The working title of this post was “My Favorite Music Producer Who Has Probably Influenced The Way I Think About Music Forever.” I shortened it, because even I wasn’t interested in a title that long.
I’m bass-ically (See the pun I did there?) a huge nerd when it comes to old school rock n’ roll. AC/DC, The Cars, Foreigner, Def Leppard, Led Zeppelin, Heart (One of the best of all time, jus’ sayin’), Bad Company, Pink Floyd (Old Pink Floyd…), Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, Journey, Kansas, Van Halen, Boston, Deep Purple… To name a “few”. And if you’re sitting there reading this and yelling, “OH YEAH!” because you remember that band, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Face melting guitar solos, front men screaming in your face, drum beats that have you nodding your head until you get whip lash, sweat…Ah…the good ol’ days.
These bands were mainly popular during the 70s-80s. And a really big part of me believes that many of these bands were led to greatness by one man. This man was a producer and he produced AC/DC, The Cars, Foreigner, Def Leppard, and many more. He’s also produced Shania Twain, Nickelback, and Maroon 5. His name is Robert John “Mutt” Lange. My favorite band right now is AC/DC and he produced “Highway To Hell” and “Back in Black” for them (And for that I’m eternally grateful).
Mutt Lange has a reputation for being a very strict guy when it comes to how he wants things done. You can tell he was a very rock n’ roll to the bones kind of guy. When I listen to songs like “Back in Black,” one of the first things I notice is how cut and dry the drums are. Another thing I notice is how simple the guitars are. If a guitar isn’t soloing, he isn’t doing much else. The bass and guitars lock together with the same riffs frequently as well. These were things that drove rock n’ roll through the 70s-80s! These things created rock n’ roll!
There was a reason these bands became what we know now as the “greats.” A catchy song isn’t just in the words, it’s in the music. And Mutt Lange knew that. By these basic bones structures, the songs were easy to dance to and it kept the crowd pumped and ready for the next. They still hold the same legacy today. When I listen to “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” I can feel those dirty guitars and that kick drums reverberating off of my soul. ”Back in Black,” and “Highway To Hell,” have the same effect. These songs are impossible not to dance to.
If you haven’t yet, take a listen to some Mutt Lange tracks. This guy was a genius and he achieved it with something so beautiful.