Top 5 UK Producers Of All Time

By Tommy Baird

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While Britain takes the world by storm with an abundance of talent on the airwaves from Adele and Ed Sheeran to Stormzy Skepta, we look at some classic UK producers over the years.

5. George Martin

Sir George Henry Martin is sometimes referred to as “the Fifth Beatle” in reference to his extensive involvement on each of the Beatles’ original albums. He is considered one of the greatest record producers of all time, with 30 number-one hit singles in the United Kingdom and 23 number-one hits in the United States.

Something you cannot argue with is the success of Sir George Martin; I am sure if you were to cut him, he would bleed music; and I would be ashamed of myself to not include him in the list of Classic UK Producers. Some of the most important, influential pieces of music of the past 50+ years will have his mark on it somewhere, reading up about him I was astounded to find out what he had helped to create.

4. Richard D. James

AKA Aphex Twin, (and although not strictly a producer) is a British electronic musician and composer. He is also the co-founder of Rephlex Records with Grant Wilson-Claridge. James has also released a number of EPs as AFX since 1991 including the Analogue Bubblebath and Analord series of EPs. James has also used and continues to use several other aliases, such as Polygon Window, Caustic Window, and the Tuss.

Something I am not ashamed to admit is that my first experience of ‘Aphex Twin’ was terrifying; most likely because of the music video style of Chris Cunningham’s ‘come to daddy’ rather than the music itself, but the fast paced track stayed with me for a good while. As I, and my love of music, grew, I realized that the music under the name ‘aphex twin’ was the thing missing out of my musical colour pallet so to speak. He is indeed the reason I started making the music I do.

3. Luke Vibert 

Vibert began his musical career as a member of the Hate Brothers, only later branching out into his own compositions. Vibert has recorded under several different aliases, most notably Plug and Wagon Christ.

It was only recently I was introduced to the music of Luke Vibert, but when I was, I began to think of his album ‘we hear you’ as the soundtrack of my life (not in the way Charles Manson thought the Beatles were writing songs for him) but as a producer that is heavily influenced by sampling I was in awe of the way he used samples.

2. Nigel Godrich 

Nigel Godrich is a London native. He is best known for his work with the English rock band Radiohead, with whom he has produced seven studio albums. Often referred to as the “sixth member” of the band, Godrich has also worked extensively with the band’s front man Thom Yorke on his solo material, and is a member of the experimental rock acts Atoms for Peace and Ultraísta.

Radiohead have been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. Something about their sound have always kept me wanting more. I know that Thom Yorke is a very talented musician and singer/songwriter but I feel the its with these tools that Nigel Godrich is able to create that very “Radiohead-y sound” which may be overlooked by many of their fans.

1. Norman Cook

To most known as Fatboy Slim, an English DJ, musician and record producer/mixer. As a solo electronic act, he has won ten MTV Video Music Awards and two Brit Awards. His records as Fatboy Slim also helped to popularize the big beat genre, which achieved mainstream popularity in the 1990s.

When I first heard classics tracks like ‘Gansta Trippin’ and ‘Praise You’ I knew in my heart that these were groundbreaking (ly) addictive works of art. (Even if they were released between the time of my birth and the age of 10.)

Follow Tommy Baird on Twitter – @kortexiphankid 

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