Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
14 November 2017
Daniel Lanois, best record producer you’ve never heard of
When listening to music, you often keep listening to your latest obsession. My latest? Bob Dylan’s genius producer, Daniel Lanois.
So much so I’m downloading all of Dylan’s albums (okay about 80%) from Apple Music. Surprisingly, it’s not the old stuff that is hitting home with me. (You know, tracks like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Like a Rolling Stone.”) Rather, it’s his late career work, and in particular, the album, Time Out of Mind. The mood it creates impacts me, with a heaping portion attributed to Daniel Lanois.
I take audio branding seriously. Dylan’s persona and poetics evolved with sonic brand-smith, Lanois. And he’s one of industry’s best. From his early work with the equally talented, Brian Eno, to late career albums with Neil Young, Daniel Lanois manufactured an aural revolution.
“Uncompromising and visionary. Daniel Lanois is just that. And I urge you to listen to anything he produces.”
The list of records Daniel Lanois produces is astounding
Just consider the highlights of his catalog and the unmistakable atmosphere each possesses.
The Unforgettable Fire, Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby by U2
The Last of the Mohicans movie soundtrack
So by Peter Gabriel
Wrecking Ball by Emmylou Harris
Time Out of Mind by Bob Dylan
Teatro by Willie Nelson
Not to mention the Sling Blade soundtrack.
His list is grandiose (it also links to a slew of Grammy awards, which isn’t bad either).
Lanois listens to a song and, in conjunction with its composer, breathes unmistakable life into the material – sometimes, when the composer doesn’t recognize the life it should have. And even with the likes of Bob Dylan, he’s willing to be unyielding with one’s vision. “If it takes a fight, you gotta fight,” Lanois says. “I am not there to be a nice guy and make it go nice and smooth. I don’t do medium records. It’s not a masterpiece, it’s gonna be a fight. It’s not a fucking masterpiece, get the fuck out of my face.”
Uncompromising and visionary. Daniel Lanois is just that. And I urge you to listen to anything he produces.
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