Producing an album is a lot of work, but someone has to do it.
From start to finished product, the making of an album involves a number of both creative and technical moving parts: selecting session musicians, guiding arrangements, ensuring the quality of the recording, etc. The end result is hopefully the fruition of the artist’s vision for the album, whatever that may be.
Even the most prolific musicians, including those who sometimes produce their own albums, will likely tell you that the advice, support and encouragement that a good producer can bring to the table is invaluable.
“A lot of people don’t listen. If you listen carefully, people will explain to you what it is that they need.” Rick Rubinthat has produced countless best-selling artists, told Forbes in 2014. “I want to spend time with an artist and listen very carefully to what they’re telling me and get them to talk about their true goals—their highest, highest goals. We want to go back to the heart of why they started doing it. what they do in the first place.”
Some bands use their own members as producers – e.g Jimmy Pagewho produced all eight of Led Zeppelin‘s studio album, or Brian Wilsonwho produced or co-produced many of them Beach Boys‘ most famous albums.
Even if their name isn’t what’s splashed on an album’s cover, the producer is crucial to any project’s success. Which one is the top? We count down the 25 best rock producers.