Monday, February 9, 2009


Rick Rubin won Producer of the Year, non-classical at the Grammys. But today, The New York Times has a story (based mostly on hearsay) that Rick may be on the way out from Columbia Records, where he is co--something, chairman, president, CEO. He doesn't want to have a title. 

It's telling that some of the biggest album that he produced this year - Metallica's Death Magnetic - is on Warner Brothers. I think he produced a Linkin Park album for the label also. He also produced tracks for U2 (on Universal) which they decided not to use for now: their upcoming album, No Line On The Horizon was produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois

But the fact that he won't work in an office, yet had the label's offices redesigned, produces albums for whoever he wants to (he is working on upcoming albums for ZZ Top and Crosby Stills & Nash, which is probably not what Sony had in mind for him) made him a weird choice.  In the high rollin' '80s or '90s, it might have been cool to hire someone like Rick to help run a major label. I'm a huge fan, and it didn't make sense to me. Of course they must be paying him tons of money, and if he walks away with all of it and no "full time job," I doubt he'll lose any sleep. 

Meanwhile, Epic (another Sony label) has just hired singer/songwriter Amanda Ghost as their president. This industry just gets crazier. 

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