Robert John "Mutt" Lange

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Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Birth name Robert John Lange
Also known as "Mutt" Lange
Born (1948-11-11) 11 November 1948 (age 66)
Mufulira, Northern Rhodesia
Origin London, England
Genres Rock, pop, country
Occupation(s) record producer, songwriter
Instruments Bass, Guitar, Background vocals
Years active 1974–present
Associated acts AC/DC, Shania Twain, Def Leppard, The Boomtown Rats, City Boy, Outlaws, Foreigner, Bryan Adams, The Corrs, Michael Bolton, Nickelback, Maroon 5, Romeo's Daughter, Billy Ocean, Zander Bleck, Lady Gaga and The Cars

Robert John "Mutt" Lange (/ˈlæŋ/;[1] born 11 November 1948) is a Zambian-born British record producer and songwriter. He has produced albums for artists such as AC/DC, City Boy, Def Leppard, The Boomtown Rats, Graham Parker and the Rumour, Outlaws, Foreigner, The Cars, Bryan Adams, Billy Ocean, Savoy Brown, The Corrs, Maroon 5 and Nickelback. He also wrote and produced songs with his then-wife, Canadian country singer Shania Twain. Her 1997 album Come on Over, which he produced, is the all time best selling album by a female artist.[2] Lange also worked on "You and I" from Lady Gaga's second studio album Born This Way.

A strict vegetarian and a follower of Sant Mat, Lange has not given an interview for decades and prefers to live a secluded life, primarily in Switzerland. He is known for his endurance in the studio and innovations in multitrack recording.

Biography[edit]

Robert John Lange was born in Mufulira, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Raised in Durban, Kwa-zulu natal, South Africa, his mother came from a prosperous family in Germany, and his South African father was a mining engineer. Nicknamed "Mutt" at an early age, Lange grew up a fan of country music, in particular the singer Slim Whitman. Sent to study at Belfast High School in South Africa, he started a music band in which he played rhythm guitar and sang harmonies. After his national service (1966-1967) he formed the band Hocus which did not survive his move to London. He eventually married Stevie van Kerken (a.k.a. Stevie Vann) and moved to England. The marriage broke down in the 1970s. Whilst still married, Lange began seeing Belfast-born employee Oonagh O'Reilly, a relationship that lasted five years.

In 1978, Lange wrote and produced Ipswich Town's FA Cup final single Ipswich Ipswich Get That Goal, his connection with the club being due to their South Africa-born player Colin Viljoen.

Beginning production work in 1976, his first major hits came in October 1978 with the UK #1 single "Rat Trap" for The Boomtown Rats, followed in July 1979 with AC/DC's hard rock album Highway to Hell (#8 UK, #17 US). He produced a total of five albums for UK band City Boy from 1976 to 1979.

He produced two more albums with AC/DC, including Back in Black (1980) which is currently the fourth best-selling album of all time. He also worked with rock group Foreigner with 4, and with Def Leppard on their hit albums, High 'n' Dry, Pyromania, Hysteria and Adrenalize co-writing most of the songs.

After Hysteria, Lange bowed out of working with Def Leppard while they were at their peak.[3] He would return to work with them years later in a more limited role in 1999, co-writing three tracks for their album Euphoria. One of these songs, "Promises", was a Number 1 hit on the mainstream rock charts for the band.

In 1991, he produced Bryan Adams's Waking Up the Neighbours, including co-writing "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You", a hugely successful single written for the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves that currently holds the record for the longest consecutive Number 1 UK chart single with 16 consecutive weeks at the top of the charts (7 July-26 October 1991).

After hearing Shania Twain's material, he got in touch with her and they spent many hours on the phone. They finally met six months after the initial contact and were married on 28 December 1993. Because Lange is a teetotaller, they had non-alcoholic champagne at their wedding. Lange also had the song "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" performed as a sign of his dedication. In August 2001, their son Eja (pronounced "Asia") was born. On 15 May 2008 a spokesman for Mercury Nashville announced that Twain and Lange were separating after Lange had an affair. Lange began seeing Twain's best friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud.[4] The couple divorced in June 2010, and Twain is now married to Thiebaud's ex-husband Frederic.

Lange produced the single "Make You" from the album Great Escape by Irish singer Tara Blaise which was released in May 2008.

In the 2001 made-for-TV movie Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story, actor Anthony Michael Hall portrayed Lange.

Discography[edit]

Produced albums[edit]

Albums on which Lange produced at least three tracks

Produced album tracks[edit]

Albums on which Lange produced at least one track:

Album tracks written or co-written[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]