Rockers moonlighting with non-rock producers

. . . or are we dancey?
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 20, 2009


The Killers go through some new motions. By Daniel Brockman.
The Killers first worked with Stuart Price on a dance remix of their hit “Mr. Brightside” (under Price’s French house pseudonym, Jacques Lu Cont) — and so far, this blend of rock-band brawn and electro-dance bliss has worked smashingly, with Price often taking bits of the band’s instrumentation and creating a rich musical loop bed where elements emerge to the surface in fascinating ways. Here are five more of rock’s more interesting collaborations with the world of the non-rock production.

VINI PONCIA | KISS’S DYNASTY | Including Kiss’s unlikely disco smash “I Was Made for Loving You,” this one was produced by the man behind drummer Peter Criss’s solo album — and, more important, by the co-author of Leo Sayers’s “You Make Me Feel like Dancing.”

GIORGIO MORODER | BLONDIE’S “CALL ME” | Before he went on to change the sound of film forever with his era-defining work on Top Gun, Scarface, and Flashdance, Italian disco producer Moroder hooked up with the pop-sensible Blondie to merge Donna Summers with Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave” beat; the result was the ur dance rhythm of the decade.

WILLIAM ORBIT | BLUR’S 13 | Damon Albarn’s Britpop band were no strangers to fey dance pop (see early hit “There’s No Other Way”) — which is probably why their collaboration with trance guru and “Ray of Light” creator Orbit is anything but. The brittle, stinging distorted St. Vitus’ dance of “Bugman,” the perky acoustipop of “Coffee & TV,” and especially the gorgeous church-revival solemnity of lead-off track “Tender” prove that going to a producer who’s outside the realm can really draw the best from a band.

BUTCHER BROS. | URGE OVERKILL’S SATURATION | Where Chitown Albini acolytes go to the Cypress Hill triggermen to mine such alterna-radio hits as “Sister Havana” and “Positive Bleeding.” Forsaking the solemn oath of Minimal Spartan Production never sounded so rocking.

GIL NORTON | FOO FIGHTERS’ THE COLOUR & THE SHAPE | I know what you’re thinking: “Gil Norton produced the Pixies, he’s not a dance producer!” And yet The Colour & the Shape could go down as one of the first pure rock/techno hybrid albums, since it used computer-powered cut-and-paste to produce repeated guitar hooks, drum fills, and identi-choruses that were just as artificially manufactured as that year's Prodigy album — while being undetectable to sensitive rockist ears. Technology 1, Luddites 0.

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  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Blur, VINI PONCIA,  More more >
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