Bob Rock is one of the music industry’s legendary producers. Born in Canada, where he worked with local bands, he made a name for himself by collaborating with rock giants such as The Cult, Mötley Crüe, and Metallica. His feel for what sells and his ability to polish bands and their music around the edges, unlocking their MTV and radio potential, turned most of his collaborations into hits.
It wasn’t an easy ride. Rock’n’Roll was a crazy scene, filled with divas and maniacs. The very essence of hard rock and heavy metal was countercultural and, thus, rebellious. Trying to tweak and polish the sound of already established bands was punishing work. Tensions rose and tempers flared. No one wanted the slick and streamlined studio producer telling them what to do.
The toughness of the task can be best summed up in the documentary A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica, where band and producer are caught on tape in their long effort to create The Black Album.
Bob Rock knew what he was doing, and didn’t limit himself to hard rock and heavy metal. He went on to produce albums with pop and mainstream artists such as Cher and Michael Bublé. He’s currently working with Nelly Furtado on her upcoming 2012 project The Spirit Indestructible. The man seems be a diva attractor and a glutton for punishment, but he pulls it off.
Here are five songs from his extensive and successful music production repertoire. Play LOUD!
The Cult: Fire Woman – from Sonic Temple (1989). English rock sensations The Cult, led by vocalist Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy, captured audiences’ imagination with catchy riffs, seductive vocals, and electric onstage performances. This was their third and perhaps most polished work, turning them into world-class rock icons…
Mötley Crüe: Same Ol’ Situation (SOS) – from Dr. Feelgood (1989). Known simply as The Crüe, and described by Bob Rock as “the most dangerous people in the world”, the bad boys from Los Angeles saw their greatest ever album in Dr. Feelgood. It was the first album they performed clean and sober, but you wouldn’t know it. The energy is over the top. A long, endless, epic, dangerous party…
Metallica: Enter Sandman – from Metallica aka The Black Album (1991). Heavy metal strongmen and music perfectionists Metallica decided to come up with an album that would top their previous four. They hired Bob Rock after hearing what he did on The Crüe’s Dr. Feelgood.
The Black Album was remixed three times, cost one million dollars to produce, and contributed to three divorces. It also grew to be a landmark project, changing the sound of the heavy metal scene…
The Offspring: You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid – from Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace (2008). Having been stuck and with no work to show for themselves since 2003′s Splinter, American punk rockers The Offspring hired Bob Rock to help them out.
The result was an album of hit singles, including the one below, which topped the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, proving to be one of their most successful hits ever.
Michael Bublé: Haven’t Met You Yet – from Crazy Love (2009). This was Michael Bublé‘s sixth studio album. It was produced by Bob Rock, David Foster and Humberto Gatica. With it, the Canadian-Italian sensation tore the charts and raked in the awards, including a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. It’s on the milder side of a good time, perfect for chilling out and settling down – before going in for another Rock round!