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Martin Rushent (1948 – 2011)

English record producer.
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Martin Rushent
"I’d got all this new technology and we spent a year making the album, programming all these primitive computers. [The LinnDrum] sounded so much like real drums it was difficult to tell it apart. The tempo was absolutely precise because it all ran to a digital clock and the record just was precision itself. It was also very simple. If you actually analyse what was going on at any given moment in time there may be only four or five things going on, but it does the job."
Rushent quotes
"We were just making a record and suddenly it just exploded all over the world and has since become a legendary record. It’s just mad! If somebody had told me then ‘Do you realise that you are making history with this record?’ I’d have said, ‘Yeah alright, calm down and have a cup of tea’."
"He was an extraordinary bloke. First of all he was very funny. He was straight but very camp. [He] came in and Visconte said, ‘Right, what are we doing?’. He said: ‘Well I haven’t got any material, I’ve just got one guitar riff’. So he played us this guitar riff. It sounded a bit like Chuck Berry to me but I didn’t say anything. He went out with the band and after two hours he said, ‘Right, got a song’. So we recorded it and took a few takes. He then said, ‘Right I’ve got a bit of a tune, just give me half an hour’. In 10 minutes he came back and said, ‘Right I’ve got the lyrics and got the tune’. So he’d written Get It On in 10 minutes basically. He went out there, sang it and in four or five takes we’d got it. There it was. The guy was absolutely astonishing."

Rushent Martin quotes
"They came up and we did Sound Of The Crowd. They were under the impression that I was going to work on what they’d done so far and improve that and carry on. I said, ‘No, I’m not doing that, we’re starting again’, which was a bit of a shock for Phil. He argued about that but I said, ‘No, if I’m going to produce you, you’re going to do what I tell you to do. I will listen to your arguments and consider them, and if I still think I’m right we do it my way or it’s the highway. This is my attitude to everybody I produce, it’s a sort of democratic dictatorship!"
Rushent Martin
"I programmed all the drums and synths, while he played all the guitars. The initial plan was just to demo his songs because he was out of his UA deal, so we pumped it to people like Island and Virgin and they loved it. It was signed to Island, but Simon Draper of Virgin heard it and called me to talk about their band, the Human League. They'd done demos of The Sound of the Crowd and Love Action in a Sheffield studio, but Simon didn't think they were getting the punch they needed. He loved the drums on Homosapien and asked me to do a track. So the band turned up at Genetic with their multi-track for The Sound of the Crowd. Simon had conned them and told them that I'd mix it! I said, 'We're going to start again and do it better'. There were a few grumbles, but by the time we'd finished, they were really pleased."
Martin Rushent quotes
"It filled me with dread – she had a reputation for being difficult. She had been headlining on the Royal Command performance the night before we were due to start. She arrived and swept through reception looking like thunder and disappeared into the studio. I thought, ‘I’m the first here, I’d better go in and introduce myself’. I walked in and I said: ‘Morning Miss Bassey, my name is Martin Rushent and I’m going to be your new engineer and co-producer’. She threw a mic stand at me. She told me to get out. She apologised afterwards, I hasten to add"
Martin Rushent
"In [the early 1980s], making electronic music was a big job, particularly the way that I was doing it. To get the sounds I wanted, I might have 24 synthesizers playing one synth line, all programmed, all analogue and all drifting out of tune. It used to take hours and hours and hours. I don't know how we ever got through it."
Rushent Martin quotes
"He chased us all round the studio and we had to lock ourselves into another studio to prevent him getting us. He was a big guy. He came in the following morning and he was alright. I think his management had had a word and said, ‘Look this album is going really well, it’s not a good idea to frighten the life out of people who are helping you make it’. He was quite pleasant, but he never apologised."
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