Vic Coppersmith-Heaven

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Vic Coppersmith-Heaven
Birth nameVictor Smith
BornAugust 1945 (age 73)
Occupation(s) Sound engineer, record producer
Years active1961–present
Associated acts The Jam, Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker, various

Vic Coppersmith-Heaven (born Victor Smith, August 1945, England) [1] is an English sound engineer and record producer, best known for his production work with The Jam.

The Jam English rock band

The Jam were an English mod revival/punk rock band during the 1970s and early 1980s, which formed in 1972 at Sheerwater Secondary School in Woking, in the county of Surrey.



Smith worked in the recording studios at Polydor after leaving school in 1961. By 1967 he worked as the engineer on Cat Stevens' album Matthew and Son , and on The Rolling Stones', Let It Bleed . Smith then engineered other hits such as "Honky Tonk Women" and Joe Cocker's "With a Little Help from My Friends". [2] In early 1968 he produced the Nashville Teens' recording of "All Along the Watchtower", the earliest cover version of Bob Dylan's song, which was released as a single in the UK and Europe on Decca Records some six months before Jimi Hendrix's hit version. [3] [4]

Polydor Records multinational record label headquartered in the United Kingdom, owned by Universal Music Group

Polydor is a British record label and company, that operates as part of Universal Music Group. It has a close relationship with Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records label, which distributes Polydor's releases in the United States. In turn, Polydor distributes Interscope releases in the United Kingdom. Polydor Records Ltd. was established in London in 1954 as a British subsidiary of German company Deutsche Grammophon GmbH. It was renamed Polydor Ltd. in 1972.

Cat Stevens British singer-songwriter

Yusuf Islam, commonly known by his stage name Cat Stevens, is a British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His 1967 debut album reached the top 10 in the UK, and its title song "Matthew and Son" reached number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. Stevens' albums Tea for the Tillerman (1970) and Teaser and the Firecat (1971) were certified triple platinum in the US by the RIAA. His musical style consists of folk, pop, rock, and, in his later career, Islamic music.

<i>Matthew and Son</i> (album) 1967 studio album by Cat Stevens

Matthew and Son is the debut studio album by English singer-songwriter Cat Stevens, released in March 1967.

He produced a number of artists, including Sunforest, who released an album on Nova, Deram Records's short-lived prog rock record label, in 1969. Sunforest was a psych-folk all-female British-American trio. Two of their recordings, "Overture to the Sun" and "Lighthouse Keeper", later emerged in a re-recorded form on the soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick's film, A Clockwork Orange . Smith also produced Tinkerbells Fairydust, as well as Peter Sarstedt's third United Artists album, Every Word You Say (Is Written Down), in 1971.

Sunforest was an English psychedelic folk music trio. It was formed in 1968 by Terry Tucker, Erika Eigen and Freya Hogue. They recorded only one album, Sound of Sunforest on Decca Records. They are best known for their instrumental musical piece "Overture to the Sun" and their song "Lighthouse Keeper", which were featured on the soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange.

Deram Records british music label

Deram Records was a subsidiary record label of Decca Records established in the United Kingdom in 1966. At the time, U.K. Decca was a different company from the Decca label in the United States, which was owned by MCA Inc. Deram recordings were distributed in the U.S. through UK Decca's American branch known as London Records. Deram was active until 1979, then continued as a reissue label.

Progressive rock is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid to late 1960s. Initially termed "progressive pop", the style was an outgrowth of psychedelic bands who abandoned standard pop traditions in favour of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz, folk, or classical music. Additional elements contributed to its "progressive" label: lyrics were more poetic, technology was harnessed for new sounds, music approached the condition of "art", and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening, not dancing.

With Smith at the helm, Gravy Train recorded their fourth album, Staircase to the Day. Dawn Records released it in 1974. [5]

Sound recording and reproduction recording of sound and playing it back

Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording.

Dawn Records was a subsidiary of Pye Records. Active from 1969 to 1975, it was set up largely as Pye's 'underground and progressive' label, a rival of the EMI and Phonogram equivalents, Harvest and Vertigo.

In the mid 1970s Smith worked at Polydor's old studios in Stratford Place, London, and was pleased to get involved with The Jam's recordings. "I remember that first gig Chris Parry took me to" said Smith. "It was a period of real excitement and although there were only between 15 and 20 people there, it was a great show with amazing spirit and energy". [2] Later when The Jam slimmed their team of two producers down to one, the then-renamed Coppersmith-Heaven had developed the group's sound with harmonised guitars and acoustic textures. The Jam released their third LP, All Mod Cons in November 1978. [6]

Stratford Place small road, cul-de-sac in London, UK

Stratford Place is a small road in London, off Oxford Street, opposite Bond Street underground station. The road is a cul-de-sac.

Concert live performance of music

A concert is a live music performance in front of an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, choir, or band. Concerts are held in a wide variety and size of settings, from private houses and small nightclubs, dedicated concert halls, arenas and parks to large multipurpose buildings, and even sports stadiums. Indoor concerts held in the largest venues are sometimes called arena concerts or amphitheatre concerts. Informal names for a concert include show and gig.

<i>All Mod Cons</i> 1978 studio album by The Jam

All Mod Cons is the third studio album by British band The Jam, released in 1978 by Polydor Records. The title, a British idiom one might find in housing advertisements, is short for "all modern conveniences" and is a pun on the band's association with the mod revival. The album reached No. 6 in the UK Albums Chart.

The Vapors track, "Turning Japanese", was produced by Coppersmith-Heaven and reached the top three in the UK Singles Chart, at the same time that The Jam's "Going Underground" was at number one. [7] In September 1980, when "Start!" reached number one it was Coppersmith-Heaven's second production credit on a chart topping hit single. [8] By the end of 1980 Coppersmith-Heaven's term with The Jam ended. "Funeral Pyre" was their first single to be produced by Pete Wilson instead of Coppersmith-Heaven, and was also unique in giving the writing credits to the band.

The Vapors British band

The Vapors are an English new wave and power pop band that initially existed between 1978 and 1981. They had a top ten hit with the song "Turning Japanese" in 1980, which reached No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart, and No. 36 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

Turning Japanese 1980 single by The Vapors

"Turning Japanese" is a song released by English band the Vapors, from their album New Clear Days, and the song for which they are best known. The lyric consists mainly of the singer talking about pictures of his love. It prominently features an Oriental riff played on guitar.

UK Singles Chart British singles sales chart

The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.

In 1987, he was responsible, with producer Nick Glennie-Smith and singer Kenny Young, for the album Transmissions [9] under the group name Gentlemen Without Weapons. Young had been concerned about environmental issues for years and in 1989 he co-founded the rainforest conservation organization, Earth Love Fund, with the same colleagues. The same year, Coppersmith-Heaven worked with Black Sabbath for the second time, producing their album The Eternal Idol . A year later, he produced a single for the Kent-based indie band, The Claim, entitled "Wait And See", at the ex-Jam drummer Rick Buckler's studio.

Irritant's 2007 single "Voice of the Siren", described by the BBC as a "gargantuan rock classic", was produced by Coppersmith-Heaven. In 2008, Coppersmith-Heaven produced four tracks for The Q's debut EP Issues, which was released as a limited edition vinyl on Time For Action Records on 20 November. [10]


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  1. "MR VICTOR COPPERSMITH-HEAVEN director information". Company Check. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  2. 1 2 Nicholls, Mike (1984). About The Young Idea: The Story of The Jam 1972 – 1982 (1st ed.). London: Proteus Books Ltd. p. 24. ISBN   0-86276-176-X.
  3. "Their Music". The Nashville Teens. Retrieved 2015-10-10.
  4. "Opulent Conceptions: The Nashville Teens - Sun-Dog". 2012-08-21. Retrieved 2015-10-10.
  5. Archived 25 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "The Jam – The Sound of the Jam". Maniac Music. 29 April 1977. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  7. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 582. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  8. Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 207. ISBN   0-85112-250-7.
  9. "Gentlemen Without Weapons Discography". Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  10. "The Q | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  11. "Vic Coppersmith-Heaven | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  12. "Vic Smith | Credits". AllMusic. 12 May 1975. Retrieved 2013-12-03.