Saturday, 30 October 2010

God Like Genius - Trevor Horn

Trevor Horn deserves god like genius status simply by producing Lexicon of Love for which I'd even forgive him Tatu. Add to this the wonderful 80s Video Killed the Radio Star (although thankfully it didn't inspire me to swap my national health glasses for a pair of big red frames) and even making a Yes song that sounded okay (Owner of a Lonely Heart) and you've got a producer who although coming at it from the opposite direction to Brain Eno (you feel that with one less is more and the other more is more) also can sparkle magic dust on otherwise okay material

Even without the perfect 4 mins that are All of my Heart, his god like status comes from 3 of the most excessive over the top tracks you can think of.

Die Tausend Des Mabuse - Propaganda

Although Horn didn't produce the Secret Wish lp ( he handed things over to Stephen Lipson whilst he focused on Frankie Goes to Hollywood) he did produce the lead off single Dr Mabuse as well as various extended versions including this one

Welcome to the Pleasuredome - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Although the self combusted after complete over exposure, I still don't tire of hearing the title track of their first lp , here in one of the many remixed versions

Left to My Own Devises - Pet Shop Boys

Hysterically over the top without lapsing into cartoon camp

Just to show that he can do the straight forward as well. He somehow ended up producing the Belle and Sebastian lp Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Apparently he agreed as his daughter really liked them and having heard all their stuff it irked him that he felt the vocal was never well produced. It is my favourite B and S lp despite getting mixed reviews (some reviewers missed the point by complaining that he hadn't got them making something like Two Tribes!).

If She Wants Me - Belle and Sebastian

This is one of the slower songs and I don't think Stuart Murdoch's vocal has sounded better.


  1. Not to mention Art Of Noise.

  2. I give Trevor many props - Grace Jones' Slave To The Rhythm for me might be his 80's Zenith because it is both bombastic an restrained, while not losing the impact that Grace can bring to a song. But I will never forgive him turning his back on ABC and letting them go basically unedited on Beauty Stab. Giving over the perfection that is Lexicon of Love to the B-Team is just not right. And it pains me that he found turning ploding old YES into a Smash Hits pop act was more important. I agree that he is integral to PSB's Introspective and early Propaganda is probably the true raison d'etre for ZTT's existence, but he has done some unforgivable things in his career.

  3. Hi Anon

    I really wanted to like the Art of Noise , but just couldn't quite get into them

    Hi echo - yes he has some blots on his cv and Slave to the Rhythm is up there with the best he has been involved with

    I not sure i agree with the Beauty Stab thing - I think it stands up pretty well and was never going to better Lexicon and could have jjust been a pale imitation

  4. I get your point regarding Beauty Stab, and by no means do I feel it's a bad album, I just think that ABC were kind of unsuspecting victims of Horne's whims a the time to have all ten fingers in different projects. Beauty Stab should be harder and maybe rougher, but I think if Horne had stuck with them it would have been even bolder and brighter. By no means would I have wanted to hear Martin Fry sing something even remotely like "Owner of a Lonely Heart" but I always felt that that song's popularity should have been ABC's. The songs are there on Beauty Stab, the production, not as much.


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