 5, 2018). "An Indelible Byline: In Fond Memory Of Richard Havers". UDiscoverMusic. Archived from the original on October 7, 2022. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  11. ^ "Richard Barone – Bar/None Records". Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  12. ^ Fricke, David (September 9, 2013). "Solar Secrets". Rolling Stone.
  13. ^ Wright, Jade (January 31, 2014). "Say hello again: Mark Almond on how Merseyside roots inspired forthcoming album". Liverpool Echo. Archived from the original on May 23, 2022. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  14. ^ "Jury 2022". RBX GMBH. 2022. Archived from the original on October 5, 2022. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  15. ^ Ravindran, Manori (November 18, 2021). "David Bowie Film, Based on 'Thousands' of Hours of Rare Footage, Coming From Director Brett Morgen (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on August 3, 2022. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  16. ^ Maddie P (July 17, 2022). "'Moonage Daydream': Release Date, Details, Trailer, and Everything We Know So Far". Collider. Archived from the original on July 9, 2022. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  17. ^ "Bio". Morgan Visconti. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  18. ^ "May Pang is a legend in the Rock n' Roll world". Asiancemagazine. September 1, 2003. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014.
  19. ^ Harrison, Ian (December 19, 2017). "The Damned's Psych Rebirth". Mojo. Archived from the original on April 24, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019 – via PressReader.
  20. ^ Pegg, Nicholas (2016). The Complete David Bowie (Revised and Updated ed.). London: Titan Books. pp. 335–343. ISBN 978-1-78565-365-0.