Bob Clearmountain

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Producer, engineer, and mixer Bob Clearmountain is among the most acclaimed studio kingpins in all of contemporary pop. Influenced by his guitar-playing older brother, he began playing the bass as a teen;…
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Producer, engineer, and mixer Bob Clearmountain is among the most acclaimed studio kingpins in all of contemporary pop. Influenced by his guitar-playing older brother, he began playing the bass as a teen; fascinated by recording technology from a young age, he also toyed with electronics. While in high school, Clearmountain and his band soon cut a demo at the New York City studio Media Sound, and when the group disbanded a short time later, he returned to the studio in the hopes of landing a job. Initially hired as a delivery boy, he was serving within hours as an assistant engineer on a session for Duke Ellington. Working steadily as an engineer throughout the '70s, he was well-known by the end of the decade in disco circles for his sophisticated work on hit albums from Chic and Sister Sledge; conversely, he also produced material for new wavers including the Rezillos and the Tuff Darts. As the '80s dawned, Clearmountain not only produced up-and-comers like Bryan Adams and the Church, but also engineered records for superstars like David Bowie and Roxy Music.

Big Bam Boom
His breakthrough year was 1984, when he produced Adams' smash Reckless and Hall & Oates' Big Bam Boom, as well as mixing Bruce Springsteen's landmark Born in the U.S.A. Often working in tandem with co-producer Jimmy Iovine, Clearmountain moved on to hits from INXS (Kick), Simple Minds (Once Upon a Time), and the Pretenders (Get Close). During the '90s, he also developed SessionTools, a networkable studio management database application designed to aid in all facets of the day-to-day operations of modern recording or mixing facilities. A series of CD-R collections of sampled bass, drum, and percussion sounds was also released under his name. Clearmountain's mixing/engineering work during the 2000s included Simple Minds' Black & White 050505 (2005) and Graffiti Soul (2009), Bryan Ferry's Dylanesque (2007), the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones concert film Shine a Light (2008), Bryan Adams' 11 (2008), and Alejandro Sanz's Paraiso Express (2009) -- as well as Ricky Martin's MTV Unplugged (2006), the latter of which won a Best Male Pop Vocal Album award at 2007's Latin Grammys.