How Important Was Producer ROY THOMAS BAKER To QUEEN's Sound? - "He Was Like A Fifth Band Member... His Influence Cannot Be Underestimated," Says METALLICA Producer FLEMMING RASMUSSEN

December 7, 2023, 2 months ago

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How Important Was Producer ROY THOMAS BAKER To QUEEN's Sound? - "He Was Like A Fifth Band Member... His Influence Cannot Be Underestimated," Says METALLICA Producer FLEMMING RASMUSSEN

Greg Prato, reporting for Ultimate-Guitar.com:

The albums that truly cemented "the Queen Sound" would be their first four offerings - 1973's self-titled debut, 1974's Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack, and especially 1975's A Night At The Opera. And the chap who co-produced all these albums (along with the band) was none other than Roy Thomas Baker. Few rock bands at the time were as cinematic and bombastic as Queen - especially if you were to listen to such offerings as Queen II and A Night At The Opera on a respectable set of headphones – and Baker proved to be Queen's perfect ally in the studio.

Shortly after Trident Studios opened in 1967 (located in Soho, London), Baker began working alongside some of rock's biggest names - The Rolling Stones, The Who, Frank Zappa, Santana, and T. Rex, among others. And by the early '70s, Baker had begun doing production work - for Free, Nazareth, and Gasolin' - before crossing paths with the members of Queen - Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor.

While interviewing various renowned rock n' roll names for the 2018 book, Long Live Queen: Rock Royalty Discuss Freddie, Brian, John & Roger, the subject of Baker and his contribution to the band came up quite often - including an observation by former MTV VJ (and current host of KLOS' New & Approved), Matt Pinfield. "The thing that was unique about Queen and their relationship with Roy Thomas Baker was the incredible layering of the vocals that's been done. And in the future, that would inspire his work with The Cars and Journey. Everybody that he worked with wanted that sound. That's what happened when Journey did 'Infinity' when the Cars did the first album and Candy-O. For me, they set a template of what artists wanted to sound like, and they wanted to do things that sounded big and powerful. I think Queen really set the stage with that. Nobody had done it before them."

And Flemming Rasmussen - the co-producer of such early Metallica classics as"Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, and …And Justice for All - offered further praise. "Roy Thomas Baker was like a fifth band member of Queen. His influence on Queen cannot be underestimated. He more or less made them at the beginning. In his own right, he's a genius."

Read more at Ultimate-Guitar.com.



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