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Baker's Dozen

Prophets, Seers & Sages: Tony Visconti's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , October 31st, 2012 09:01

While the veteran producer has recently been remastering T. Rex's The Slider for its 40th anniversary re-release, he found time to pick out 13 of his top records for us

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The Beach Boys – Wild Honey
Wild Honey is, I would say, closer to being The Beach Boys’ answer to Revolver. I’m not sure which came first but I know they followed each other closely; Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney, they kept an eye on each other.

The title track has got such incredible abandon and they were really riffing like they were jazz musicians and yet it was a pop record. Every track on this album is slightly out of control and it was also a lack of reverb – because their earlier records were swamped in reverb and that was typical of the day – but The Beach Boys just knocked that one off the ledge. They came up with this very dry album and if you listen to the tracks they’re very in-your-face recordings.

That kind of shaped the way I work as a producer. My early productions weren’t full of reverb and I was trying to get that sound with everybody. And this is an example of a group – and everyone in the group was extremely talented – and they were six musicians here, like The Beatles were all talented musicians. It wasn’t just the lead singer and a couple of pretty boys banging a drum.

Especially with a track called ‘Here Comes The Night’. I can play that 10 times today and I wouldn’t get bored with it. I still refer to this record as a benchmark in the same way that I do Revolver.

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Oct 31, 2012 10:54pm

Great list. Now I'm dying to see Eno's.

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Nov 1, 2012 9:09am

As usual, many ta's Quietus and Tony. Best read on the interwebs.

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Nov 1, 2012 12:44pm

Wild Honey, oh yes. x

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Nov 1, 2012 1:04pm

In reply to madt:

Completely agree. I'm now dying to know how the phasing was done on Ichycoo Park!

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Mark Bignell
Oct 15, 2013 11:29pm

'Wild Honey' came out well after 'Revolver': December 1967. But, I hear what you mean. Unfortunately, The Beach Boys were no longer cool in the US in '67. But,the UK and Europe embraced their later recordings which got the attention they deserved.

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Jan 7, 2016 10:23pm

Very heartwarming to see XTC get a mention - hopefully one day enough people will recite the same mantra of Most Under-Valued but Best-Loved British Band to persuade Messrs Partridge & Moulding to pen another album and (whisper it) do a tour-ette. Would place bets on how many nanoseconds it would take to sell out...

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