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|Birth name||Bruce Earl Fairbairn|
|Born||December 30, 1949|
|Died||May 17, 1999 49) (aged|
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
|Occupation(s)||Musician, record producer|
Bruce Earl Fairbairn (December 30, 1949 – May 17, 1999) was a Canadian musician and international record producer from Vancouver, British Columbia. He was active as a producer from 1976 to 1999, and is considered one of the best of his era. His most successful productions are Slippery When Wet and New Jersey by Bon Jovi, Permanent Vacation , Pump , and Get a Grip by Aerosmith, The Razors Edge by AC/DC, and Balance by Van Halen, each of which sold at least five million copies. He was originally a trumpet player, then started a career as a record producer for Canadian rock band Prism. Fairbairn won the Canadian music industry Producer of the Year Juno Award three times. He produced albums for many well-known international artists such as Loverboy, Blue Öyster Cult, Bon Jovi, Poison, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Scorpions, Van Halen, Chicago, The Cranberries, INXS, Kiss and Yes. His style was notable for introducing dynamic horn arrangements into rock music productions. Fairbairn died suddenly on May 17, 1999 due to unknown causes.
Fairbairn played the trumpet since the age of 5,as well as studying piano. Until the age of 16, he was a trumpetist in community groups. While in the 10th grade at Vancouver's Prince of Wales Secondary School, Fairbairn founded his first band The Spectres, managed by Bruce Allen, who would remain with Fairbairn through his career.
In the early 1970s, Fairbairn started producing while he was part of the Vancouver jazz-rock group Sunshyne, in which he played both trumpet and horn. There he met bandmate Jim Vallance, who would go on to become one of the most successful songwriters in the music industry and an important music associate. After Vallance left Sunshyne in 1973, Fairbairn changed Sunshyne's format to blues-rock-pop. Fairbairn recruited guitarist Lindsay Mitchell, from Vancouver band Seeds of Time, as singer-songwriter and frontman. Fairbairn worked through 1974 to land a recording contract for Sunshyne, using demos of two songs written by Mitchell. By mid-1975, when Fairbairn could not close a record deal for Sunshyne, he approached Vallance for assistance. Vallance reworked the arrangements on the Mitchell songs and supplied three of his own at Fairbairn's request. One of the Vallance songs, "Open Soul Surgery" impressed an executive at record label GRT, who signed Fairbairn's group to a recording contract in 1976.
Over the next year, Fairbairn produced an album using musicians from both Sunshyne and Seeds of Time (including himself). The newly-renamed band Prism released its debut album in 1977. [ citation needed ] Fairbairn himself, however, elected not to be a member of Prism, and is credited only as producer and as a session musician on the album, and he did not play with Prism in any live performances.The album reached platinum status in Canada, with sales in excess of 100,000 albums by 1978.1
Fairbairn produced Prism's next three albums, all of which went platinum or double platinum in Canada. In 1980, Fairbairn won his first of three Canadian music industry Producer of the Year Juno Awards for Prism's third album, Armageddon .
In 1980, while still working with Prism, Fairbairn started production work on the debut album for Canadian rock band Loverboy. The self-titled album Loverboy would be the first Fairbairn production to break through in the lucrative US market and launch Fairbairn's international success.
Fairbairn's productions attracted a growing list of international artists to Vancouver's Little Mountain Sound Studios to work with him and his protégé Bob Rock. Over the next 5 years, Fairbairn's work on Blue Öyster Cult's 1983 album The Revölution by Night , Krokus' 1984 album The Blitz , and Canadian band Honeymoon Suite's arena rock 1985 album The Big Prize continued Fairbairn's string of international hits.
Fairbairn's biggest commercial success is Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet (1986), which made him a top-rate international producer. The album has sold over 28 million copies worldwide. "Bruce Fairbairn was a trumpet player," noted Jon Bon Jovi in 2007. "You couldn't get him on a guitar. And, for the first time, we were allowed to be us in the studio."
"I've been lucky enough to work with so many different talents," Fairbairn noted, "but Bon Jovi may be the finest. There was record company pressure to deliver the hits, but they were a joy. People seem to concentrate so much on their success that they lose sight of how good these guys are."
His next major production, Aerosmith's 1987 album Permanent Vacation , was another international success and generated a series of hits including "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)", "Angel", and "Rag Doll". Steven Tyler said that Fairbairn was instrumental in the creation of the album and "helped relight the fire under Aerosmith".
In 1988, Fairbairn produced the Bon Jovi album New Jersey , which holds the record for the hard rock/glam metal album to spawn the most Top 10 singles,[ citation needed ] with five singles charting in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, selling over seven million copies in the United States. Fairbain also produced Aerosmith's follow-up, 1989's Pump , which had sales in excess of seven million and was widely acclaimed by critics, and won him another "Producer of the Year" Juno Award.
In the 1990s, Fairbairn worked with a string of internationally influential hard rock acts. In 1990 he produced AC/DC's The Razors Edge , and Poison's Flesh and Blood . In 1993, he produced another Aerosmith commercial hit, Get a Grip , which racked up sales of seven million and solidified the band's growing representation as international media stars. Next, Fairbairn produced Scorpions' Face the Heat and in 1995 Van Halen's Balance . Also in 1995, Fairbairn went to Vallance's Armoury Studios in Vancouver to work on Chicago's Night and Day: Big Band , and liked the studio so much he bought it from Vallance the following year.
In late 1996, and through early 1997, Fairbairn produced INXS' 'comeback' album Elegantly Wasted which, while garnering mixed reviews, obtained sales that were higher than INXS' previous albums. Also, Fairbairn produced The Cranberries' To the Faithful Departed , and Kiss' reunion-album Psycho Circus .
His last fully completed project was the Atomic Fireballs' Torch This Place for Atlantic Records in 1998, which Fairbairn described as "a return to my brass roots".
During the mixing sessions for Yes' The Ladder , on May 17, 1999, Fairbairn was found dead by Yes singer Jon Anderson and Armoury manager Sheryl Preston in his Vancouver home.He was survived by his wife, Julie, with whom he had three sons: Scott, Kevin, and Brent. Bob Rock explained that, on the week Fairbairn died, the two were to travel to New York to meet Bon Jovi for another album together.
A memorial, "A Celebration of the Life of Bruce Earl Fairbairn", held at the Vancouver Chan Centre, was attended by more than 300 people. Highlighted by reminiscences from close friends, the event included musical performances from Jon Anderson and Steve Howe performing the song "Nine Voices" from Yes' The Ladder sessions, as well as Tom Keenlyside, guitarist David Sinclair and finally, "Taps" played on Bruce's trumpet by son Brent.
In March 2000, Fairbairn was posthumously awarded the Canadian Music Hall of Fame Juno Award for his work.
In his interviews concerning The Ladder, Fairbairn can be seen in short sections in the bonus material on Yes' Live at the House of Blues DVD.
Slippery When Wet is the third studio album by American glam metal band Bon Jovi. It was released on August 18, 1986 by Mercury Records in North America and Vertigo Records internationally. It was produced by Bruce Fairbairn, with recording sessions between January and July 1986 at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The album features many of Bon Jovi's best-known songs, including "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Livin' on a Prayer", and "Wanted Dead or Alive".
New Jersey is the fourth studio album by American glam metal band Bon Jovi, released on September 19, 1988 by Mercury Records. The album was produced by Bruce Fairbairn and recorded at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The album was the follow-up to the band's third album, Slippery When Wet, and reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart in its second week of release after debuting at number eight. It remained at the top for four consecutive weeks and was Bon Jovi's last album to do so until Lost Highway (2007).
Keep the Faith is the fifth studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi, released on November 3, 1992, by Mercury Records. It is Bon Jovi's last studio album to feature all five original members, as bass guitarist Alec John Such was dismissed from the band in 1994. It is Bon Jovi's first album since 1985's 7800° Fahrenheit not to be produced by Bruce Fairbairn. It was also their first album to have a title track. The album was produced by Bob Rock and was recorded at the Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia. Keep the Faith represented the beginning of a new chapter, marking a change of both the band's image and sound. Moving away from their early glam metal roots in previous albums, it introduced a more "rock n roll" driven groove and turned away from heavy drums and wild guitar solos, instead introducing a new sound with longer songs consisting of piano ballads and long epic guitar solos. Keep the Faith is also Bon Jovi’s longest album to date, clocking in at 66 minutes.
Prism is a Canadian rock band formed in Vancouver in 1977. They were originally active from 1977 to 1984 and have been active again from 1987 to present. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Ron Tabak, guitarist Lindsay Mitchell, keyboardist John Hall, bass guitarist Allen Harlow and drummer Rocket Norton.
Prism is the self-titled debut album by Canadian rock band Prism. It was released in May 1977 on the Canadian record label GRT. It was produced primarily by Bruce Fairbairn and the majority of songs written by Jim Vallance. It achieved platinum status in Canada . Prism peaked at #137 on the Billboard 200 in November 1977.
John Webster is a musician, engineer and producer who primarily plays keyboards. He began his musical career as a child, trained in classical piano until his early teens, and then moved on to playing in rock bands. One of his first bands, Stonebolt, landed a top 30 U.S. hit with its first release in 1978 and went on to record four successful albums.
Loverboy is a Canadian rock band formed in 1979. They were established in Calgary, Alberta, but are currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Loverboy's hit singles, particularly "Turn Me Loose" and "Working for the Weekend", have become arena rock staples and are still heard on many classic rock and classic hits radio stations across Canada and the United States.
Pump is the tenth studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released in September 1989. The album was remastered and reissued in 2001.
Robert Jens Rock is a Canadian musician, sound engineer, and record producer, best known for producing rock bands and music artists such as Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, the Tragically Hip, the Cult, 311, Our Lady Peace, Bryan Adams, the Offspring, Michael Bublé, Black Veil Brides, David Lee Roth, and Ron Sexsmith.
Prince of Wales Secondary School is a public secondary school located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
James Douglas Vallance, is a Canadian songwriter, arranger and producer. He is best known as the songwriting partner of Canadian musician Bryan Adams. Vallance began his professional career as the original drummer and main songwriter for Canadian rock band Prism under the pseudonym "Rodney Higgs." In addition to Adams, Vallance has written songs for many famous international artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Aerosmith, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart, Roger Daltrey, Tina Turner, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Europe, Kiss, Scorpions, Anne Murray, and Joe Cocker. His most recognizable songs are "What About Love” (Heart), “Spaceship Superstar" (Prism), "Cuts Like a Knife", "Heaven", "Summer of '69", "Now and Forever " and "Edge of a Dream" He also co-wrote "Tears Are Not Enough" for Northern Lights for Africa, an ensemble of Canadian recording artists in support of the 1985 African famine relief. He has won the Canadian music industry Juno award for Composer of the Year four times Vallance is a Member of the Order of Canada.
Strange Advance is a Canadian new wave band formed in 1982 in Vancouver, British Columbia. They were nominated for a 1983 Juno Award as Most Promising Group of the Year and again in 1985 as Group of the Year. Their first two albums, 1982's Worlds Away and 1985's 2WO, were Canadian gold selling records.
Thomas William Keenlyside is a Canadian saxophonist and flautist from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The Big Prize is the second album by Honeymoon Suite, released in 1986. It featured four hit singles, including the band's biggest hit in the U.S., "Feel It Again," and "Bad Attitude," which was notably featured in a sequence in the final episode of Miami Vice three years later. In 1990 the album was certified Triple Platinum in Canada by the CRIA.
Little Mountain Sound Studios is a music recording facility located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. During the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, it was the most successful recording studio in Western Canada and was the home for many years to producers Bruce Fairbairn and Bob Rock. Little Mountain recorded albums by Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Metallica, Bryan Adams, Mötley Crüe, David Lee Roth, Loverboy, and the Cult among many others. In the mid 1990s Little Mountain would become part of Vancouver Studios; the facility would eventually evolve into Greenhouse Studios and would record albums by Nickelback, k.d. lang, Default, and Queensrÿche.
Armageddon is the third studio album and fourth album overall by Canadian rock band Prism. It was released in 1979 on Canadian record label GRT. It achieved double platinum status in Canada.
See Forever Eyes is the second studio album by the Canadian rock band Prism. It was originally released in 1978 by the Canadian record label, GRT. The album was recorded over a period of five months in 1978, at Mushroom Studios, Vancouver, at Little Mountain Sound Studios, Vancouver, and at Pinewood Studios. It was produced by the future multi-award winning producer Bruce Fairbairn.
Armoury Studios is a Canadian recording studio located in Vancouver, British Columbia's Kitsilano neighbourhood.
Fast Forward was a Canadian band formed in 1984 in Vancouver. Featuring Ian Lloyd, former lead singer of Stories and a solo artist, the band released one album, Living in Fiction.
All the Best from Prism is the first compilation album by Canadian rock band Prism, released in December 1980. The album features the band's greatest hits as well as a new song, "Cover Girl", which failed to chart in both Canada and the U.S. In 1981, All the Best from Prism was certified platinum in Canada.