Bob Rock – Producer Extraordinaire #4

We are now on our 4th Producer Extraordinaire in this series.  We have seen Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Brendan O’Brien and Bruce Fairbairn so far, and now it is time for Bob Rock.  Bob Rock actually got his start as a recording engineer and mixer under the great Bruce Fairbairn so he learned from one of the best.

Bob’s musical career started back in 1979 / 1980 when he started engineering from Bruce as well as joined the band Payola$ who had a big hit in 1980 called “Eyes of a Stranger”. They were pretty successful in Canada and won a Juno Award in 1983 for Single of the Year.  However, Bob’s real talent (or at least to me) is his ability to work with bands and produce amazing albums.

METALLICA:

Bob Rock has worked with some of the biggest bands in the world, but they don’t get bigger than Metallica.  Bob was selected as the Producer for the band’s biggest album they had ever done, however, at the time they did not know it would become so big. “The Black Album” as it is commonly known made Metallica cool in the mainstream world as well as the Thrash world.

Bob’s tenure with the band would last through six albums and around 15 years.  He produced ‘Metallica’, ‘Load’, ‘Reload’, ‘Garage Inc.’, ‘S&M’ and ‘St. Anger’.  He was so involved with the band that when Jason Newsted left in 2001, Bob stepped in and recorded as well as wrote the bass parts for the ‘St. Anger’ album even playing a few live shows until Robert Trujillo finally joined the band.

MOTLEY CRUE:

Bob was also involved with another bigger metal band, Motley Crue.  Although his involvement wasn’t to the extent of Metallica, he still worked on numerous projects including the band’s biggest album ‘Dr. Feelgood’.  He would go on to work on the next album, ‘Motley Crue’, that featured John Corabi on vocals after the firing of Vince Neil.  he would also work on the 3 greatest hits albums with the new material that was released with the hits.

THE CULT:

In 1989, Bob Rock did some huge albums.  Not only did he do Motley Crue’s ‘Dr. Feelgood’, he did The Cult’s ‘Sonic Temple’ which gave us “Fire Woman” and “Sweet Soul Sister”.  His relationship with band has lasted up until today where he has done their 2016 album ‘Hidden City’.  He didn’t work on every album after ‘Sonic Temple’, but The Cult liked something about him and kept coming back.  All-in-all, he has done five studio albums with the band.  And there are some great albums and songs in this bunch.

MICHAEL BUBLE

Another artists he has had a long relationship is Michael Bublé.  That is right, Bublé, the crooner himself.  After working with so many bands, it seems like such a 180º turn.  However, it has been a beautiful relationship with some great albums and songs produced.  He didn’t produce all the songs on the albums, but had his hand in most.  He was fully involved in the very successful album, ‘To Be Loved’.  He worked on a total of 4 albums for Mr. Bublé.

BON JOVI:

After working with Bon Jovi as an engineer on ‘Slippery When Wet’ and ‘New Jersey’, Bon Jovi brought Bob Rock into actually produce their follow-up album called ‘Keep the Faith’.  This is one of my favorite albums with songs like “I Believe”, “Keep the Faith”, “Bed of Roses” and “In These Arms”.  You can’t go wrong with this album.

220px-KeepTheFaith

BLUE MURDER:

One of my all time favorite albums he produced was by the band Blue Murder in 1989.  Blue Murder consisted of John Sykes, Carmine Appice and Tony Franklin.  After Sykes was fired from Whitesnake, he put together this trio and made one kick ass rock album.  Sadly, it didn’t do well but it wasn’t for lack of production or songwriting.  I have heard Coverdale killed it since they were on the same label and David was higher up on the importance level for the label.  That is a rumor and I don’t know for a fact.  If you don’t know it, GET IT!!!  You won’t be disappointed.

220px-BlueMurderalbum

OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES:

There are a ton of other notable albums that Bob Rock has had a hand on producing from the 80’s, 90’s and even the 2000’s.  One thing that struck as strange in the 2000’s is how many bands from the 90’s flocked to him to produce their albums, but not to the same level of success they saw during their heyday in the 90’s.  Here is a list of what I found to be worth mentioning…

 

Kingdom_Come_(album)_cover  Kingdom Come – Kingdom Come – 1988

220px-ALAE_cover-1  David Lee Roth – A Little Ain’t Enough – 1991

Skidrow-subhuman  Skid Row – Subhuman Race – 1995

220px-Bryan_Adams_On_a_Day  Bryan Adams – On a Day Like Today – 1998

220px-Americanhifi  American Hi-Fi – American Hi-Fi – 2001

220px-Our_Lady_Peace_-_Gravity  Our Lady Peace – Gravity – 2002

220px-Head_on_straight  Tonic – Head on Straight – 2003

220px-Lostprophets_-_Liberation_Transmission  Lost Prophets – Liberation Transmission – 2006

220px-Joan_Jett_Sinner_album_cover  Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – Sinner – 2006

GavinRossdale-Wanderlust  Gavin Rossdale – Wanderlust – 2008

220px-The_Offspring_-_Rise_and_Fall,_Rage_and_Grace  The Offspring – Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace – 2008

220px-Uplifter  311 – Uplifter – 2009

220px-Sea_of_Memories  Bush – The Sea of Memories – 2011

220px-The_Offspring_-_Days_Go_By_album_cover  The Offspring – Days Go By – 2012

Black_Veil_Brides_IV_(Black_Veil_Brides_album).jpeg  Black Veil Brides – Black Veil Brides IV – 2014 (I wonder if he thought this was early Motley Crue???)

And there you have it.  It is not all inclusive, but it definitely hits the highlights of why I like him as a producer.  I hope you enjoy and I still need to decide who to do next in this series.  Any suggestions???

Thanks.

13 thoughts on “Bob Rock – Producer Extraordinaire #4

  1. Im not sure if you take suggestions, but would you ever consider doing one of these on Dr Dre. I know your not into rap as much as your are rock, but I believe he is a good enough producer (and performer for that matter) that he would fit well for one of these type of posts.

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  2. I first seen Rocks name on the back of Krokus The Blitz album and after that I followed his production right from there of course to Jovi as an engineer etc but when he produced Kingdom Come he knows his drums sounds…
    Him and Fairbairn ruled…
    I even purchased Electric Boys and Little Caesar just by his involvement as I knew the production would be excellent….
    Even Sykes credits him for the guitar tone on the Snake 87 album and those guitars just wail on that album….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t heard that about the Snake album. Pretty cool. I think Mutt is the only producer I have really followed because of their work. All the others were completely unintentional and didn’t realize they had done all those albums. It is pretty cool to realize that when you do.

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  3. I think I first became aware of Bob Rock via The Cult. His name’s attached to some big selling, but ultimately uninspiring music there, too (Bublé). Some he may even want to be unattached from…

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  4. At this point he’s kind of ubiquitous, and good on him. I think he genuinely tries to serve a group’s sound, unlike someone like Daniel Lanois, who basically turns everyone into sounding like himself, or Mutt Lange who (these days) makes Shania sound like Def Leppard sound like Bryan Adams sound like…

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  5. Some others to consider are George Martin, Rick Rubin, Martin Birch, Cjris Tsangarides, and Rodger Bain.

    As for Rock, he did produce a ton of amazing albums, but had some duds as well.
    I enjoyed his Metallica albums, but many thrash fans felt he ruined Metallica.
    I think his involvement with Bryan Adams and Michael Buble softened his touch on harder rock bands. Much of his work in the mid 2000’s kind of went too soft for my liking.
    I love the band The Tragically Hip, but the 2 albums he produced were their 2 worst albums. He turned a great rock band into a bit of a lounge act. I am happy that he turned it back around with Hidden City though. I hope he got that wimpy stuff out of his system.

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