Author Topic: The producers of SOE  (Read 242 times)

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Online lucas.homem

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The producers of SOE
« on: December 07, 2017, 06:33:45 AM »
The album credits JACKNIFE LEE and RYAN TEDDER with STEVE LILLYWHITE, ANDY BARLOW, JOLYON THOMAS, BRENT KUTZLE, PAUL EPWORTH, DANGER MOUSE and DECLAN GAFFNEY. So we have 9 in total.
However, I'll cut 3 producers from this overview. DANGER MOUSE is only credited in Ordinary Love, not a new song. PAUL EPWORTH is only credited in 13 (There Is A Light) and I believe the reason is his participation in Song For Someone. DECLAN GAFFNEY is only credited in American Soul and I believe the reason is his participation in Volcano.
(However, Declan Gaffney is a major sound engineer in SOE, so let's not underestimate his contributions to the album)

So let's see what each one of the other SIX producers were doing.

It's interesting to note that the credit of each track says the name of a producer WITH someone else, which gives the impression that the first name is the most important (good to note that each version of Lights of Home says the name of a different producer first and then says the other). After that, they may mention someone that did additional production and original production.
I'll consider (1) the MAIN PRODUCER the guy first mentioned in each track, (2) an IMPORTANT PRODUCER any other guy mentioned in the same line of the main producer, (3) ADDITIONAL PRODUCER the guy who did additional production and (4) ORIGINAL PRODUCER the guy was originally producing the track.

RYAN TEDDER
- The MAIN PRODUCER in: Get Out Of Your Own Way, Summer of Love, Red Flag Day, The Showman, 13 (There is A Light) and Lights of Home (ST. Peter's String Version).
- An IMPORTANT PRODUCER in: Lights of Home (main version) and You're The Best Thing About Me.
- He's an ADDITIONAL PRODUCER in: no track.
- He was the ORIGINAL PRODUCER in: Landlady and The Blackout.
Total: 10 tracks.

JACKNIFEE LEE
- The MAIN PRODUCER in: Lights of Home (main version), You're The Best Thing About Me, American Soul, Landlady, The Blackout and Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way (alone). He was also the main producer of the Kygo version of YTBTAM.
- An IMPORTANT PRODUCER in: Lights of Home (St. Peter's String Version).
- He's an ADDITIONAL PRODUCER in: Summer of Love and The Showman.
- He was the ORIGINAL PRODUCER in: no track.
Total: 10 tracks.

ANDY BARLOW
- The MAIN PRODUCER in: Love Is All We Have Left (alone) and Book Of Your Heart (alone).
- An IMPORTANT PRODUCER in: Red Flag Day.
- He's an ADDITIONAL PRODUCER in: The Little Things That Give You Away and Landlady.
- He was the ORIGINAL PRODUCER in: no track.
Total: 5 tracks.

JOLYON THOMAS
- The MAIN PRODUCER in: The Little Things That Give You Away.
- An IMPORTANT PRODUCER in: Get Out Of Your Own Way.
- He's an ADDITIONAL PRODUCER in: Lights of Home (main version), American Soul, Lights of Home (St. Peter's String Version)
- He was the ORIGINAL PRODUCER in: no track.
Total: 5 tracks.

BRENT KUTZLE
- The MAIN PRODUCER in: no track.
- An IMPORTANT PRODUCER in: Lights of Home (main version), You're The Best Thing About Me, Get Out of Your Own Way, Summer of Love, Red Flag Day, Lights of Home (St. Peter's String Version).
- He's an ADDITIONAL PRODUCER in: The Blackout
- He was the ORIGINAL PRODUCER in: no track.
Total: 7 tracks.

STEVE LILLYWHITE
- The MAIN PRODUCER in: no track
- An IMPORTANT PRODUCER in: You're The Best Thing About Me, Get Out Of Your Own Way, Red Flag Day and The Showman.
- He's an ADDITIONAL PRODUCER in: no track
- He was the ORIGINAL PRODUCER in: no track.
Total: 4 tracks.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 08:53:06 AM by lucas.homem »



Online lucas.homem

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Re: The producers of SOE
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 07:06:12 AM »
It's hard to know for sure what's the contribution of each producer, but let's try to do some analysis.

RYAN TEDDER and JACKNIFE LEE are the main players in SOE, both with 10 tracks credited on their back. Probably, all the songs passed through their hands at some point, even if they were not credited in all of them. Also, I suppose both of them brought a lot of material to the band and were there for every detail. Of course, RYAN TEDDER is the guy Bono relies the most to shape his melodies, but I also think he is pretty important in general. As for JACKNIFE LEE, I'm not sure in what field he shines the most.
Curiosities comparing the two on SOE:
- RYAN is the main producer of the string version of Lights of Home while JACKNIFE is the main producer of the main version. Does that say something?
- They work together in a lot of tracks, except on 5 songs: GOOYOW (produced by RYAN), Red Flag Day (produced by RYAN), 13 (produced by RYAN), American Soul (produced by JACK) and Love Is Bigger (produced by JACK).
- RYAN was the original producer of Landlady and The Blackout, but JACKNIFE substitued him.
- None of the two were in Love Is All We Have Left, The Little Thing That Give You Away and Book of Your Heart.

ANDY BARLOW is, in my opinion, the third ace in the field and maybe my favorite producer, with 5 tracks credited to him (although he only did additional production in 2 of them). He is also the easier to pinpoint the contributions, since he was in the three tracks not produced by RYAN or JACKNIFE LEE. Moreover, ANDY BARLOW is the sole producer of Love Is All We Have Left and Book of Your Heart, which says a lot. Judging by that, he is the guy responsible for creating the most expressive sonic textures of SOE, as that was probably his job in Landlady and The Little Things That Give You Away also. Probably in Red Flag Day too (?). A lot of sensibility in his job.

JOLYON THOMAS is the fourth man of the album, with 5 tracks too. He is the only main producer of Little Things, but overall I can't really pinpoint his contributions.

BRENT KUTZLE is another member from the band OneRepublich alongside RYAN TEDDER. His name is in more tracks than Andy Barlow and Jolyon Thomas, with 7 in total, but he's not the main producer in any of them and probably was there to help the songs RYAN TEDDER was in (they share the same tracks). Considering the fact he's a bassist and cellist, he probably was there to help Adam and Larry mostly, but let's not assume too much.

STEVE LILLYWHITE is in four songs and he probably helped them get the "live feeling" the band was searching for.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 08:59:39 AM by lucas.homem »

Online lucas.homem

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Re: The producers of SOE
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 07:16:40 AM »
Well, that's it. What do you guys think?

I see a lot of hate for RYAN TEDDER in U2 forums, but he seems to be a really solid producer for the band in his own mertis. It may surprise most that he is the ONLY producer of the introspective 13 (There Is A Light), considering that Paul Epworth wasn't present for SOE (as I've said before, I think his credit comes from his production in Song For Someone). I think he probably did a great job and I would not care if the band kept him for the next record.

JACKNIFE LEE is a good producer too, but I can't really understand his job as a producer overall (he is a sound engineer also). However, it's interesting to note that the two most divisive songs of the album, American Soul and Love Is Bigger, were mainly produced by him. Well, I think I like him less than Tedder.

ANDY BARLOW is a keeper, in my opinion, my favorite producer. All the songs he's in are great and I really love what I suppose is his contributions to the aesthetics of SOE.

My personal ranking is:
1) Andy Barlow
2) Ryan Tedder (with Brent Kutzle)
3) Jacknife Lee
4) Jolyon Thomas (could be higher if I understood his job on the songs he's in)
5) Steve Lillywhite (not a major player in SOE, but probably important reach the final shape of the songs he's in)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 07:22:35 AM by lucas.homem »

Offline PookaMacP

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Re: The producers of SOE
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 04:47:27 PM »
Yeah, I agree completely re Andy Barlow. Love Is All We Have Left is the best song on the album and Book Of Your Heart has a great sound (it would probably have made the album if they'd been able to find a better chorus melody to match the excellent verses). I hope they work with him again, though I wouldn't bet on it...

Offline benpoke

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Re: The producers of SOE
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2017, 05:47:40 AM »
Another vote here for Andy Barlow.  Those two tracks feel the most fresh and natural.

Offline ahmadsquad

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Re: The producers of SOE
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2017, 08:16:58 PM »
I got really excited when I heard Andy Barlow was one of the producers. Lamb's song "Gorecki" is one of my favorite songs from the 90's. I think he contributes a sense of space and mystery to the songs, much like Brian Eno does on other U2 albums.