Tony Visconti has been described as one of the most important producers in the history of rock. Here are just a few of the classic musical moments Visconti helped to create. “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” and “Cosmic Dancer” by T. Rex are true cornerstones of rock and roll. David Bowie’s “Young Americans,” “Heroes” and “The Man Who Sold The World” are masterpieces. The Moody Blues’ “Your Wildest Dreams” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere” are indelibly etched into our collective memory. And there are so many more.
This year Tony is right back in the studio with Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/artist Esperanza Spalding.
In 2013, we saw Visconti’s David Bowie production “Where Are We Now” (the surprise single that shocked the world), along with the album The Next Day, debuting at #1 in 21 different countries.
In 2014, Visconti delivered a new album by one of the most exciting and vibrant artists ever to grace the stage, Kristeen Young. Her new album, The Knife Shift, features guest drummer and guitarist Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters (recorded on the legendary Sound City Neve console). Visconti also produced the debut release by Britain’s iconic and elegant artist Daphne Guinness. Additionally, Visconti collaborated on a beautifully-crafted album with composer Stephen Emmer featuring the great voices of Midge Ure (Ultravox), Julian Lennon and Glen Gregory (Heaven 17) called International Blue.
Tony also contributed to The Foo Fighters’ latest release, Sonic Highways, playing guitar, writing the arrangement and conducting the choir on “I Am A River”. See him on the HBO special featuring Dave, Taylor and the band on the episode featuring New York!
Previously, Visconti produced Angelique Kidjo’s Djin Djin, featuring guest artists Alicia Keys, Josh Groban, Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana, Joss Stone and Ziggy Marley, earning Tony his first Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music Album. It is Kidjo’s best-selling album to date! Visconti also had a #1 release with Morrissey’s solo album Ringleader of the Tormentors just a year earlier!
His autobiography, Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy (Harper Collins UK) is an evocative, brilliant overview of Visconti’s life, musical beginnings, adventures in London with David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Thin Lizzy and Paul McCartney and so much more.
The Visconti style is versatile and mercurial, vis-à-vis Thin Lizzy, Luscious Jackson, The Strawbs, U2, Fall Out Boy, Alejandro Escovedo, Gentle Giant, Mercury Rev, Sparks, Badfinger, The Alarm, D-Generation, Kristeen Young and Elaine Paige, the queen of British musical theater.
Producer, arranger, musician, mixer, exemplary collaborator-Visconti is all of these. He is also among the greatest and most genuine musical souls of our industry.
Justin Hayward Talks About Legendary Producer Tony Visconti – June 24, 2014
Manic Street Preachers:
Frequency – Sep 2011