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Joe Meek

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Joe Meek (1929-1967) was an incredibly imaginative and progressive independent record producer and songwriter. Despite being tone-deaf and not being able to play a musical instrument or write notation, Meek displayed a remarkable facility for writing and producing successful commercial recordings. In writing songs he was reliant on musicians such as Dave Adams, Geoff Goddard or Charles Blackwell to transcribe melodies and chord-progressions from his “demos”. He worked on 245 singles, of which 45 were major hits (top fifty or better).

He pioneered studio tools such as multiple over-dubbing on one- and two-track machines, close miking, direct input of bass-guitars, the compressor, and effects like echo and reverb, as well as sampling. Unlike other producers, his search was for the “right sound” rather than for a catchy musical tune, and throughout his brief career he single-mindedly followed his quest to create a unique “sonic signature” for every record he produced.

At a time when many studio engineers were still wearing white coats and assiduously trying to maintain clarity and fidelity, Meek, the maverick, was producing everything on the three floors of his home studio and was never afraid to distort or manipulate the sound if it created the effect he was seeking. For the song “Johnny Remember Me” he placed the violins on the stairs, the drummer almost in the bathroom, and the brass section on a different floor entirely.

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  • JamesHippieKid

    Just glorious. So ahead of his time. and too underrated.

    26 Jun 7:12pm Reply
  • FakePlasticDick

    Weird motherfucker

    26 Apr 1:21pm Reply
  • PimD

    How I wish there was a superdeluxe career-spanning "The Complete Joe Meek Productions" boxset :(

    19 Jan 7:08pm Reply
  • hierophantus

    Seriously, SixShooterSam: get laid.

    14 Sep 2013 Reply
  • hierophantus

    Yeah because "genius" is the same as "producer." Jesus you are a fucking asshole.

    14 Sep 2013 Reply
  • BallerCraig

    I'm a Geek, love Meek, heck muh-funn yeh.

    31 Jan 2013 Reply
  • liquidnature

    he was one brilliant lunatic

    9 Jan 2013 Reply
  • thrillseeker01

    had he lived,who knows what he would have achieved?What if he had worked with Hendrix,Floyd or Aphex Twin? Can anyone imagine Meek for XBox 360,or The Meek Factor or Meek for Windows 27?

    24 Oct 2012 Reply
  • Nakkinak

    no u

    19 Oct 2012 Reply
  • SixShooterSam

    Yeah because Velvet Underground is also a prolific rock and roll producer. Jesus you are fucking stupid.

    6 May 2012 Reply
  • Ishishishisha

    i hear a new world calling me

    18 Jan 2012 Reply
  • heknows-santos

    Meeky Meeky Random Flakes Vol.1

    22 Oct 2011 Reply
  • atiredmachine

    The Dionysian Season -- you can download the album here: http://justanothersnakecult.bandcamp.com/

    21 Oct 2011 Reply
  • bingbongbilly

    Just been listening to Dibcots Space Boat. Top track!

    20 Sep 2011 Reply
  • miikargh

    "I Hear A New World" album is pure gold!

    13 Apr 2011 Reply
  • Diothalamus

    @TomH86, besides all the other points that everyone else made, he also had the foresight to kill his landlord before he killed himself. that sounds pretty genius to me.

    9 Apr 2011 Reply
  • Kor21

    holy god

    5 Jan 2011 Reply
  • methlabforcutie

    shoulda shot phil spector.

    31 May 2010 Reply
  • ThousandBPM

    Probably the most prolific rock genius before Velvet Underground.

    5 May 2010 Reply
  • EmilSchwartze

    "TomH86 wrote: March 2008 I like meek, but id like to hear WHY some regard him as a genius... " Answer: Because he was - how much Meek-produced music have you listened to? The man was tone-deaf, and managed to pen some amazing songs, and one of top instrumentals of all time. Not to mention all the genre-spanning music he worked on in a strictly engineer capacity. Also not mention his many innovations in recordings techniques and equipment. Anyone who is tonedeaf and can do that, I would say is unequivocally a genius. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

    6 Feb 2010 Reply
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