If you like knowing how certain sounds or songs were recorded, microphone and mix deck model numbers; this is a great book that tells you that and more! Bruce Swedien started recording when he was a pre-teen and sculpted his career into what it is today – a world-renown production magician’s bag of audio tricks. An entire chapter is devoted to the recording process and advances made over the last 25 years.
He discusses meeting Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, and Rod Temperton; adding descriptions and tidbits that readers will find humorous and intriguing. Swedien also introduces people that influenced his recording style and those that are influencing the future of the musical recording process. He includes recording set-up diagrams that illustrate ways to get that “perfect sound.”
Swedien talks in-depth about working on Michael Jackson’s movie, The Wiz; his spoken-word recording of E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial; and his albums: Off The Wall, Thriller, Victory, Bad, Dangerous, HIStory, and Invincible. He brings in detailed conversations with Mr. Jackson, as well as side stories about studio antics and pranks that occurred during their association. Stories abound about mixing Thriller, touring Japan, and the truth about “She’s Out of My Life.” Some of these stories won’t be found anywhere else!
He describes Michael Jackson as a “polite…gentle soul...a joy to work with.” He describes what Jackson went through before each recording session and goes on to say that Jackson is “a supreme artist that (has) boundless passion for his music.”
Also included in the book are 8 pages of color photos of Michael Jackson and notes he wrote to the famous engineer during the years they worked together.
And Michael Jackson was not the only well-known recording star the Swedien worked with during his career. Some famous names include Lena Horne, George Benson, David Hasselhoff, Sergio Mendez, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, orchestras, and Jazz bands around the world. Swedien has won Technical Excellence Awards (TEAs), Grammys for producing, and ASCAP awards, as well as being inducted into the TEA Hall of Fame with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
This book has a lot of technical details, but just enough information about Michael Jackson to keep the ball rolling smoothly through the storyline. A pretty good read for those searching the bookstore for more insight into the world of Michael Jackson.
If you are looking for a book that is totally about Michael Jackson – this is not the book for you. But if you want to understand how his wonderful music was electronically reproduced, it tells you all about his “records that topped the charts and shook the world.”