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.
The week of 12 February 2017 has become a milestone in Tony’s life: On Sunday night, 12 February, at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, Tony received two Grammys for David Bowie’s Blackstar as Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical and Best Alternative Music Album. Visconti as co-producer and co-mixer. On Thursday night, 16 February, Tony received three MPG Awards in London for Outstanding Contribution to UK Music, International Producer of the Year and as producer on the UK Album of the Year for Blackstar.
In October of 2016, Lazarus-The Original Broadway Cast album, was released and features three more David Bowie songs “No Plan,” “Killing A Little Time,” and “When I Met You” all co-produced by Tony and David.
Earlier in 2016, Tony co-produced the final David Bowie album entitled Blackstar (★ ) The debut single, “Blackstar (★ ),” is also the theme for the British television crime series The Last Panthers. Tony has also co-produced a new album for Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/artist Esperanza Spalding entitled Emily’s D+Evolution. Tony is currently engaged in producing and arranging new music by Daphne Guinness, Noah Johnson and Kristeen Young.
In 2014, Visconti delivered a new Bowie single entitled “Sue (Or In A Season of Crime) from the release, Nothing Has Changed 3-CD set! He also produced 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 guest 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.
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.
Tony also contributed to The Foo Fighters’ release, Sonic Highways, playing guitar, writing the arrangement and conducting the choir on “I Am A River”. He is featured on the New York episode of the HBO special Sonic Highways!
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. 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. For more stories from Tony’s exciting career, watch his 2016 music keynote speech at the SXSW Conference.
The Guardian – January 2017
Bristol Post – June 2015
Justin Hayward Talks About Legendary Producer Tony Visconti – June 2014
Rolling Stone France – Dec 2011
The Independent – May 2010
This Is Devon – Mar 2010
Austin Chronicle – June 2008
Billboard – January 2016
Lucy Woodward: MWE3.com
Manic Street Preachers: Independent UK