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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


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.