Brendan O'Brien (record producer)

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Brendan O'Brien
Born (1960-06-30) June 30, 1960 (age 58)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
  • Record producer
  • musician
  • Guitar
  • keyboards
  • vocals
  • percussion
  • mandolin
  • bass
Years active1985–present

Brendan O'Brien (born June 30, 1960) is a record producer, mixer, engineer, and musician.[1] He has worked with such artists as Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Zucchero Fornaciari, Soundgarden, Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, The Black Crowes, Incubus, Train, The Killers, Seether, Kansas, King's X, The Offspring, Korn, The Fray, Wolfmother, Gaslight Anthem, Mastodon, Third Day, Lifehouse, Pantera, and My Chemical Romance.[2][3]

His career blossomed as a young guitarist with a local Atlanta band by the name of "Pranks" signed by then Century Artists Management. The management company had the best of Atlanta and the region in those days including the likes of "Mother's Finest" "Ezra Pound" and a dozen other "super-regional" acts. In the late 1970s, he moved on to writing, performing and recording with the band Samurai Catfish.

His studio career was propelled by the success of the first Black Crowes album, Shake Your Money Maker, on which he played guitar and bass and engineered.[4] He started working in collaboration with newcomer to the Los Angeles music scene, Jimmy Boyle, who would go on to record and produce bands including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Andrew Dice Clay. Boyle credits everything he knows from production, to recording, to even song writing to Brendan and his influence as friend and mentor.

In the mid 1990s, O'Brien became vice president of Epic Records and the Epic imprint 57 Records.[1] He also played a Hammond organ for Bob Dylan's appearance on MTV Unplugged. In 1995, he joined Pearl Jam and Neil Young on keyboard for the Mirror Ball tour across Europe.[5]

In 2002, he won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album for his work on Bruce Springsteen's The Rising.[6] In 2009, he was awarded the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.[7] To date, 14 of the albums O'Brien has produced have reached No. 1 in the U.S. on the Billboard 200 chart.[citation needed]

In 2015 he produced Higher Truth, the final release by Chris Cornell. In 2016 he produced the Italian bluesman Zucchero Fornaciari's album Black Cat.

In 2017 O'Brien received credits producing on track three of the EP Cold Dark Place by progressive rock band Mastodon.[8]


  1. ^ a b Sandler, Adam, "O'Brien's Epic Deal," Variety.
  2. ^ Austin L. Ray, "All Those Yesterdays: Brendan O'Brien Reminisces on the Evolution of Pearl Jam and the Making of Backspacer," Paste Magazine, September 18, 2009.
  3. ^ "Grammy Winning Producer Brendan O’Brien Gives Advice To New Artists,"[permanent dead link] Renman Music & Business, August 28, 2012.
  4. ^ "Black Crowes - Shake Your Money Maker CD Album". CD Universe.
  5. ^ Andy Greene, "Q&A: Pearl Jam Producer Brendan O'Brien on the Making of 'Lightning Bolt,'" Rolling Stone Magazine, July 31, 2013.
  6. ^ "Past Winners Search"
  7. ^ "Past Winners Search"
  8. ^

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