Roy Thomas Baker

Last updated

Roy Thomas Baker
Roy Thomas Baker by Tere Baker crop 2.jpg
Baker at the Whitfield Street Studios in 2005
Background information
Also known asRTB
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Record producer
  • songwriter
  • arranger
  • governor
Years active1970–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website RoyThomasBaker.com

Roy Thomas Baker is an English record producer, songwriter, arranger, and Recording Academy governor, who has produced pop and rock songs since the 1970s. [1]

Contents

Career

Baker began his career at Decca Records at the age of 14. Encouraged by music producer Gus Dudgeon, he soon moved to Trident Studios, where he worked with Dudgeon, Tony Visconti, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Frank Zappa as well as recording artists like The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Who, Gasolin', Nazareth, Santana, The Mothers of Invention, Be Bop Deluxe, Free and T. Rex.

Decca Records US/British record label

Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, along with American Decca's first president Jack Kapp and later American Decca president Milton Rackmil. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca and the link between the UK and U.S. Decca labels was broken for several decades. The British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre. Both wings are now part of the Universal Music Group, which is owned by Vivendi, a media conglomerate headquartered in Paris, France. The US Decca label was the foundation company that evolved into UMG.

Angus Boyd "Gus" Dudgeon was an English record producer, most notable for production of many of Elton John's most acclaimed recordings.

Trident Studios recording studio

Trident Studios was a British recording facility, located at 17 St. Anne's Court in London's Soho district between 1968 and 1981. It was constructed in 1967 by Norman Sheffield, a drummer of former 1960s group the Hunters, and his brother Barry.

After co-founding Neptune (Trident's record company), Baker met the rock band Queen. He began a working relationship that lasted for five albums (Queen, Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack, A Night at the Opera and Jazz) and a number of awards – including Grammy Awards and The Guinness World Records for the best hit song, "Bohemian Rhapsody".

Queen (band) British rock band

Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. Their classic line-up was Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon. Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock.

<i>Guinness World Records</i> Reference book listing world records

Guinness World Records, known from its inception from 1955 until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records and in previous United States editions as The Guinness Book of World Records, is a reference book published annually, listing world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world. The brainchild of Sir Hugh Beaver, the book was co-founded by brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter in Fleet Street, London in August 1954.

Bohemian Rhapsody Queen song

"Bohemian Rhapsody" is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band's 1975 album A Night at the Opera. It is a six-minute suite, consisting of several sections without a chorus: an intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part and a reflective coda. The song is a more accessible take on the 1970s progressive rock genre.

Following his successes with Queen and other artists, Baker signed a multi album production deal with CBS Music (Columbia Records, Sony Music, Epic Records, etc.). He then proceeded to move to the US and set up The RTB Audio Visual Productions' Offices in New York and Los Angeles. At this time under his new CBS deal RTB produced Journey, Starcastle, Reggie Knighton (The Grass Roots), Ian Hunter and Ronnie Wood (The Rolling Stones).

Journey (band) American rock band

Journey is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1973, composed of former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch. The band has gone through several phases; its strongest commercial success occurred between 1978 and 1987 when Steve Perry was lead vocalist. During that period, the band released a series of hit songs, including "Don't Stop Believin'" (1981), which in 2009 became the top-selling track in iTunes history among songs not released in the 21st century. Its parent studio album, Escape, the band's eighth and most successful, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and yielded another of their most popular singles, "Open Arms". Its 1983 follow-up album, Frontiers, was almost as successful in the United States, reaching No. 2 and spawning several successful singles; it broadened the band's appeal in the United Kingdom, where it reached No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart. Journey enjoyed a successful reunion in the mid-1990s and later regrouped with a series of lead singers.

Starcastle is a progressive rock band from Champaign, Illinois. Formed in 1969, the group played many shows under the names Pegasus and Mad John Fever before eventually settling on Starcastle. They inked their first record deal with Epic Records and received extensive airplay and frequently played in the St. Louis area. The original lineup included former REO Speedwagon vocalist Terry Luttrell and computing author/programmer Herb Schildt, while the mid-1980s lineup would briefly include guitarist Mark McGee, who would go on to join Vicious Rumors. They released four albums on both the Epic and CBS labels. The band's debut album Starcastle sold well, garnering worldwide airplay.

Reggie Knighton is a singer, songwriter and lead guitarist from Biloxi, Mississippi who relocated to Los Angeles, California at an early age and grew up there.

Baker, also at this time, committed to produce four albums for The Cars after being prompted by Elektra Records to see them perform in a Boston school gymnasium. The albums were certified platinum and The Cars were Grammy nominated.

The Cars American pop-rock band

The Cars were an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston in 1976, with singer, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter Ric Ocasek; singer, songwriter and bassist Benjamin Orr; lead guitarist Elliot Easton; keyboardist Greg Hawkes; and drummer David Robinson.

He was offered the post as The Senior Vice-President of "Artist and Repertoire" (A and R) for Elektra Records as executive and/or producer with recording artists The World, Lindsey Buckingham, Mötley Crüe, Joe Lynn Turner, Josie Cotton and Dokken as well as continuing with Queen and The Cars. During his tenure as Sr. V.P. Elektra signed artists Metallica, Simply Red, Yello, Peter Schilling, The World and 10,000 Maniacs.

Lindsey Buckingham American musician

Lindsey Adams Buckingham is an American musician, singer, songwriter and producer, best known as lead guitarist and one of the vocalists of the music group Fleetwood Mac from 1975–1987 and 1997–2018. In addition to his tenure with Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham has released six solo albums and three live albums. As a member of Fleetwood Mac, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2011, Buckingham was ranked 100th in Rolling Stone Magazine's 2011 list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". Buckingham is known for his fingerpicking guitar style.

Mötley Crüe American heavy metal band

Mötley Crüe is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1981. The group was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, lead singer Vince Neil and lead guitarist Mick Mars. Mötley Crüe has sold more than 41 million records worldwide, including 25 million albums in the United States, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time.

Joe Lynn Turner American singer

Joe Lynn Turner is an American singer, guitarist, songwriter, and producer. He is known for his work in the hard rock bands Rainbow and Deep Purple. During his career, Turner fronted and played guitar with pop rock band Fandango in the late 1970s; and in the early 1980s, he became a member of Rainbow, fronting the band and writing songs with guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore and bassist, and producer, Roger Glover. After Rainbow had disbanded in March 1984, he pursued a solo career, released one album, Rescue You, and then later did session work, singing background vocals for the likes of Billy Joel, Cher, and Michael Bolton. On the advice of Bolton, Turner began recording jingles for radio and television. Other songs he had composed or through collaboration with songwriters like Desmond Child and Jack Ponti were being recorded and released by international recording artists Jimmy Barnes, Lee Aaron, and Bonfire. Turner had a short-lived association with neoclassical metal guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen and then Deep Purple. From the mid-1990s, he resumed his solo career, releasing an additional nine studio and two live recordings. Turner did other session work, appearing as lead vocalist on tribute albums and working on projects involving various musical groups including progressive rock band Mother's Army; Bulgarian hard rock band Brazen Abbot; funk rock duo Hughes Turner Project; and classic rock/ progressive rock band Rated X. In 2006, Frontiers Records approached Turner to become involved with the AOR side project Sunstorm. By 2016, four albums under the Sunstorm name had been released. That same year, Turner released The Sessions via Cleopatra Records featuring a veritable who's who of classic rock royalty as guest musicians, before resuming his seemingly constant touring schedule back in Europe.

Baker has also worked with artists Guns N' Roses, Alice Cooper, Foreigner, Pilot, Ozzy Osbourne, Devo, The Stranglers, Dusty Springfield, T'Pau, Cheap Trick and Lewis Furey. In 2005, he produced One Way Ticket to Hell and Back by The Darkness, The Smashing Pumpkins' 2007 album, Zeitgeist , The Storm's 2008 album When the Storm Meets the Ground, The Smashing Pumpkins' American Gothic and One Karma's 2011 album Life Got in the Way. He also produced Yes's 2014 album Heaven & Earth , 35 years after his previous experience with the band, working on sessions in Paris that never led to an album. [2]

Personal life

Baker lives in Los Angeles, Europe and at the RTB Studio Du Lac, his recording retreat, in Arizona. He is married to entertainment executive and actress Tere Livrano Baker.

Selected discography

Productions by Roy Thomas Baker:

See also

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References

  1. "Discogs. Single and Album Discography and Biography: Roy Thomas Baker". 1 September 2012.
  2. "Lords of Metal ezine". Lordsofmetal.nl. Retrieved 25 July 2014.