Good article about Rick Rubin

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Jake
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Good article about Rick Rubin

Post by Jake »

The Magic of Rick Rubin Is in What He Doesn’t Do by Rob Harvilla. Explaining the legacy of the superproducer who doesn’t appear to do much while doing everything at the same time.

I like this piece because it doesn't shy away from the fact that sometimes he just lays on the couch or doesn't show up at all.

worpswede
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Re: Good article about Rick Rubin

Post by worpswede »

Yeah, I don't know what to make of this guy. I *hated* Beastie's License to Ill-still do-because it seemed trite and lazy. Big rock beats over big dumb anthems was going to be inevitable; We didn't need Rick Rubin to be the dude to invent it. And every meathead in my college dorm played it really loud on every floor on the first day of move-in.
I also had major issues with The Cult's Electric album that he produced. The previous record, Love, remains a high-point for me with its nice, echoey goth leanings with Jimbo mysticism and hints of metal. They released a follow up that was similar in nature to this record, but Rubin made the band re-record it, gutting everything to a dry, AC/DC punch that netted them their first gold record. All of my friends seemed to love it, but I took note of Rubin's tactics and observed.
The technique worked on more metal material like Slayer and that first Danzig record, making me reevaluate the man as a talented heavy rock producer guy. I also think that this style worked on that Red Hot Chili Peppers record, forcing the band to up their game because the production would do them no favors. The Tom Petty record was good, but again, you're dealing with a talent that was already familiar with building arrangements and dynamics, so nothing demonstrating what the fuck Rubin actually does for his paycheck.
The record he did with Mick Jagger is surprisingly good and may be the best solo effort from the man, if that meant anything. Supposedly, Jagger still thought he could pull-off relevant and anticipated hit music while Rubin kept pushing him back into more Stones-structured songs with another drums-up-front, dry-mix production that has lineage with the band's mid-70's work. They butted heads. The record stiffed. But I would actually reach for it more than I ever did for Voodoo Lounge or Bridges to Babylon.
It almost sounds like Rubin went from more of a straightforward engineer guy with a penchant for sequencing and song-selection, but you'd never know that from the abysmal AC/DC Ballbreaker. The point is, I'm not sure what the dude actually does anymore and I've got to align with the dude from Slipknot on this. I can't see anything in his resume that constitutes more importance that say a Jimmy Miller or Bob Johnston.

Jake
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Re: Good article about Rick Rubin

Post by Jake »

Worps, you need to go back and give Licensed to Ill another listen with fresh ears. Skip past "Fight for Your Right" and "Girls" if it makes you feel better, but I would put this in my top 3 Beasties albums (after Paul's and Check Your Head). It's good. "Rhymin' & Stealin'" is as great as anything these guys would ever do.

This list of 100 Albums in the Rick Rubin Extended Universe was eye-opening to me because it made me realize how few of the artists he's worked with are up my alley at all. Basically, Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. And LL and Run-DMC, of course. And Public Enemy, which he didn't produce but released. And Tom Petty. And the Less Than Zero soundtrack. And Car Wheels on the Gravel Road, which he mixed. Am I missed anything? I hate the Red Hot Chili Peppers and don't care about much metal. I'm trying to remember why I revered this guy.

I mean, I guess if he had done nothing other than Run-DMC and Johnny Cash, that would still be plenty!

Also, I'm surprised you didn't mention Death Magnetic, ha ha.

worpswede
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Re: Good article about Rick Rubin

Post by worpswede »

I should do that, actually, because my hatred of Ill almost prevented me from enjoying Paul's Boutique for many years.

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