PRODUCERS – Made In Basing Street (2012)

PRODUCERS - Made In Basing Street (2012)


“Made In Basing Street” is the first album by the English supergroup PRODUCERS, and as the album’s name suggests, it was mainly recorded in the legendary SARM Studios (formerly known as ‘Basing Street Studios’) in Notting Hill, which is now owned by Producer’s member Trevor Horn, used to record such famous albums as Led Zeppelin IV and Queen’s News of the World.

Producers is formed by four of the most successful music producers in UK; Lol Crème, Trevor Horn, Stephen Lipson and Ash Soan, dispense with producing a band and become the band themselves.
“Made In Basing Street” is the result of five years’ worth of performing and honing from this collective of extraordinarily highly regarded producers and artists which have, over the past 40 years, scored over 200 hit singles and albums.
When I read about the concept I expected the album to be either full of self-indulgent muso noodlings or a set of good songs played very proficiently with outstanding production values. I’m pleased to say it was much closer to the latter.

There isn’t a bad song on the album; they’re all good and some are even very good.
You can have a lot of fun trying to pick out the influences behind the songs as well (which makes you a musical trainspotter). I can hear classic eighties rock&pop, some ligtht prog ala Yes 90125 and more.
There are more musical ideas here than most performers can manage on half a dozen albums and the art of the production is to put those ideas together coherently without sounding like a bunch of musicians playing with all the toys simultaneously for the first time.
The opening song “Freeway”, sets the tone with a subtle synth wash and breathy vocal giving way to piledriver drums and a strong guitar riff to take the song into the first verse and it kickstarts the album perfectly.
“Your Life” is a great example of the quality in the playing and production as it moves effortlessly between classic ballad and power ballad and features some very tasteful guitar throughout.

“Stay Elaine” is an elegant mainly acoustic take on the ‘stay tonight, it’s too late to go home theme’ featuring some delicate finger-picked guitar and very interesting Ash Soan percussion. Again, all the elements gel perfectly.
“Garden of Flowers” goes back to more upbeat territory and subverts the rock&pop formula by beginning with a drum solo and going straight into a guitar solo, which feels like coming in halfway through the song.
The closer “You & 1” is a take on the ‘carpe diem’ theme beginning with a delicate minor key guitar theme and building into a slightly off-centre power ballad.

Producers are an amalgamation of many years of great music making, and that level of class just oozes throughout “Made In Basing Street”.
There are no rough edges or concessions to modern music trends, just a series of crafted timeless songs made by people who know, and genuinely care about their art.
This CD rewards repeated plays because you won’t pick out everything on the first listen. It’s absolutely crammed with great ideas and musicianship while using the standard songwriting themes (seduction, cruising on the freeway and nostalgia) that we all know and love.
“Made In Basing Street” it isn’t an album that represents a musical revolution but if you love good quality songs and perfect playing & production, then you really should give this a listen.

01 – Freeway

02 – Waiting for the Right Time

03 – Your Life

04 – Man On the Moon

05 – Every Single Night in Jamaica

06 – Stay Elaine

07 – Barking Up the Right Tree

08 – Garden of Flowers

09 – Watching You Out There

10 – You & 1

Chris Braide: Vocals, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar

Ryan Malloy: Vocals

Trevor Horn: Bass, Vocals

Stephen Lipson: Guitars, Bass, Programming, Vocals

Lol Crème: Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion

Ash Soan: Drums

Geoff Downes (Yes, Asia): Keyboards, Organ, Rhodes

Luis Jardim: Percussion

Simon Bloor: Glockenspiel


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