I always enjoy when somebody nails down a really great producer for an interview that dissects their entire career. These are the guys that you don't read about nearly enough, for all of the cool things that they've done, and all of the legendary albums that they've been a part of.
This interview with producer Steve Lillywhite (Dave Matthews Band, U2, Peter Gabriel, etc) is certainly one of those interviews. I learned quite a bit of "oh wow, I didn't know that" kind of things - stuff like the fact that Lillywhite produced Dirty Work by the Stones - I had no idea!
AVC: Speaking of working with artists in the latter part of the career, you worked with The Rolling Stones on Dirty Work.
SL: Yes, I produced the worst-ever Rolling Stones album. Until the one after, that is. [Laughs.] But basically, I couldn’t turn down The Rolling Stones. A real man would never turn down the chance of working with legends like them. But that doesn’t mean I knew it was going to be any good whatsoever. You need a good tailwind to make a great record, and there wasn’t a great tailwind with the Stones at that point. There was too much bitterness. It was the bad end of the drug-taking. It was just messy, but I had to do it. I learned a lot more from them than they learned from me, that’s all I can say about that experience. Maybe “Harlem Shuffle” was okay. That was sort of a hit. They didn’t tour the album or anything. I enjoyed working with them and it was great fun hanging out with Keith Richards.
Check out the whole (massive) interview here. Thanks to Annie for sharing this with me!