Producers, what are they good for?

I always laugh when I see on an ad for a film that proudly states “From the producer that brought you xxxx”. From what I can see this is suggesting that I should go and see the film based on the person that managed to raise the money rather than someone that has any artistic input. I am much more likely to go and see a film if I recognise the director, writer or an actor.

The musical equivalent of cinema’s director is the producer. The difference is that while the director gets billing in the credits before the movie starts. Producers, meanwhile, get billing in the smallest possible font size in the most inaccessible place on the sleeve (if they are lucky) and in these days of digital releases not even that. And that’s a great shame as plenty of records wouldn’t get anywhere without a great producer.

Like I have a favourite director (Terry Gilliam, thanks for asking!) I have a favourite producer too – Trevor Horn. Horn is responsible for many seminal works over the years including Frankie Goes to Hollywood, ABC, Art of Noise and Buggles!

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Looking through Horn’s work it is clear that he has a way of turning out hits and has a very distinctive style, which I love. Also he has worked with some of my favourite artists including Genesis (albeit only once and only on one track) and Yes who Horn worked with both as producer and vocalist. The man clearly loves his prog rock and his work on 90215 gave Yes another lease of life.

In my opinion Horn is a musical genius and like all producers should get more recognition for what he does. And to prove Horn’s genius here is Video Killed the Radio Star for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!