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Phil Ramone: A Producer’s 5 Musical Masterpieces
Posted By Patrick Kiger On April 1, 2013 @ 12:53 pm In Legacy | Comments Disabled
Despite his 14 Grammy awards, record producer Phil Ramone, who died on March 30 at age 79 in New York City, isn’t anywhere near as well-known as the music superstars whose hit records he helped create.
During a career that spanned a half century, the native of South Africa worked with an astonishingly diverse array of talents: Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Karen Carpenter, Elton John, Dionne Warwick, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Joel, and even rock groups such as the Allman Brothers and the Rolling Stones. “I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented member in my band,” Joel wrote in a tribute to Ramone on his website. “He was the band member that no one ever ever saw onstage.”
But if we didn’t associate Ramone with such classic albums as Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years or Billy Joel’s The Stranger, it’s because he wasn’t a control-board Svengali like Phil Spector, who reshaped artists to fit his own distinctive aural style. Instead, Ramone was more of a subtle influence, a coach who helped keep stars focused on connecting with their fans rather than pursuing technical perfection.
In his 2007 memoir, Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music, Ramone explained: “Great records are all about feel, and if it comes down to making a choice, I’ll go for a take that makes me dance over a bland one with better sound any day.”
Here are five of the many memorable recordings that Ramone worked on:
Photo: Ky1958 via Wikipedia
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