Glyn Johns

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Glyn Johns
Birth name Glyn Thomas Johns
Born (1942-02-15) 15 February 1942 (age 75)
Epsom, Surrey, England
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Producer, engineer, musician
Associated acts The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Small Faces, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, The Clash, Eagles, Johnny Hallyday, New Model Army, Fairport Convention. The Faces, Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane

Glyn Thomas Johns (born 15 February 1942)[1] is an English musician, recording engineer and record producer.[2]

Biography[edit]

Early history[edit]

Johns was born in Epsom, Surrey. He is the father of Ethan Johns, the older brother of Andy Johns, and uncle of Will Johns. Ethan Johns has worked as an engineer and/or producer with artists such as Ryan Adams, Paul McCartney, Laura Marling, Ray LaMontagne and Kings of Leon, while Andy Johns has engineered with the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, either on his own or under the tutelage of Eddie Kramer.

Career in recording[edit]

Johns produced and/or engineered with such artists as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Eagles, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Hallyday, the Band, Eric Clapton, the Clash, the Beatles (Get Back Sessions), Ryan Adams, the Steve Miller Band, Small Faces, Spooky Tooth, the Easybeats, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Blue Öyster Cult, Emmylou Harris, Midnight Oil, New Model Army, Belly, Joe Satriani, Ronnie Lane, Rod Stewart with Faces, John Hiatt, Joan Armatrading, Buckacre, Gallagher and Lyle, Georgie Fame, Family, Helen Watson, Fairport Convention, Humble Pie, and many others.[3]

In 1969 Led Zeppelin paid tribute to Johns by including a photo of actress Glynis Johns on the cover of Led Zeppelin II. The cover was based on a World War I era photo. The Beatles referred to Johns as "Glynis" several times during the Get Back sessions.

In the 1960s, while associated with the UK rock band the Presidents, Johns began working as a recording studio engineer at IBC Studios in Portland Place, London and was able to take the band in during weekends and try his skills at production and recording. The Presidents was his first true production work and in 1969, Johns was called upon to rescue the troublesome Get Back sessions for The Beatles.[4] Johns compiled several versions of the album, which were all rejected by the band, before the project was eventually turned over to producer Phil Spector. Spector's version became the released album, which was retitled Let It Be which Johns called "a syrupy load of bullshit".[5]

In 1971, he recorded and mixed the Who's Who's Next. His influence on Faces' 1971 album A Nod Is as Good as a Wink... to a Blind Horse, which he co-produced with the band, can be gauged from the message that follows the credits: "Thank you Glyn, you made all the difference." Johns produced the first two albums by the Eagles. Though they were successful, the band, especially Glenn Frey, clashed with Johns over the direction of their sound. After recording two songs for their third album (including their first No. 1 single "Best of My Love"), they dismissed Johns and returned to California to finish the album. Johns' output slowed in the mid 1980s, although he undertook work with Midnight Oil, Nanci Griffith, and Belly.[6]

Johns also produced the 1977 Eric Clapton album Slowhand, including the popular hit "Wonderful Tonight", written by Clapton.

In 2011, after a couple of decades spent largely away from production, Johns produced and engineered Ryan Adams' album, Ashes & Fire.[7] In February 2012, Johns began work on the Band of Horses album, Mirage Rock.[8] In a nod to Johns' work with Faces, the credits contain the note: "Thanks to difference, you made all the Glyn."

Johns and Eric Clapton have collaborated once again for Clapton's 2016 release I Still Do, Clapton's twenty-third album.

Approach to recording[edit]

Johns developed a unique approach to the recording of drums, sometimes referred to as the "Glyn Johns Method", that rarely employs more than two or three microphones, and which usually keeps one mike hoisted several feet overhead to achieve natural perspective of the whole kit, as well as one off to the side (not far from the floor tom tom), and one near to the bass drum. The key to the method is to keep both the overhead mike and the side-mike equidistant from (and pointed at) the centre of the snare, aimed in such a way of forming a triangular pattern (with the three corners being the snare, the side-mike, and the overhead mic).[9] Johns prefers not to close-mike the individual drums, except occasionally the snare drum.

Autobiography[edit]

Johns has written a book about his life titled Sound Man published by Blue Rider Press on 13 November 2014.[10][11]

Legacy[edit]

On 14 April 2012, Johns was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, USA. He was honoured for musical excellence.[12]

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Glyn Thomas Johns – free company director check. Director id 900932745 – Companies House Information. Company-director-check.co.uk (18 May 1991). Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  2. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Biography: Glyn Johns". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Ankeny, Jason (15 February 1942). "Glyn Johns – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  4. ^ "THE SOURCE – "Get Back" – The Glyn John's Compilations". Beatlesource.com. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  5. ^ "Glyn Johns interview: My 50 years of producing rock classics". The Independent. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2017. 
  6. ^ Ankeny, Jason (15 February 1942). "Glyn Johns – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  7. ^ "Ryan Adams working on new album with Glyn Johns | News". Nme.Com. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  8. ^ "Preview Band of Horses' "Dumpster World"". Stereogum. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  9. ^ "Form & Filter, Glyn Johns Method". formandfilter.com. Retrieved 2014-08-29. 
  10. ^ Johns, Glyn (13 November 2014). Sound Man: A Life Recording Hits with The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles , Eric Clapton, The Faces . . . Blue Rider Press. ISBN 978-0399163876. 
  11. ^ "Glyn Johns website". Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "Guns N' Roses inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame". BBC News. 7 December 2011.