Richard Batchens

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Richard Batchens
Occupation(s) Record producer, audio engineer, mixer
Labels Festival/Infinity
Associated acts

Richard Batchens is an Australian record producer and audio engineer. From 1971 to 1976 he was the main in-house producer for Festival Records' imprint Infinity Records. His work includes most of the early albums and singles for Sherbet, one of Australia's most successful pop bands of the 1970s, and the first six albums by singer-songwriter, Richard Clapton. He also produced some of the early Cold Chisel material, including the single, "Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye)" (1978), and their second album, Breakfast at Sweethearts (1979).

Career[edit]

Richard Batchens worked in Sydney with Festival Records in-house producer, Pat Aulton, in the late 1960s. Aulton continued as main producer of Festival's pop music releases until 1973. In 1970 Festival established a new imprint label, Infinity Records, and Batchens became its main producer and engineer.[1]

Batchens co-produced the debut album, At the Mountains of Madness (April 1971), by progressive rock and heavy rockers, Blackfeather, with their lead guitarist, John Robinson.[1][2][3] Its associated single, "Seasons of Change" appeared in May.[1][2] The material was recorded in late 1970 and featured guest appearances by two members of Fraternity, an Adelaide-based group: Bon Scott on recorder and percussion, and John Bissett on keyboards. The album reached No. 7 in the Australian national charts. The track, "Seasons of Change", had originally been written by Robinson and Neale Johns for Fraternity.[4] It proved to be one of Blackfeather's most popular singles and became a national Top 20 hit when released, against the band's wishes, as a single. This track also crops up on the Raven's Golden Miles CD compilation in 1994 along with the album track, "Long Legged Lovely".[5]

From 1972 to 1975 he produced or co-produced five albums for pop group, Sherbet.[3] From 1973 to 1979 he produced six albums for Richard Clapton including his first four studio albums, a soundtrack album, Highway One (1976), and a compilation album, Past Hits and Previews (1979).[3][6]

Cold Chisel's debut self-titled album in 1978 had been produced by Peter Walker.[3] For their second album, Breakfast at Sweethearts, the record company, Elektra Records, decided to use a more experienced producer.[7] Batchens was chosen due to his work with Sherbet and Clapton.[3][7] According to Australian journalist, Ed Nimmervoll, Batchens "was not all that keen on the band's individual performances in the studio and made them do things over and over".[7] Although "he smoothed out the rough edges", however he "lost some of the life".[7] Meanwhile "the more sophisticated approach tended to highlight the quality of the songs".[7] Nimmervoll noted that the "band had their reservations, but they were reasonably happy with the results".[7] Breakfast at Sweethearts proved to be their commercial breakthrough, turning Cold Chisel into platinum selling superstars.[7] After attempting to record a follow-up single with Batchens, Cold Chisel decided to record their next album, East (1980), with Mark Opitz producing.[3][7]

Production/engineering credits[edit]

According to sources:[1][3][6][8]

Year Artist(s) Title Role Label
1971 Heart'n'Soul Hot Boogie Band Engineer Infinity
The Cleves Cleves Producer Infinity/Festival
(SINL-934031)
Blackfeather At the Mountain of Madness Co-producer with John Robinson Infinity/Festival
(L34159)
Greg Quill and Country Radio "Radio Rag" Producer
Russell Morris "Wings of an Eagle" Arranger (strings)
Peter Hiscock "A Certain Mr. Brown" Producer Festival
(FK-4286)
1972 Sherbet Time Change... A Natural Progression Co-producer with Howard Gable, Pat Austin, Ross Linton Infinity/Festival
(INL 34725, L34725 LP)
1973 Sherbet On with the Show Producer Infinity/Festival
(L 35007)
Sharon Sims "To Be the One You Love" Co-producer with Martin Erdman
Richard Clapton Prussian Blue Producer, engineer, mixer Infinity/Festival
(L 34956)
1974 Sherbet Slipstream Co-producer with Sherbet Infinity/Festival
(L35275 LP)
In Concert Producer Infinity/Festival
(L35443 LP)
1975 Sherbet Life... Is for Living Co-producer with Clive Shakespeare, Garth Porter Festival
(L 35652)
Richard Clapton Girls on the Avenue Producer Infinity/Festival
(L 35508)
Split Enz Mental Notes Engineer Mushroom
1976 Richard Clapton Highway One soundtrack Producer, engineer, mixer Festival
(L 36138)
Main Street Jive Producer Infinity/Festival
(L 35963)
1977 Richard Clapton Goodbye Tiger Producer, mixer Infinity/Festival
(L 36352)
Cold Chisel You're Thirteen, You're Beautiful, and You're Mine (live EP) Consultant producer
1978 Cold Chisel "Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye)" Producer Elektra
(100078)
Richard Clapton Past Hits and Previews compilation Producer Infinity/Festival
(L 36691)
1979 Cold Chisel Breakfast at Sweethearts Producer Elektra
(600042-1 LP)

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ a b c d Milesago entries on Richard Batchens:
  2. ^ a b McFarlane, 'Blackfeather' entry. Archived from the original on 6 April 2004. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Richard Batchens associated entries at Australian Rock Database:
    • Blackfeather: Holmgren, Magnus; Sturm, Jonathan; Johns, Neale. "Blackfeather". Passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
    • Sherbet: Holmgren, Magnus; Sather, Gary; Hart, Alison; Cahill, Anthony. "Sherbet". Passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
    • Richard Clapton: Holmgren, Magnus; Meyer, Peer; Bouchard, Gary. "Richard Clapton". Passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
    • Cold Chisel: Holmgren, Magnus; Shoppee, Philip; Meyer, Peer. "Cold Chisel". Passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  4. ^ McFarlane, 'Fraternity' entry. Archived from the original on 28 August 2004. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  5. ^ Crabsody In Blue website
  6. ^ a b Richard Clapton releases:
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Nimmervoll, Ed. "Cold Chisel". Howlspace. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Richard Batchens | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 May 2014.