Chris Tsangarides

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Chris Tsangarides
Birth nameChristopher Andrew Tsangarides
Born(1956-08-17)17 August 1956
Died6 January 2018(2018-01-06) (aged 61)
Genres Hard rock, heavy metal, alternative rock, pop music
Occupation(s)Record producer, sound engineer, company owner, musician, songwriter
Years active1975–2018
LabelsDark Lord Records
Associated acts Exmore / More 2012

Christopher Andrew Tsangarides (17 August 1956 6 January 2018) [1] was a British Grammy-nominated record producer, sound engineer, and mixer of Greek Cypriot origin [2] . He was best known for his work with many heavy metal bands, including Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Helloween, Anvil, Angra, Anthem, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Tygers of Pan Tang. Tsangarides worked with many pop and alternative artists as well, including Depeche Mode, Tom Jones, Concrete Blonde, and The Tragically Hip.

Grammy Award accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States

A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually.

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.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.



Chris Tsangarides learned to play piano as a child and studied trumpet at the Royal Academy of Music, [3] before studying economics at college. [4] He started his career in the music business in 1974, as an apprentice at Morgan Studios in London, one of the major independent recording studios in the UK at the time. [4] [5] Initially, he worked there as a tape operator and his first job as sound engineer was on Judas Priest's second album Sad Wings of Destiny in 1976. [4] [5] [6] He engineered the British hit single "Naughty Naughty Naughty" in 1977, a pop song by Joy Sarney, whose success gave him much more work as engineer at the studio. [4] In that period he engineered and mixed albums of new wave acts, such as Japan's Obscure Alternatives (1978), [6] and jazz fusion releases of Colosseum II and Brand X. [4] Tsangarides befriended Colosseum II guitarist Gary Moore, who requested him for his solo album Back on the Streets (1978) and gave him his first job as producer. [4] The song "Parisienne Walkways", sung by Phil Lynott and contained in the album, was a hit in the UK. [7] Tsangarides continued working with Moore on live albums and produced Back to the Blues in 2001. [4] [8]

The Royal Academy of Music in London, England, is the oldest conservatoire in the UK, founded in 1822 by John Fane and Nicolas-Charles Bochsa. It received its Royal Charter in 1830 from King George IV with the support of the first Duke of Wellington. It is one of the leading conservatoires in the UK, rated fourth in the Complete University Guide and third in the Guardian University Guide for 2018. Famous Academy alumni include Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Sir Elton John and Annie Lennox.

Morgan Studios, also known as Morgan Sound Studios, were recording studios at 169-171 High Road, Willesden, north west London. The studios were notable for many recordings of the 1960s and 1970s by some of the most important British bands and artists such as Ten Years After, Arrows, Yes, The Kinks, Donovan, Vivian Stanshall, Paul Simon, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Greenslade, Joan Armatrading, Cat Stevens, Paul McCartney, Jethro Tull, Rod Stewart, Black Sabbath, UFO and The Cure. The studio was also notable for having the first 24-track tape machine in England made by Ampex.

Judas Priest British heavy metal band

Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969. The band has sold over 50 million copies of their albums to date. They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s, the band struggled with indifferent record production and lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, which helped shoot them to rock superstar status.

When Morgan Studios 3 and 4 were acquired by Zomba Management in 1980 and rechristened Battery Studios, [9] Tsangarides went to work for the new owners and became part of a team of "in-house producers" which included Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Martin Birch, Tony Platt and Nigel Green. [6]

Zomba Group of Companies record label

The Zomba Group of Companies was a music group and division which was owned by and operated under Sony Music Entertainment. The division was renamed to Jive Label Group in 2009 and was placed under the RCA/Jive Label Group umbrella. In 2011, the RCA/Jive Label Group was split in half. Multiple Jive Label Group artists were moved to Epic Records while others stayed with Jive as it moved under the RCA Music Group. In October 2011 Jive Records was shut down and their artists were moved to RCA Records.

Robert John "Mutt" Lange is a South African record producer and songwriter. He is known for his work in the studio and innovations in multitrack recording and producing many of rock's most famous albums. He has produced albums for, or otherwise worked with, artists such as Céline Dion, AC/DC, Britney Spears, Def Leppard, The Boomtown Rats, Foreigner, Michael Bolton, The Cars, Bryan Adams, Huey Lewis and the News, Billy Ocean, The Corrs, Maroon 5, Lady Gaga, Nickelback, and Muse. He also wrote and produced songs with his then-wife, Canadian singer Shania Twain. Her 1997 album Come On Over, which he produced, is the best-selling country music album, the best-selling studio album by a female act, the best-selling album of the 1990s, and the 9th best-selling album in the United States.

Martin Birch is a British former music producer and sound engineer, who became renowned for engineering and producing albums by the British rock bands Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, and Iron Maiden.

During the 1980s and up to the 1990s, Tsangarides became notable on the hard rock and heavy metal scene for the quality of his job and for having produced signature albums, such as Anvil's Metal on Metal in 1982, [3] [10] Thin Lizzy's acclaimed final studio release Thunder and Lightning in 1983 [3] [11] and the Grammy nominated Painkiller by Judas Priest in 1990. [3] [8] [12] He worked in those years with Black Sabbath, [8] Ozzy Osbourne, Helloween, [8] Y&T, Tygers of Pan Tang, Anthem, Sinner, King Diamond, Ian Gillan, and produced also Bruce Dickinson's first solo album Tattooed Millionaire (1990). [5] [10]

Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often accompanied with keyboards.

Anvil (band) Canadian heavy metal band from Toronto, Ontario, formed in 1978

Anvil are a Canadian heavy metal band from Toronto, Ontario, formed in 1978. The band consists of Steve "Lips" Kudlow, Robb Reiner (drums) and Chris Robertson (bass). As of early 2019, the band has released seventeen studio albums, and has been cited as having influenced many notable heavy metal groups, including Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax and Metallica.

<i>Metal on Metal</i> 1982 studio album by Anvil

Metal on Metal is the second studio album by Canadian heavy metal band Anvil, released in 1982.

Beside his work with metal bands, Tsangarides recorded songs for artists of other musical genres, [5] like singer/songwriter Joan Armatrading, pop star Tom Jones, goth rockers The Lords of the New Church, Killing Joke and keyboardist Jan Hammer. In 1987, he remixed the song "Never Let Me Down Again" by synthpop band Depeche Mode for a release as single. [10]

Joan Armatrading British singer-songwriter

Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading, MBE is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Tom Jones (singer) Welsh singer

Sir Thomas John Woodward, known professionally as Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer. His career has spanned six decades, from his emergence as a vocalist in the mid-1960s with a string of top hits, regular touring, appearances in Las Vegas (1967–2011), and career comebacks—to coaching on The Voice UK from 2012. Jones's powerful voice has been described as a "full-throated, robust baritone".

The Lords of the New Church were an English/American gothic rock supergroup with a line-up consisting of four musicians from 1970s punk bands. Launched in 1982, the band had moderate chart success prior to their dissolution in 1989.

The 1990s saw Tsangarides still at work with metal bands like Exodus, Overkill, Judas Priest again with the album Painkiller, the Japanese Loudness and guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen, [10] but he also produced the British gothic rock act The Sisters of Mercy and the alternative rock groups The Tragically Hip and Concrete Blonde. [5] [8] For the latter band, he also produced and engineered the hit single "Joey" in 1990. [13] In 1999, Tsangarides collaborated as a performer and songwriter with Shin Hae-chul in the techno/metal act Monocrom. They made one album and did an arena tour in Shin's native Korea. [4]

Exodus (American band) American thrash metal band

Exodus is an American thrash metal band formed in 1979 in Richmond, California. They have gone through numerous lineup changes, two extended hiatuses, and the deaths of two former band members. Their current lineup consists of guitarists Gary Holt and Lee Altus, bassist Jack Gibson, drummer Tom Hunting, and lead vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza. Hunting is one of the original members, and departed from Exodus twice, in 1989 and 2004, but rejoined in 2007. Holt joined the band about two years after its formation, and is the only member of Exodus to appear on all their releases.

Overkill (band) American thrash metal band

Overkill is an American thrash metal band, formed in 1980 in New Jersey. They have gone through many line-up changes, leaving bassist D. D. Verni and lead vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth as the only constant members. In addition to Verni and Ellsworth, Overkill's current lineup includes Dave Linsk on lead guitar, Derek Tailer on rhythm guitar and Jason Bittner on drums. Along with Nuclear Assault and Anthrax, whose one-time lead guitarist Dan Spitz was also an early member of Overkill, the band is one of the most successful East Coast thrash metal bands, and they are often called "the Motörhead of thrash metal". The band has a notable mascot named "Chaly", a skeletal bat with a skull-like face, horns, bony wings and green eyes, who has appeared on most of their album covers.

Loudness (band) Japanese heavy metal band

Loudness is a Japanese heavy metal band formed in 1981 by guitarist Akira Takasaki and drummer Munetaka Higuchi. They were the first Japanese metal act signed to a major label in the United States, releasing twenty-six studio albums and nine live albums by 2014 and reaching the Billboard Top 100 in their moment of maximum international popularity, as well as charting on Oricon dozens of times. Despite numerous changes in their roster, with Takasaki the sole constant member, the band continued their activities throughout the 1990s, finally reuniting the original line-up in 2001. This incarnation released a further seven albums until November 30, 2008, when original drummer Munetaka Higuchi died from liver cancer at a hospital in Osaka at age 49. He was replaced with Masayuki Suzuki.

At the beginning of the 2000s, Tsangarides had his own music company called Rainmaker Music, which included a recording studio with the same name in South London. [4] He later opened another studio called The Dump in Kenley, Surrey, which operated until January 2006. [14] Among others, New Model Army, Leanne Harte, Winters Bane and Glyder recorded there. [14]

In 2006, Tsangarides opened a new recording facility, Ecology Room Studios in Kent, England, where he went on producing new and established acts on lower budgets than in corporate studios. [6] The Strawbs, Mountain, Steeleye Span, The Quireboys, Biomechanical, Spit Like This, Savage Messiah and many other bands recorded at his new facility. LunarMile, whose members include Toni-Marie Iommi (daughter of Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi) and Alex Hill (son of Judas Priest's Ian Hill), recorded there in June 2007. [15]

Tsangarides is featured in Sacha Gervasi's documentary film Anvil! The Story of Anvil , released in 2009, while at work on the album This Is Thirteen , which Anvil recorded at Ecology Room Studios. [6]

In February 2012, Tsangarides announced details of a new record label Dark Lord Records formed with The Strawbs frontman Dave Cousins. [16] The first release on the new label was Normalityville Horror by Spit Like This on 21 May. [16]

Tsangarides occasionally played guitar and performed live with the metal band Exmore / More 2012. [10]

He died of pneumonia and heart failure on 7 January 2018, aged 61. [17]

Technical accomplishments

Tsangarides is known for a guitar recording technique called "the vortex", which he first used when recording the guitar of John Goodsall for the Brand X album Moroccan Roll in 1977. [4] He later refined the technique, which gives to the recordings a random panning effect similar to a reverb, but obtained through a particular placement of microphones. [6] [10]

Bands worked with


See also

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