Robert John “Mutt” Lange – Producer Extraordinaire

Robert John “Mutt” Lange could quite possibly be one of the greatest music producers there has ever been.  He is personally responsible for some of the biggest selling albums of all time. He is the man behind the music, literally.

He started producing albums in the 70’s where he produced Graham Parker’s album ‘Heat Treatment’ and worked with the City Boys.  He also worked with the Boomtown Rats which gave him his first real breakout album was their 1978 album ‘A Tonic for the Troops”.

But the big break came with the success of his work with AC/DC.  He produced the 1979 album ‘Highway to Hell’ and then the 1980 classic ‘Back in Black’ which is the second largest selling album of all time at over 50 million albums.  ‘Back in Black’ was one of the albums I picked up just recently (read about it here).  He went to do another album for AC/DC in 1981, ‘For Those About To Rock We Salute You’.

If that wasn’t enough, in 1981 he began working with Foreigner and produced their most successful album ‘4’ with massive hits “Jukebox Hero”, “Urgent” and “Waiting on a Girl Like You”.  I just picked up this album in vinyl at Manifest Discs this past weekend.

1981 was really busy as he also started his relationship with Def Leppard and produced my favorite Leppard album ‘High & Dry’.  Mutt’s work with Leppard continued on the massively successful album ‘Pyromania’ in 1983 and of course, their biggest selling album ‘Hysteria’.  The latter 2 I have on vinyl, and I am still looking for ‘High & Dry’.  He also helped executive produce ‘Adrenalize’ for Def Leppard in 1992.

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The 80’s also saw Mutt work with the Cars on their groundbreaking 1984 ‘Heartbeat City’ album.  And he continued with work on Romeo’s Daughter self-titled album and Billy Ocean’s ‘Tear Down These Walls’ both in 1988.  The man was a hit’s machine.

The 90’s didn’t see his success slow down either.  His work with Bryan Adams produced two exceptional albums.  ‘Waking Up the Neighbors’ in 1981 and ’18 ’til I Die’ in 1986.  Mutt also is a prolific song writer and on ‘Waking up the Neighbors’, he co-wrote “Everything I Do) I Do It For You” which was one of Bryan Adams most successful songs.

However, Mutt’s most successful collaboration was with the beautiful, Shania Twain.  Their collaboration was so successful it ended up in marriage.  But for some strange reason he decided to ruin that marriage and cheat on her with her best friend.  The ironic thing is she wound up marrying her best friends former husband.  Why he screwed that up is beyond me.  I saw her in concert last year and was amazed.  She is still great and she touched me!!  She really touched me!!  I am never washing that hand.  The picture below is right before she touched me.  Did I mention she touched me!!!  Awwww!

Musically, the connection between Shania and Mutt produced 3 unbelievable albums.  The first was ‘The Woman in Me’ in 1995 and Shania’s biggest album was ‘Come on Over’ in 1997 which became the biggest selling country album selling more than 20 million copies.  They repeated that success with ‘Up’ in 2002 giving Shania the accolade of being the first female artist to have 3 Diamond albums.

The 2000’s didn’t see successes as huge as in the past, but he didn’t need it as he was already stinking rich from his prior successes.  He did produce some decent albums in the 2000’s, other than with Shania.  He produced Nickelback’s ‘Dark Horse’, Maroon 5’s ‘Hands All Over’, The Corrs’ ‘In Blue’ and Muse’s ‘Drone’.

He has been nominated for numerous Grammy awards and has one for the following:

Bryan Adams

  • 1991 – “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” – Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television

Shania Twain

  • 1995 – The Woman in Me – Best Country Album
  • 1998 – “You’re Still the One” – Best Country Song
  • 1999 – “Come on Over” – Best Country Song

The Muse

  • 2016 – Drones – Best Rock Album

Whenever I hear that Robert John “Mutt” Lange is producing an album, I take notice and look forward to its release.  9 times out of 10, I am not disappointed.  If you aren’t familiar with him, take stock and go check out the releases.  I am sure you are aware of some of them and if not, get out from under that rock you have been living under for the last 40 years!!!

 

18 thoughts on “Robert John “Mutt” Lange – Producer Extraordinaire

  1. Great read! I’m with u on the Adams album as its a solid record. Just rub out the Robin Hood tune and it’s a classic piece or Rock!
    You knew with his albums the sonics would be there as the tunes!
    Heartbeat City is my fav Cars album and I finally gave it attention last year!
    Great post

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post, though I don’t rate him. No doubt hugely successful , but he’s got a specific style that lends itself to radio friendly stuff. Reckon ’91 was his cut off point for doing stuff with an edge to it.

    Reckon he’d struggle to get the best out of songs that weren’t targeted at the masses, I’m afraid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was great at making the hits for sure. I can’t speak to the getting the best out of songs that aren’t aimed for the masses, but doesn’t every band want the masses to hear their songs? I think he was great at getting the best out of a the material he had to work with. As far as ’91, I agree. All the stuff after that sounded the same. Even when you listen to Nickelback’s Dark Horse, it reminds me of Bryan Adams and Shania’s style a little from his work with them.

      Like

      1. I guess I meant bands that create music that’s specifically aimed at appealing to as many people as possible. Slick, soulless, albeit well crafted. He’s found his place and I doubt he’d ever do a record like Highway To Hell again.

        Liked by 1 person

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