Steve Sutherland

Steve Sutherland  |  Jul 08, 2020  |  0 comments
From Fleetwood Mac to Focus, Bowie to the British blues greats, this UK-born producer helped create many of the greatest performances committed to tape, while founding his own label along the way. Steve Sutherland celebrates the work of Mike Vernon...

It may not have been the dumbest thing he ever did, but it was certainly up there. David Bowie announced that the set-list for every performance of his 1990 Sound+Vision world tour would be partially decided by the most popular songs from his back catalogue, as voted for by his fans.

Steve Sutherland  |  Jun 18, 2020  |  0 comments
In the 1970s reggae joined forces with punk to create a sound that would reverberate throughout the British music scene. Steve Sutherland celebrates the Barbados-born producer Dennis Bovell, the man behind many of the period's finest dub and disco hits

It's the 13th of October 1974, a date remembered in some circles as Black Friday. The facts are somewhat sketchy but it seems a couple of police officers decide that some black dude is driving suspiciously through Cricklewood in London. They pull him over and are about to arrest him when he legs it into The Carib Club. Six officers give chase and grab him in the toilets. They're bringing him out with a bit of a struggle when some club-goers, mates of the pursued, tackle the cops, stabbing one and setting the fugitive free.

Steve Sutherland  |  Jun 08, 2020  |  0 comments
Steve Sutherland savours the thrillingly nutty flavours of this ripe 11-track offering from the multimonikered Aussie musician, as the album is reissued on 180g vinyl

Back in the 1950s, that perpetual scamp and eminent philosopher Bertrand Russell (then well into his 80s) created an analogy to deal with the concept of faith in the existence of God. He said that if he were to assert, without offering any evidence whatsoever, that a teapot – too small to be seen by telescopes – orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, he could not expect anyone to believe him solely because it could not be proven wrong. 'I think,' he concluded, 'the Christian God just as unlikely'.

Steve Sutherland  |  May 29, 2020  |  0 comments
The next time you hear the opening chords of 'Hotel California' spare a thought for the man who caught it all on tape... Steve Sutherland celebrates the work of a US-born producer who has shaped the sound of such greats as BB King, Joe Walsh and The Who

Here's a cool pub quiz question for you: who links 1960s Russian leader Nikita Kruschev to The Eagles' Hotel California? The answer? Bill Szymczyk. And while we're at it, here's another. How the heck do you pronounce that surname? Answer: Sim-Zik.

Steve Sutherland  |  May 22, 2020  |  0 comments
Digging into the darker, tragic side of America's history, Steve Sutherland sets the context for this live recording, now reissued as a 50-year celebratory LP on 180g vinyl

Once upon a time there was a country which called itself the United States Of America – a gross misnomer because it couldn't have been more disunited if it tried. It was first largely populated by white people who had landed in ships and stolen the land from its original inhabitants. They then kidnapped and imported boatloads of people from Africa and the like to do all their heavy lifting. These slaves had no wages and no rights.

Steve Sutherland  |  May 14, 2020  |  0 comments
A song with a kick, but for all the wrong reasons, as Steve Sutherland reassesses a ska album from 1970, which has recently been re-released on 180g vinyl

We could begin with Plato, or even Aristotle, but Oscar Wilde it is. In his 1889 essay, The Decay Of Lying, the great man took umbrage with the Greeks' philosophy of mimesis which said that all true art mimics nature. On the contrary, quoth Oscar, 'Life imitates art' and that is roughly how it felt – very roughly as it happens – one sunny Saturday lunchtime in April, 1972, when I got my head kicked in.

Steve Sutherland  |  May 11, 2020  |  0 comments
After running his own studio while a teenager in Texas and playing guitar in Bob Dylan's backing band, this US-born producer went on to become the go-to guy for stars seeking to re-discover the very roots of rock 'n' roll. Steve Sutherland celebrates T Bone Burnett

Is nostalgia stopping our culture's ability to surge forward, or are we nostalgic precisely because our culture has stopped moving forward so we inevitably look back to more momentous and dynamic times?'

Steve Sutherland  |  Apr 29, 2020  |  0 comments
From '60s solo artist to Phil Spector's right-hand man, this US-born 'influencer' not only produced superstars such as Neil Young and The Stones, but wrote a string of soundtracks nominated for Academy Awards. Steve Sutherland on Jack Nitzsche

There's a particular species of character that, although essential, has been mighty ill-served by pop historians. It's tough to pin down exactly what role these personalities play in the creation of popular music. What they actually do. And so it's hard to know what we should call them.

Steve Sutherland  |  Apr 22, 2020  |  0 comments
Pinball wizard Steve Sutherland looks back on meeting Her Madge in the early '80s and her career-altering controversial third album, now released on 180g vinyl

She looks a bit lost, standing alone backstage leaning against the wall, watching all the celebrities mingle, clink glasses, air kiss and gossip. Lost and a little bored. Same as me, to be honest. So I cross the room and say 'hi'. She says 'hi' back. To break the ice, I point to the pinball machine, unoccupied, just over there, and ask if she fancies a game. She smiles again. 'Sure.' And away we go at it. As I remember, I won, although I'm sure – if she recalled it at all – she'd disagree.

Steve Sutherland  |  Mar 16, 2020  |  0 comments
From Nico's ethereal Teutonic tones to the snarl of The Stooges and funky acid rock of The Happy Mondays, this British born musician has produced many of the albums now regarded as turning points in the history of pop music. Steve Sutherland on John Cale

See that jittery bloke over there, the one who appears to be severely chemically imbalanced, the one shouting his head off waving around the half-drunk bottle of Stolichnaya? He's the boss. He's in charge. He's the producer. He's John Cale.

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