I listened to this interview the other day while I was cleaning my house. Alec Baldwin interviewing Billy Joel.
One of the really insightful parts of this interview is when Billy talks about how much Phil Ramone (producer) changed the trajectory of his career. It took having Phil as a producer to finally get him a hit album (it’s also interesting to hear him talk about how Piano Man wasn’t really a hit album, it was just a “turntable hit”), and he recognizes how important – crucial – it is to work with a good producer.
This stuck out in my mind during the interview because as I’ve been working on my new album, I’ve been really appreciating how important my two producers are to this project. And how they’ve helped to shape my music and present it in a way I couldn’t have envisioned on my own, being too close to the source of it.
Hooray for great producers!
“So I’m saying, ‘Who’s this guy, Phil Ramone?’ I keep seeing Phil Ramone, Phil Ramone, Phil Ramone. Paul Simon used him as an engineer. I said, ‘I want to work with this guy, because he looks like he knows what he’s doing. He knows how to get good sound. He knows how to deal with things sonic.’ And when he came in, boom, we knew we had a professional guy. It was like working with another great musician. He knows how to play the studio like we know how to play our instruments. Everything changed.”