Bob Ezrin

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Bob Ezrin
Bob Ezrin.jpg
Ezrin in 2011
Background information
Birth nameRobert Alan Ezrin
Born (1949-03-25) March 25, 1949 (age 70)
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Rock
Occupation(s)Record producer
Years active1970–present
Associated acts Kiss, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Hanoi Rocks, Phish, Deep Purple, David Gilmour, The Kings

Robert Alan Ezrin (born March 25, 1949) is a Canadian music producer and keyboardist, best known for his work with Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, and Phish. As of 2010, Ezrin's career in music had spanned four decades and his production work continued into the 21st century, with acts such as Deftones and Thirty Seconds to Mars. [1] Since co-founding interactive media company 7th Level in 1993, Ezrin has branched out into philanthropy and activism, with music also introduced into this realm of his life, underpinning projects such as Music Rising and Young Artists for Haiti. [2] Ezrin is also involved in education, co-founding the Nimbus School of Recording Arts in 2009. [3]

Keyboardist musician who plays keyboard instruments

A keyboardist or keyboard player is a musician who plays keyboard instruments. Until the early 1960s musicians who played keyboards were generally classified as either pianists or organists. Since the mid-1960s, a plethora of new musical instruments with keyboards have come into common usage, requiring a more general term for a person who plays them. These keyboards include:

Lou Reed American musician, recording artist, singer-songwriter

Lewis Allan Reed was an American musician, singer, songwriter and poet. He was the lead guitarist, singer and principal songwriter for the rock band the Velvet Underground and had a solo career that spanned five decades. The Velvet Underground was not a commercial success during its existence, but became regarded as one of the most influential bands in the history of underground and alternative rock music.

Alice Cooper American rock singer, songwriter and musician

Alice Cooper is an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans over 50 years. With his distinctive raspy voice and a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, deadly snakes, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers alike to be "The Godfather of Shock Rock". He has drawn equally from horror films, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a macabre and theatrical brand of rock designed to shock people.

Contents

Ezrin is the winner of three Juno Awards. [4] [5] [6]

In 2011, Ezrin was awarded the Special Achievement Award at the 2011 SOCAN Awards held in Toronto. [7]

Early life

Ezrin was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on March 25, 1949. He resided in the Forest Hill area of Toronto. [8]

Toronto Provincial capital city in Ontario, Canada

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe, an urban agglomeration of 9,245,438 people surrounding the western end of Lake Ontario. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada. Located in Central Canada, it is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.

Music and production career

As of 2014, Ezrin continues to work as a record producer, arranger and songwriter, in addition to being involved with a variety of other projects in digital media, live production, film, television, and theatrical production. [9] [10] [11]

Record producer Individual who oversees and manages the recording of an artists music

A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has many, varying roles during the recording process. They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements.

Arrangement musical composition in altered form

In music, an arrangement is a musical reconceptualization of a previously composed work. It may differ from the original work by means of reharmonization, melodic paraphrasing, orchestration, or development of the formal structure. Arranging differs from orchestration in that the latter process is limited to the assignment of notes to instruments for performance by an orchestra, concert band, or other musical ensemble. Arranging "involves adding compositional techniques, such as new thematic material for introductions, transitions, or modulations, and endings... Arranging is the art of giving an existing melody musical variety".

A songwriter is a professional that writes lyrics and composes musical compositions for songs. A songwriter can also be called a composer, although the latter term tends to be used mainly for individuals from the classical music genre and film scoring, but is also associated writing and composing the original musical composition or musical bed. A songwriter that writes the lyrics/words are referred to as lyricist. The pressure from the music industry to produce popular hits means that songwriting is often an activity for which the tasks are distributed between a number of people. For example, a songwriter who excels at writing lyrics might be paired with a songwriter with the task of creating original melodies. Pop songs may be written by group members from the band or by staff writers – songwriters directly employed by music publishers. Some songwriters serve as their own music publishers, while others have outside publishers.

Ezrin has worked on recordings with numerous major artists, including Phish, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Balloonatic, Deep Purple, Lou Reed, The Kings, Hanoi Rocks, Taylor Swift, Peter Gabriel, K'naan, 2Cellos, Kristin Chenoweth, Rod Stewart, Nine Inch Nails, The Jayhawks, Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Darkness, Jane's Addiction, Dr. John, Nils Lofgren, Berlin, Kansas, Julian Lennon, and Deftones, among many others Ezrin also recorded the very first demos for Toronto band Max Webster. [12]

Phish American rock band

Phish is an American rock band that was founded at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont in 1983. The band is known for musical improvisation, extended jams, blending of genres, and a dedicated fan base. The band consists of guitarist Trey Anastasio, bassist Mike Gordon, drummer Jon Fishman, and keyboardist Page McConnell, all of whom perform vocals, with Anastasio being the primary lead vocalist.

Kiss (band) American band

Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. The band has gone through several lineup changes, with Stanley and Simmons the only remaining original members. The original and best-known lineup consisted of Stanley, Simmons, Frehley, and Criss.

Pink Floyd English rock band

Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London in 1965. Gaining a following as a psychedelic rock band, they were distinguished for their extended compositions, sonic experimentation, philosophical lyrics and elaborate live shows, and became a leading band of the progressive rock genre. They are one of the most commercially successful and influential groups in popular music history.

Ezrin has been described by Alice Cooper as "our George Martin". [13] Following his first ever production work on an album with Love it to Death in 1971, Ezrin embarked on a long-term collaboration that, by 1973, would see the release of the number one album, Billion Dollar Babies album, a year after the success of School's Out ; Cooper subsequently became established as one of the biggest acts in the world. [14] After the disbanding of Cooper's group, Ezrin continued his collaboration with Cooper, as the latter embarked upon a solo career. In 1975, Cooper released the Ezrin-produced album, Welcome To My Nightmare . Ezrin worked with Cooper not just as a producer, but also as a co-writer, arranger, and musician. [15]

George Martin English record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer and musician

Sir George Henry Martin, was an English record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer, and musician. He was referred to as the "Fifth Beatle" in reference to his extensive involvement on each of the Beatles' original albums. Paul McCartney said upon Martin's death, "If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle, it was George".

<i>Billion Dollar Babies</i> 1973 studio album by Alice Cooper

Billion Dollar Babies is the sixth studio album by American rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1973. The album became the best selling Alice Cooper record at the time of its release, hit number one on the album charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom, and went on to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album has been retrospectively praised by such critics as Robert Christgau, Greg Prato of AllMusic, and Jason Thompson of PopMatters, but The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) gave the album only two and a half stars.

<i>Schools Out</i> (album) 1972 studio album by Alice Cooper

School's Out is the fifth studio album by American rock band Alice Cooper, released in 1972. Following on from the success of Killer, School's Out reached No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on the Canadian RPM 100 Top Albums chart, holding the top position for four weeks. The single "School's Out" reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 3 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles Chart and went to No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart. The album achieved sales of over 50,000 copies in Australia, being eligible for the award of a Gold Disc.

Ezrin produced the best-selling KISS album, Destroyer , in 1976. [16] As explained by Peter Criss during an interview in the documentary, KISS: Krazy Killer (1994), Ezrin co-wrote, arranged and performed the piano accompaniment to the song "Beth". [17] Ezrin proceeded to produce two other albums with the band -- Music from "The Elder" and Revenge —and remains close to the band's members in the 21st century. [18]

Ezrin has worked with Pink Floyd on a number of occasions, co-producing the albums, The Wall , A Momentary Lapse of Reason , and The Division Bell . He has also co-written the songs "The Trial", "Signs of Life", "Learning to Fly", and "Take It Back". [12]

Ezrin also produced the 1988 Kansas album In the Spirit of Things , and received a writing credit for the song Ghosts and three other songs.

In May 2009, Ezrin co-produced The Clearwater Concert at Madison Square Garden, celebrating the 90th birthday of musician and activist, Pete Seeger. More than 50 guest artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Ben Harper, Joan Baez, Tom Morello, Ani DiFranco, Emmylou Harris, and Kris Kristofferson performed at the event. [19] Ezrin also co-produced the PBS broadcast of the event.

Since 2010, Ezrin has co-produced Peter Gabriel's album, Scratch My Back ; co-produced The House Rules, by Christian Kane; and produced singles for K'naan, the Canadian Tenors, and young pop sensation, Fefe Dobson, for her album, Joy . [20] Ezrin also reunited with Cooper, working on Cooper's last album, Welcome 2 My Nightmare , on the corresponding live show, and numerous other related projects. [21] He also mixed several projects, including Taylor Swift's Speak Now World Tour Live CD and DVD (2011), and an album by The Darkness (2012). [22]

In 2012, Ezrin remixed the KISS 1976 Double-Platinum album, Destroyer. [23] Also, he produced albums for 2Cellos and rock legends Deep Purple. [24]

On Halloween, October 31, 2013, the band Phish debuted twelve new songs at a concert in Atlantic City, New Jersey which they announced as songs they were considering for a new album to be produced by Ezrin. The album, subsequently titled "Fuego," was recorded at Ronnie's Place and Anarchy Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, Fame Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and Phish's own "The Barn" in Burlington, Vermont. Released on June 24, 2014, this was the band's 12th studio album and first since 2009. [25]

On October 7, 2016, the Vermont rock/jam band Phish released their 13th album, the Ezrin produced Big Boat featuring the first single "Breath And Burning". [26]

Ezrin worked with Andrea Bocelli on , Bocelli's first #1 album, both in the UK and USA. [27]

Live arena

Ezrin produced a live and television extravaganza to reopen the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, US, starring Green Day and U2. [28] He also worked on an album and live opera with L'Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio in Rome, Italy. [29]

Entrepreneurship

In 1993, Ezrin co-founded a computer software company called 7th Level, [30] which developed and published educational and entertainment CD-ROMs, including a highly popular and groundbreaking series of Monty Python games. [31]

In 1999, Ezrin cofounded Enigma Digital, [32] an innovative internet radio provider, that was eventually sold to Clear Channel; Ezrin was later appointed vice-chairman of Clear Channel Interactive. [33] Ezrin was also Chairman of Live Nation Artists Recordings in 2007 and the first half of 2008.

In 2007, Ezrin joined the Board of Advisors of Tonic, an online company that describes itself as "humanity-conscious" and socially-responsible". [34]

Ezrin is also co-founder and vice chairman of Wow Unlimited Media.

Education

In 2009, Ezrin, along with Garth Richardson and Kevin Williams, [35] cofounded the Nimbus School of Recording Arts in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Canada. [36] Ezrin stated that his goal was to provide new engineers and producers with the hands-on teaching experience that he believed was no longer available from traditional recording studios. [37] Ezrin's educational philosophy is that modern engineers and producers need to be proficient in a range of skills [37] and that an effective education in the recording arts will also prepare a student for more general challenges in their lives and careers. [38]

Honor and recognition

Ezrin was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in April 2004 [39] and the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame in March 2006. [40]

In 2011, Ezrin and Young Artist for Haiti won the Juno Award in Canada for "Single of the Year". [41] Also in 2011, he was awarded an "Outstanding Contribution" at the Classic Rock Magazine Awards. [42] In 2013, he was honoured with a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto. [43]

Ezrin was also honored in 2013 by The Royal Conservatory of Music, [44] being named an Honorary Fellow of The Royal Conservatory. [45]

Social work

Ezrin is a board member of the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation,[ citation needed ] a national initiative that supports music in US schools by donating musical instruments to under-funded music programs. He is also an Advisory Committee member of MusiCounts, the musical education initiative of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, that provides instruments to Canadian school music programs. [46]

He is co-founder, with U2's The Edge, of Music Rising, an initiative to preserve the musical culture of the Gulf coast region following the damage caused by the hurricanes and flooding of 2005. [47]

On February 18, 2010, Ezrin helped with the mobilization of the Young Artists for Haiti group. Fifty Canadian artists recorded a rendition of hip hop star K'naan's "Wavin' Flag" for the victims of the Haiti quake. [48] The song was reworked by Ezrin to include specific lyrics for Haiti, with proceeds disseminated to Free the Children, War Child Canada, and World Vision Canada. The production raised over US$2 million. [49] K'naan explained in regard to the initiation of the project: "I got a call from Randy [Lennox, president] at Universal [Music Canada] and Bob Ezrin. They had this idea that they wanted to do something lasting, that actually educates young people in Canada about Haiti and not let the fatigue of the subject wash over everybody and everybody just forget Haiti." [48]

Ezrin is a Chairman Emeritus of the Los Angeles Mentoring Partnership and a past Trustee and Governor of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). [50]

He is a board member [51] of the Smilezone Foundation. Ezrin is also a board member of In Place of War, which promotes creativity in places of conflict to create positive social change. [52]

Film and television

In 1982, Ezrin briefly appeared as the host of Enterprise, a City-TV panel show that replaced Dr. Morton Shulman's The Shulman File; he has also been a frequent interviewee for documentary films and television. [53] Ezrin has created new theatrical, television, and live events with the @Radical.Media company, based in New York, including Jay-Z's feature film, Fade to Black . [54] In 2012, Ezrin appeared in Artifact , a documentary film about the modern music business focused on the legal battle between Thirty Seconds to Mars and record label EMI.

Personal life

Ezrin is married to Janet Ezrin. [55]

Partial discography

See also

Related Research Articles

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame was established in 1978 by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) to honour Canadian musicians for their lifetime achievements in music. The award presentation is held each year as part of the Juno Award ceremonies. Since 2012, the inductee also performs at the ceremony as the final performer.

<i>Destroyer</i> (Kiss album) 1976 studio album by Kiss

Destroyer is the fourth studio album by American rock band Kiss, released on March 15, 1976 by Casablanca Records in the US. It was the third successive Kiss album to reach the top 40 in the US, as well as the first to chart in Germany and New Zealand. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on April 22, 1976, and platinum on November 11 of the same year, the first Kiss album to achieve platinum. The album marked a departure from the raw sound of the band's first three albums.

<i>Revenge</i> (Kiss album) 1992 studio album by Kiss

Revenge is the sixteenth studio album by American rock band Kiss, released on May 19, 1992. It is the band's first album to feature current drummer Eric Singer, following the death of former drummer Eric Carr in November 1991, and is also their last record to feature musical contributions from Carr. Marking a stylistic departure from the pop-influenced glam metal sound which characterised much of the band's 1980s output, the album was a worldwide success, becoming the first Kiss album since 1979's Dynasty to reach the Top 10 in the United States and reaching the Top 20 in seven other countries. It was certified gold by the RIAA on July 20, 1992.

<i>Love It to Death</i> 1971 studio album by Alice Cooper

Love It to Death is the third studio album by the American rock band Alice Cooper, released in March 1971. It was the band's first commercially successful album, and is considered to be where the band first consolidated its aggressive hard-rocking sound. The album's best-known track, "I'm Eighteen", was released as a single to test the band's commercial viability before the album was recorded.

Chris Walla American musician

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<i>DaDa</i> 1983 studio album by Alice Cooper

DaDa is the eighth solo album by Alice Cooper. It was originally released in September 28, 1983, on the label Warner Bros.. DaDa would be Cooper's last album until his sober re-emergence in 1986 with the album Constrictor. The album's theme is ambiguous, however, ongoing themes in the songs' lyrics suggest that the main character in question, Sonny, suffers from mental illness, resulting in the creation of many different personalities. The album alludes strongly to the dadaist movement. Its cover was based on a painting by surrealist artist Salvador Dalí titled "Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire". Produced by long-time collaborator Bob Ezrin, at the time his first production with Cooper in six years, DaDa was recorded at ESP Studios in Buttonville, Ontario, Canada.

<i>Music from "The Elder"</i> 1981 studio album by Kiss

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Richard Allen "Dick" Wagner was an American rock music guitarist, songwriter and author best known for his work with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, and KISS. He also fronted his own Michigan-based bands, The Frost and The Bossmen.

Garth "GGGarth" Richardson is a Canadian music producer and engineer. He is the son of Canadian music producer Jack Richardson. Garth Richardson engineered recordings for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nickelback and Mötley Crüe, and he produced for Kittie, Rage Against the Machine, Mudvayne, The Melvins and Shihad. He co-founded the Nimbus School of Recording Arts in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with Bob Ezrin and Kevin Williams. Richardson has the nickname 'GGGarth' because he has a slight stutter.

Malcolm Burn is a Canadian-born music producer, recording engineer and musician. In 2001, the album Red Dirt Girl by Emmylou Harris and produced by Burn won best folk album.

Flaming Youth (song) 1976 single by Kiss

"Flaming Youth" is a song by the American rock band Kiss. The song is featured on their 1976 album Destroyer, and was the first Kiss single to feature a picture sleeve. The single reached number 74 in the U.S. and 73 in Canada. Although the full album version only ran 2:55, the song was still edited to 2:39 with an earlier fade.

Jack Arnold Richardson CM was a Juno Award-nominated Canadian record producer and Order of Canada recipient. He is perhaps best known for producing the biggest hit records from The Guess Who from 1969 to 1975. He was part of the faculty at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario as an educator in the Music Industry Arts program for almost 20 years, as well as at the Harris Institute for the Arts in Toronto, Ontario.

Im Eighteen 1970 single by Alice Cooper

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Steve Hunter American musician

Stephen John Hunter is an American guitarist, primarily a session player. He has worked with Lou Reed and Alice Cooper, acquiring the moniker "The Deacon". Hunter first played with Mitch Ryder's Detroit, beginning a long association with record producer Bob Ezrin who has said Steve Hunter has contributed so much to rock music in general that he truly deserves the designation of "Guitar Hero". Steve Hunter has played some of the greatest riffs in rock history - that first slamming solo that rings in Aerosmith's "Train Kept A Rollin'", the acoustic intro on Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" and he wrote the legendary intro interlude that made Lou Reed's live version of "Sweet Jane" Reed's first gold record.

Wavin Flag 2009 single by Knaan

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Steve Booker is an Ivor Novello award-winning British music producer and songwriter. His production & writing credits include: John Newman's "Love Me Again" for which Booker is nominated for the 2014 Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically & Duffy's "Mercy" for which Booker won the Ivor Novello Award for most performed work. Prior to becoming a producer Booker was a singer-songwriter who released two solo albums – "Dreamworld" (1990) and the 1996 mini-album "A Far Cry From Here".

Young Artists for Haiti band

Young Artists for Haiti is a movement to engage Canada's young musicians to continue to inspire an ongoing effort and contribution to Canadian charities for their work to help the people of Haiti overcome the devastation from the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that rocked the country on January 12, 2010. More than 50 Canadian artists gathered at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia to record a rendition of renowned hip hop artist K'naan's "Wavin' Flag".

Nimbus School of Recording & Media is a private technical music production institute situated in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, providing education in audio engineering, music production, and the music business. The school was founded in 2009 by Bob Ezrin, Garth Richardson, and Kevin Williams. Nimbus is accredited nationally by the Private Career Training Institutions Agency, regionally by the British Columbia Education Quality Assurance, and is academically certified with the media hardware/software company AVID, maker of the popular audio recording software Pro Tools Nimbus has an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.

<i>Fuego</i> (Phish album) album by Phish

Fuego is the thirteenth studio album by the American rock band Phish, released on June 24, 2014 on the band's own JEMP Records label.

Kevin Ernest Williams is a Canadian Music Producer, Keyboardist, Audio-Engineering Professional and Educational Administrator with over 25 years’ experience within the private-post secondary education system. He is the Co-Founder and Partner of Sessionwire Communications Inc..

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