Andy Wright (music producer)

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Andy Wright
Andy Wright producer songwriter.jpg
Background information
Born1962 (age 57–58)
Arnold, Nottinghamshire, England[1]
GenresPop, classical, soul, rock, dance
Occupation(s)Music producer, songwriter
Years activec. 1984–present
Websitewww.andywrightmusic.com

Andy M Wright (born 1962)[1] is a London-based music producer, songwriter and arranger notable for his work with international artists such as Simply Red[2] and Mick Hucknall, Jeff Beck, Simple Minds, Eurythmics, Luciano Pavarotti, Annie Lennox, Imelda May, Gibonni, Dave Stewart,[3] Toše Proeski,[4] The KLF, Natalie Imbruglia, Atomic Kitten,[5] Massive Attack, Gianna Nannini, and Andreas Vollenweider.[6] Active since the mid-1980s, he has been involved as a programmer, musical arranger and producer on projects spanning all music genres.

The early years[edit]

In the mid-1980s,[1] chasing up a job advertisement in The Melody Maker, Wright started working for a keyboard hire company in London, delivering and setting up studio equipment for recording sessions. Although, this was at a time when keyboard and drum programming technology was advancing, the operation of the equipment was unfamiliar to most people. Wright studied the instruction manuals of synthesisers, drum machines etc., in order to obtain offers of programming work in recording studios.

In the 1990s, Wright set up his own recording studio and despite the economic recession in the UK creating difficult marketing conditions, the projects soon started to pour in. Working as a musician/producer/programmer, he worked on The KLF hit "America:What Time Is Love?" This was followed up by a programming stint with Massive Attack on their seminal album Protection. 1995 also saw the beginning of Wright's long and successful working relationship with Simply Red on the album Life.[7] The number one hit "Fairground" which featured on the record owed plenty to Wright's musical vision of blending Brazilian rhythms and trance house keyboards. Since Life, Wright has worked on every Simply Red and Mick Hucknall album, including eight records over eighteen years.

The 1990s[edit]

By 1996, Wright's career had really started picking up. Friendly with Curve vocalist Toni Halliday and her producer husband, Alan Moulder, he was introduced by them to Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame. This led to successful collaborations on pop records for Shakespear's Sister, Imogen Heap, Sinead O'Connor and Alisha's Attic. A co-production credit for Tom Jones on the album The Lead and How To Swing It with Alan Moulder and U2 producer, Flood, came soon after.

Working with Stewart was an exciting time for Wright:

"I still maintain that the 2-3 years I spent working with Dave Stewart was probably the most fun I've had in my working life. Dave was unpredictable, always coming up with some idea, project, adventure and often in some far-flung destination – like a songwriting trip down the Amazon river... Dave surrounds his projects with huge positivity and that's something I've sought to inject into my own production style – it really seems to create an environment that brings out the best in everybody."

[8]

In 1999 Wright was involved with the production of the Eurythmics album Peace which contained the hit singles "I Saved the World Today", "17 Again" and the title track "Peace".[9]

2000 onwards[edit]

In 2000 Wright began working with guitar legend Jeff Beck.[10][11] The resulting album, You Had It Coming, produced a Grammy award-winning track "Dirty Mind" in the best rock instrumental performance category.

Also in 2000 he provided additional production on S Club 7's singles "Reach" and "Bring It All Back", as well as co-production for Eurythmics "Peace Is Just A Word".

2001 saw Wright score a UK number one single with [12]Atomic Kitten's "Eternal Flame", this was followed by production of Gianna Nannini's album Aria' in 2002.

In 2003 Wright and Jeff Beck worked together again on the eponymously titled album Jeff.[13] This too, produced a Grammy winning track, "Plan B", also in the category best rock instrumental performance. Wright's output in 2003 also included the hit "Sunrise", the first track off the album Home by Simply Red, work on "A Thousand Beautiful Things" for Annie Lennox, plus the song "Caruso" for the Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti on the album "Ti Adoro"

2004 / 2005 involved extensive work for Simply Red including co-production of the album Simplified.

In 2006 Wright began his collaboration with Macedonian superstar, Toše Proeski on songs for the album The Hardest Thing. Toše was killed in a road accident in October 2007 - he was twenty-six years old. He was given a state funeral on 17 October 2007 in his home town of Krusevo. The Hardest Thing was released posthumously in January 2009 and reached the top of the charts all over the Balkan region.

Also in 2006 Wright worked with Soho Dolls, chart-topping Icelandic popsters, Nylon, plus further projects for Simply Red.

In 2007 Wright was kept busy on Stay, the final Simply Red album.

Following this, in 2008 Wright worked on production of Mick's first solo album post-Simply Red: Tribute to Bobby.

Highlights from recent projects[edit]

2018 - produced the hit 80s Symphonic album for BMG[14][15] recorded at Abbey Road Studios with a fifty-piece symphony orchestra. The well-received[16] album features new arrangements and original performances of some of the biggest international hits of the 1980s.

2018 - co-produced the Echo and the Bunnymen album The Stars The Oceans and The Moon - a top 20 hit in the UK charts (peaking at #11).

2018 - co-produced Simple Minds album Walk Between Worlds - a top 5 five hit in the UK, the band's first in over twenty years (peaking at #4)[17] The record was also a Radio 2 Album of the Week.

2017 - Simple Minds' lead singer Jim Kerr posted about dining with Wright in London. Kerr referred to Wright and Gavin Goldberg - the masterminds behind 2014's well-received Big Music album - as the band's producers. This indicates the team produced Simple Minds' untitled new studio album, due late 2017 or in 2018.[18]

2017 - co-produced the Nell Bryden album Bloom. The record was selected as a Radio 2 Album of the Week[19]

2016 - co-produced Simple Minds album Acoustic. Record achieved top twenty status (peaked at 16 in UK)[20]

2016 - co-produced the Keith Harkin album On Mercy Street - the record reached number one on the 'World Music' Billboard charts.[21]

2015 - co-produced Simply Red's warmly received 30 year anniversary album Big Love which entered [22] the UK album charts at number [23] four.

2014 - co-produced the critically acclaimed album Big Music with Simple Minds[24][25]

2014 - produced and co-wrote album 'Magnetic' for international solo artist Miel - due for release in 2015.

2014 - produced and co-wrote debut album for Purdy, retro-style songstress with a modern approach.

2013 - saw the release of 20th Century Man, an album produced for Croatian rock musician Gibonni.

2012 - produced and co-wrote vocalist Peter Grant's album Too Close

2011 - worked on a second solo album project for Mick Hucknall,[26] American Soul, making that their 8th studio collaboration. The record achieved double gold status in the UK and garnered both 'Single of the week' and 'Album of the week' accolades on BBC Radio 2

2010 - worked on two charity records. One in aid of the Haiti earthquake, a cover of "I Put a Spell on You", the Screamin' Jay Hawkins track. The line-up included Nick Cave, Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, Paloma Faith, Chrissie Hynde, Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols, Mick Jones of The Clash and actor Johnny Depp on guitar. The other track for charity was put together for Oxfam to use in conjunction with film at the G8 Summit. Jim Kerr from Simple Minds and Martha Wainwright recorded "Promised You A Miracle", a classic Simple Minds track.

2010 - worked with the rising rockabilly star Imelda May on her breakthrough album Mayhem - widely critically acclaimed[27][28] and a UK Top 10 hit.[29]

2009 - produced classical musician Diana Yukawa's album The Butterfly Effect. The album was a pop classical hybrid recorded at Wright's regular haunt for live music recordings, Abbey Road Studios.[citation needed]

Credits[edit]

An extensive list of Wright's work is catalogued on AllMusic[30] and Discogs.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c McNair, James (2009). Wright, Andy M (ed.). "Bio". Andywrightmusic.com. London: Rita Coburn Whack Media Productions. Archived from the original on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Andy Wright Interview". Roland Corporation. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  3. ^ Live in The Mix. "Andy Wright interview". Live In The Mix Music. Archived from the original on 8 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Simple Minds Behind The Scenes". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  5. ^ Taylor, Chuck (21 March 1998). "Radio Programming". Billboard.
  6. ^ "The Andreas Vollenweider Story". Andreas Vollenweider. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  7. ^ BBC interview. "Interview with Simply Red". Youtube.com/watch?v=7kOVi966BHA. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  8. ^ Wright, Andy M (2019). "Biography". Andywrightmusic.com. London. Archived from the original on 3 February 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  9. ^ Sound on Sound. "Recording Eurythmics 'I Saved The World Today'". Soundonsound.com. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  10. ^ James, McNair. "Jeff Beck interview" (PDF). Andy Wright Music. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Biography". Jeff Beck Official. Archived from the original on 8 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  12. ^ Ink 19. "Atomic Kitten Review". Ink19.com.
  13. ^ Tarquin, Brian (2012). Recording Techniques of the Guitar Masters. Chapter 1: Cengage Learning 2012. pp. 11–13. ISBN 9781435460171.CS1 maint: location (link)
  14. ^ "Various - 80s Symphonic". Rough Trade. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  15. ^ "80s Symphonic - Various Artists Song - BBC Music". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Simple Minds Talk New Album 'Walk Between Worlds,' Share Promo Video". Billboard. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Simple Minds Official". Facebook.com. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  19. ^ "Nell Bryden - New Songs, Playlists & Latest News - BBC Music". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Acoustic - 2016 - SIMPLEMINDS.COM". SIMPLEMINDS.COM. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Keith Harkin - Official Website - Bio". Keithharkin.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  22. ^ "Florence Welch tops UK album chart". Bbc.com. 7 June 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  23. ^ "The Official UK Top 40 Albums Chart". Radio 1. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  24. ^ Record Collector Mag. "Simple Minds Big Music Review". Recordcollectormag.com. Diamond Publishing Ltd. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  25. ^ Mettler, Mike. "Did Simple Minds Fast Forward Or New Bands Rewind? Big Music Sounds Fresh Either Way". Digitaltrends.com. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  26. ^ "Mick Hucknall on American Soul Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  27. ^ Gendre, Kevin Le. "BBC - Music - Review of Imelda May - Mayhem". Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  28. ^ McCormick, Neil (5 October 2010). "Imelda May: Mayhem, CD review". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  29. ^ "Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  30. ^ "producer". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  31. ^ Discogs. "Artist page". Discogs.com. Retrieved 8 January 2015.