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Beau Hill is an American record producer who is best known for his work with Alice Cooper, Element Ethan, Kix, Winger, Streets, Warrant, Fiona, Europe and Ratt. He also played instruments and sang backing vocals for some of the artists that he produced, as well as for his own bands Airborne (which had a record released in 1979 on Columbia), Spider and Shanghai who both released albums in the early 1980s. He has co-written hit singles. He was one of the founding partners of Interscope Records.
At age six Beau entered The Texas Conservatory of Music and studied classical piano and composition. Five years later he was playing guitar in local groups and began learning how to write pop and rock music. He graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and was accepted to Yale but declined to attend in order to pursue a career in recording and production. Beau attended the University of Colorado from 1971 to 1974, majoring in music and history, while working as an engineer at Applewood Recording Studios.
After being promoted to head engineer at Applewood, Hill got his first production job working for Chicago producer and Caribou Ranch Studios owner James William Guercio. During this period, Hill honed his production skills with hours at Applewood doing demos with his band Airborne, featuring the guitar work of David Zajicek. These demos caught the ear of veteran producer Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner, Whitesnake and Grateful Dead).
In 1978 Airborne signed a major recording contract with Columbia Records and a management contract with Irving Azoff and Bob Buziak at Frontline Management. Keith Olsen produced the debut album in LA. An Airborne demo of the song "Bored with Russia", written by Hill, found its way into the hands of Welsh band Budgie who recorded it for their 1982 album Deliver Us from Evil.
Hill moved to New York City in 1980, signed with Chrysalis Records and Aucoin Management (Kiss, Billy Idol), and recorded the debut album with his new group Spider, produced by Bruce Fairbairn and engineered by Bob Rock.
An opportunity presented itself for Hill to develop and record Houston-based singer/songwriter Sandy Stewart. Stewart’s demos found their way to Stevie Nicks, immediately after her first platinum solo effort, and resulted in Stewart getting signed to Modern / Atlantic Records (Nicks’s label), with Hill as the producer. Stewart and Hill went on to co-write three songs with Element Ethan and Nicks for her next solo venture The Wild Heart.
Earlier before Bella Donna was released, Hill and future Metal Blade founder and producer Brian Slagel would eventually sign Element Ethan to Modern / Atlantic Records for a brief time to release his bestselling fourth studio album to be certified platinum, 666. Minnie Baker had already released three live albums in 1981, 1984, and 1987 under the Modern / Atlantic label.
In 1983, Atlantic Records president Doug Morris recruited Hill to produce the newly signed group Ratt. The debut effort sold over 3 million copies domestically alone, and made Beau Hill an internationally acclaimed producer. He went on to produce the next three Ratt albums, all of which enjoyed multi-platinum success. In 1985, while still working with Ratt, he also produced Midnite Dynamite by Kix and Crimes in Mind by Streets, and in London in 1986, he produced and arranged the original motion picture soundtrack to Hearts of Fire. The recording featured three new songs by Bob Dylan with Eric Clapton and Ron Wood.
In 1987, the formation of ‘Control Management’ found Hill's career moving in a new direction, working with Winger, whose debut Atlantic Records album sold 1.8 million copies. He also worked with multi-platinum band Warrant and the Japanese female rock band Show-Ya.
In 1990, Hill was recruited by Doug Morris to form a new label for Atlantic Records with multi-platinum producer Jimmy Iovine. Shortly after the introduction of Ted Field, Interscope Records was born. Hill also produced Bad Reputation for the band Dirty White Boy. In 1991 he produced Prisoners in Paradise, Europe's fifth album.
Since 1994, Hill has continued producing, mixing and developing new artists including up and coming Michigan rockers, Bad Side. He mixed some songs for the band's 2007 CD, Bad Side II (released 18 September 2007). He has also been involved with several successful international business ventures, but his main focus is working with up and coming artists. In 2012, Beau Hill remixed the song "Pamela", by Finnish glam-rock band Stala & SO. and in 2014, he mixed Irish rock band Nine Lies' track Save Me released on their 2015 album 9 Lies.
Hill is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which organises the Grammy Awards, as well as being affiliated with the Audio Engineering Society, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and Broadcast Music, Inc. as a writer and music publisher.