googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: The Musical Partnership

The Musical Partnership

I prefer musical groups to solo artists. One reason is because in a band there is more competition. Neil Young can put two or three second rate tunes on his solo album, who's going to stop him? He got tired, he needs a couple more songs to round out the album and those are what he has available. But if he tries to stick those tunes on a Buffalo Springfield album Stephen Stills and Richie Furay will say they've got better songs than that, their songs should go on the album. Neil then has to step up his game if he wants to play.

A solo artist doesn't have the "equal" partners to keep him in line and force him to up his standards. The closest thing, other than maybe an opinionated wife (inevitable ex-wife), is a producer. A record producer is to a musician what Jiminy Cricket was to Pinocchio. He many times represents the record company and has the task of keeping both the material and performance as well as the recording as highly polished and professional as the label expects and requires. 

A producer is someone who may do as little as listen to make sure everything is in tune and on time, both musically and in regards to keeping appointments, and decide when a "take" isn't up to snuff and should be re-recorded, to actually writing the songs, arranging the instruments and even playing on the tracks. A producer is not usually a recording engineer who handles the recording equipment and may or may not be involved with the mixing of the tracks.

Without a producer as a partner in the production of a record the artist is forced into a sometimes uneasy partnership with the record company's A & R rep. This person may be the talent scout who first brought the artist to the attention of the record company and is liaison between the artist and the label. The problem is that the A & R (Artist and Repertoire) person doesn't necessarily know how to actually make music. His or her help isn't always constructive and can lead to an adversarial relationship between the artist and the label. Most of the time in successful careers the relationship between the artist and producer is good and long lasting.

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