Apr 252010


I believe that in an ideal world, involving slight time travel and possibly Black Magic, The Move as produced by Jimmy Page to capture the band’s low-end rumble and provide space for Roy Wood‘s reedy tendencies, could have been a much easier band for me to sell to friends.

Check out this late-period song, “Ella James.” It’s melodic, it boogies, it’s hard rocking, and it has elements of Byrdsy jangle and late-period Beatlesy melodicism all the while reaching for The Power and Glory of Rock. However, the parts are not-quite-definted, and it you know the album version you may agree with me that, like just about everything The Move recorded, it’s a mess of a production. For a band led by two highly conceptual multi-instrumentalists The Move had trouble sorting through the details of their ambitious productions. They badly needed help.

Jeff Lynne would take The Move’s template and polish it up to nice effect for ELO, but I believe he avoided dealing with the parent band’s maximum heaviosity. Page would have known how to incorporate those elements while modernizing the band’s sound, making them more than a clunky version of The Who.

How I wish I could go back in time and make this so. What artist would you say needed the production skills of what producer?


  13 Responses to “Producer Wanted Needed”

  1. hrrundivbakshi

    I always kind of liked the idea of Roy Wood producing XTC.

  2. hrrundivbakshi

    But I’m not sure that meets your post criteria, since I’m not sure that would necessarily “help” XTC’s fortunes.

  3. Husker Du could have really benifited from, say, Paul Westerburg producing. Or anyone who could make their records sound as good as the music is.

  4. BigSteve

    I don’t remember ever seeing Jeff Lynne without the rock star shades. And that little green cap on top of his Britfro was not a good Look for him.

  5. Mr. Moderator

    I would love to have heard Husker Du with a producer who could give shape to the mess on their records. Good call, hissing fauna!

    And no, HVB, I think Wood would have driven XTC more up its own ass. A Partridge-produced Wood album, on the other hand, is something I’d love to hear.

  6. Apparently Brian Eno told XTC they didn’t need a producer. I’m guessing they did, if only to keep Andy from pissing off everybody else.

    I read an interview with an engineer (can’t remember who) who had mixed the first Emitt Rhodes album. He was saying how horrible those tracks sounded. Especially given the dip in quality after the 1st album, I’d say Rhodes could’ve used a producer. I wonder what Rundgren would’ve done for him.

  7. Mr. Moderator

    I recall something in TapeOp on Emitt Rhodes, maybe with both Rhodes and the engineer you have in mind. I think that first album sounds pretty good, but there was something about it being technically a nightmare. Regardless, it sounds MUCH better than the next Rhodes album. Rhodes seemed kind of nuts, if I recall. He’d be a great reclaimation project for a Jason Falkner.

  8. misterioso

    Emitt Rhodes did indeed need production help–I really like the first album nonetheless but Mirror is crying out for guidance and maybe Rundgren was just what the doctor ordered–it’s a damn good thought. Their careers are in about the same place nowadays, so maybe it isn’t too late.

    I can’t help thinking what The Move needed was less Roy Wood.

  9. plasticsun

    Actually the problem with the Move was Bev Bevan – he does not rock/swing/groove or whatever other verb you choose. Plod, I believe, is the word. A dynamic drummer would have elevated the Move to the next level.

  10. Mr. Moderator

    Good point, plasticsun. I don’t know if you ever caught this old piece:


  11. jeangray

    I recall some years ago reading Robert Plant’s retelling of the time Led Zeppelin met Elvis Presley somewhere in the early ’70’s. He said that they really got along, claiming that Elvis told them that he liked them better than the Beatles, and they bandied about the idea of recording together.

    Although I am no huge Zep fan per se, my mind was blown by the idea of them being Elvis’s backing band. Especially in light of how horrible mos’ of the King’s last recordings were.

    Jus’ imagine the possibilities…

  12. Mr. Moderator

    Elvis backed by Led Zeppelin may have been the ultimate kick-in-the-pants collaboration. I never heard that story, jeangray.

  13. I wish Robert Johnson could’ve been produced by Trevor Horn. He would’ve given that stuff the slick presentation it really needs.

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