Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Martin Rushent 1948-2011

Back in the late seventies and early eighties, when I was first getting into music, I would guess about 60% or 70% of my record collection was produced by Martin Rushent. He was responsible for work by Buzzcocks, Altered Images (ah, Clare of my youth), Human League, XTC, Generation X, Pete Shelley (Homosapien - I haven't heard that album in years) and a host of others. The only clunker I can think of is The Associates' Perhaps, one album of theirs I really disliked. Rushent straddled punk and the synth-led new romantic eighties period.

In particular, he was responsible for the first three Stranglers albums - still the only ones worth listening to, in my opinion. Theirs was a phenomenal sound, built round the stunning keyboards of Dave Greenwood and the hypnotically powerful bass of JJ Burnell, which was used as a lead instrument in a way I'd never heard before. I've got the original white seven inch version of Walk on By that came with the first pressings of the Black and White album, and I must have played this song hundreds of times, sometimes on repeat. Rushent's production on those three albums is amazing. He helped create a unique sound.

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