Jim's gems

Dickinson's eclectic catalog
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  August 15, 2006

Big Star's Alex Chilton
Jim Dickinson has been producing records — yes, that’s right, he’s made many actual 45 and 78 rpm vinyl records — since 1967. And with a legacy of production that includes Big Star, the Replacements, John Hiatt, Ry Cooder, Mudhoney, the North Mississippi All Stars, Toots Hibbert, Albert King, Furry Lewis, Screaming Jay Hawkins, and even Boston’s Scruffy the Cat and Barrence Whitfield & the Savages, his influence as a musical guru extends across five decades and throughout the world. These are some of his more notable exercises in studio direction.

Big Star | Big Star Third/Sister Lovers | PVC 1978 | Dickinson’s empathy for the psychic turmoil of songwriter Alex Chilton makes this power-pop classic a work of ragged beauty and Big Star’s most influential album.

The Replacements | Pleased To Meet Me | Reprise/Sire 1987 | When the ’Mats fired guitarist Bob Stinson, Dickinson brought in the Memphis Horns and made the group’s first radio hit, “Can’t Hardly Wait.” Arguably their best, with “Nightclub Jitters” and the tribute “Alex Chilton.”

Toots Hibbert | Toots in Memphis | Mango/Island 1988 | This brilliant soul-reggae fusion features the elegant-voiced Hibbert covering Southern classics, and it teams Memphis musicians like guitarists Teenie Hodges and Eddie Hinton (Dickinson plays keyboards) with riddim kings Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.

North Mississippi All Stars | 51 Phantom | Tone-Cool 2001 | Luther and Cody Dickinson formed the All Stars, and here their dad helped reshape the group from a Mississippi hill-country blues band into a modern jam powerhouse.

T Model Ford | Bad Man | Fat Possum 2002 | Contemporary electric juke-joints blues caught in the absolute raw.

The Tarbox Ramblers | A Fix Back East | Rounder 2004 | These Boston-based roots stompers took an evolutionary step with Dickinson, moving toward a mesmeric less retro sound.

Spencer Dickinson | The Man Who Lives for Love | Yep Roc 2006 | Juke-joint madness and urban insanity meet in this noisy, raving collision between Blues Explosion leader Jon Spencer and the Dickinson brothers

Related: North Mississippi Allstars, Big Star | Keep an Eye on the Sky, Alex Chilton, 1950 - 2010, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Music, Mudhoney,  More more >
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