John Leckie

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This article is about the English music producer. For the Australian politician, see John Leckie (Australian politician). For the Scottish football goalkeeper, see Jock Leckie. For the Scottish communist activist, see Jack Leckie.
John Leckie
John Leckie.jpg
John Leckie, taken in 2006
Background information
Birth name John William Leckie
Born 1949
Paddington, London, England
Genres Rock, pop, World Music
Occupation(s) Record producer
Years active 1970–present

John William Leckie (born 1949 in Paddington, London)[1] is an English record producer and recording engineer.

Early life[edit]

He was educated at The Quintin School, a grammar school in North West London, (now Quintin Kynaston Community Academy) then Ravensbourne (college) of Art and Design in Bromley.[2][3] After leaving school, he worked for United Motion Pictures as audio assistant.[4]

Early career[edit]

Leckie began work at Abbey Road Studios on 15 February 1970 as a tape operator, later graduating to balance engineer and record producer.[5] During this early career he worked as a tape operator with artists such as John Lennon (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band), George Harrison, (All Things Must Pass), Syd Barrett (Barrett) and moved up to the desk to be balance engineer for Pink Floyd (Meddle and Wish You Were Here).[6][7] Mott The Hoople's album Mott[8] and Paul McCartney's Wings Red Rose Speedway and the single Hi, Hi, Hi. Other engineering sessions at Abbey Road at this time were with Roy Harper,[9] Soft Machine,[10] Sammy Hagar,[11] Jack Rieley's Western Justice[12] album and the last recordings with Syd Barrett.[13]

His first job as producer was Be-Bop Deluxe's third album Sunburst Finish, a collaboration which continued with Modern Music, Live! In The Air Age and Drastic Plastic.[14] In 1977 Leckie produced The AdvertsCrossing the Red Sea with The Adverts,[15] Magazine’s Real Life,[16] and Doctors of MadnessFigments of Emancipation.[17]

Leckie left Abbey Road in 1978 and produced albums for Simple Minds (Life in a Day, Real to Real Cacophony and Empires and Dance).[18] For Be-Bop Deluxe founder Bill Nelson, he produced the Red Noise album Sound on Sound and Nelson's subsequent solo album Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam (the latter unreleased until 1981).[19] Leckie recorded the début single, Public Image for Public Image Ltd [20] and produced The Human League’s Holiday 80 EP.[21] Leckie's work with XTC included producing their debut 3D single and EP, and first two studio albums, White Music and Go 2.[22] He went on to produce 25 O'Clock and Psonic Psunspot, which XTC issued under the pseudonym The Dukes of Stratosphear[23] in the mid 1980s.

1980s work[edit]

Album productions in the 1980s included three albums with The Fall (The Wonderful and Frightening World Of..., This Nation's Saving Grace, and Bend Sinister),[24] and Felt's album The Strange Idols Pattern and Other Short Stories.[25]

He also produced records with The Woodentops,[26] The Wake,[27] The Adult Net,[28] The Lucy Show,[29] The Doctor's Children,[30] Gene Loves Jezebel,[31] Bill Nelson,[32] and travelled to the USA to produce House of Freaks[33] and Let's Active.[34] For some of his work with The Dukes, The Adult Net and The Doctor's Children, all bands that had strong 1960s psychedelic overtones, Leckie adopted the pseudonym 'Swami Anand Nagara'.[35]

The early 1980s saw Leckie working in Norway with Spellman-Award-Winners De Press, and Oslo-band The Cut.[36] He also spent a period working for EMI studios in Lagos, Nigeria, working with local artists.[37]

In the mid-1980s he recorded all over Europe, with artists such as French band Marc Seberg,[38] German artist Phillip Boa,[39] and Norwegian band Holy Toy.[40]

Back in Liverpool, Leckie produced tracks with The La’s, including an early version of their hit There She Goes'.[41]

In 1989 Leckie produced The Stone Roses' debut album The Stone Roses.[42] The album was voted the best record of all time on a music poll taken by BBC Radio 6 Music and features as Number 1 on the Observer Music Monthly’s June 2004 “100 Greatest British Albums”. Some months later he produced and mixed their single Fools Gold, which charted at No. 4 in the UK charts,[43] and in early 1990 he produced and mixed the single One Love which also charted at no. 4 in UK.[44]

1990s work[edit]

Notable production credits from this era include The Verve's A Storm in Heaven,[45] Ride's Carnival of Light,[46] Cast's albums All Change (1995)[47] and Mother Nature Calls (1997),[48] Kula Shaker's debut K (1996),[49] and an album with Dr John (Anutha Zone)[50] featuring artists Paul Weller, Supergrass, Spiritualised and Dr John's touring band.

Leckie also worked on much of the recording the Stone Roses' album Second Coming,[51]

Other albums recorded during this era include The Trashcan Sinatras' 1990 debut album Cake,[52] Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians' 1993 album Respect,[53] The Lilac Time's And Love For All,[54] The SilencersDance with the Holy Man,[55] Thee HypnoticsSoul Glitter & Sin,[56] Scarlet’s Chemistry,[57] and Six By Seven’s The Closer You Get.[58]

In 1995, Leckie produced and engineered Radiohead's much acclaimed album, The Bends.[59]

Internationally, he recorded The Posies' major-label debut Dear 23[60] in the United States, Grapes of Wrath’s These Days[61] and the Cowboy Junkies’ album Miles From Our Home[62] in Canada, and J’s debut album We are the Majority[63] in Paris.

Although always wide in scope and genre, Leckie's work during the 1990s began to include World Music, including working in Senegal with Baaba Maal to produce and record Missing You,[64] Zaire-artist Papa Wemba’s Molokaï,[65] Indian santoor player Shivkumar Sharma’s Raga Janasammohini,[66] Ashkhabad’s (Turkmenistan) City of Love,[67] and Pakistan’s Rizwan-Muazzam Qawalii’s Sacrifice To Love.[68]

Leckie was named Best Producer by Music Week (1995) and at the Q Awards (1996) and Brit Awards (1997).[69]

2000s work[edit]

As the decade began he produced the début album Showbiz for Muse. This went platinum on the heels of the band's breakthrough 2001 second album Origin of Symmetry, also produced by Leckie, which reached No. 3 in the UK album chart.[70]

In 2000 he began production on "Wildflowers" the debut album from Northern Ireland band Relish. It attained platinum status in Ireland on release in 2001.[71] In 2001, Leckie produced a single for Suede (Positivity from the album A New Morning).[72]

Travelling abroad, he produced Los Lobos’s Good Morning Aztlán in 2001,[73] Longwave’s There's a Fire,[74] and the much acclaimed My Morning Jacket album Z,[75] all recorded in the USA.

Back in the UK Leckie also worked with New Order on Waiting For The Sirens' Call,[76] The Blockheads Where’s The Party?,[77] tracks with Doves on Kingdom Of Rust,[78] and Rodrigo y Gabriela’s eponymous debut album.[79]

Other notable works from the 2000s include John Power’s (of The La’s & Cast) Happening For Love,[80] tracks for Starsailor’s Silence is Easy (2003),[81] My Computer’s No CV (2004),[82] Tiny Dancers’ (2006) Free School Milk,[83] Scott Matthews’s The John Leckie String Sessions.[84] He then returned to working with Baaba Maal in 2007, to record Television.[85]

In 2008 Leckie travelled to India supported by The British Council as India Soundpad and recorded tracks with four bands: Swarathma, Advaita, Indigo Children and Medusa.[86]

Leckie then returned to Abbey Road to record and produce the jazz sounds of Portico Quartet on their second album Isla,[87] and was also called in to remaster the Anniversary Edition Box Set of The Stone Roses eponymous first LP complete with his videos of the sessions and some long lost demos.[88]

2010s work[edit]

In 2010, Leckie produced The Coral's album, Butterfly House,[89] which went on to win Album of the Year at Music Producer's Guild Awards.

Bellowhead’s Hedonism followed later that year, and went on to achieve silver sales status.[90] Leckie also remixed Portico Quartet’s debut album Knee Deep In The North Sea.[91] Tracks with Ahab,[92] and an album with the reformed Cast (Troubled Times)[93] were recorded in 2011.

He returned to work with Bellowhead on their next (fourth) album Broadside, in 2012, which also received silver sales status.[94]

Overseas, he worked with Belgian artist Novastar on the Inside Outside album, which hit the top spot in the Benelux charts.[95]

In 2014 he completed an album with Palma Violets, Danger In The Club.[96]

Awards[edit]

Notable album credits as producer[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002, edited by Andy Gregory, p297, “b. 23 Oct 1949”
  2. ^ The International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002, edited by Andy Gregory, p297 “Education. The Quintin School, Ravensbourne College of Art”
  3. ^ "XpoNorth: John Leckie interview "after a course in film and TV at Ravensbourne College in Bromley"(retrieved 30/9/16)". 
  4. ^ ""But though working as a runner for film companies in the West End, John couldn't get into the ACTT union where he could have progressed." (retrieved 11 October 2016)". 
  5. ^ "Interview - John Leckie, record producer - E & T Magazine". Eandt.theiet.org. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "John Leckie - Producer — MusicTank". Musictank.co.uk. 15 February 1970. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Cromer, Ben (3 June 1995). "Abbey Road was the Beginning for British Producer John Leckie". Billboard: 95. 
  8. ^ ""Producer - John Leckie" (retrieved 19 October 2016)". 
  9. ^ ""Engineer - John Leckie" (retrieved 19 October 2016)". 
  10. ^ ""Engineer - John Leckie" (retrieved 19 October 2016)". 
  11. ^ ""Recorded by (Abbey Road) - John Leckie (retrieved 19 October 2016)". 
  12. ^ ""Engineer - John Leckie" (retrieved 19 October 2016)". 
  13. ^ Syd Barratt - A Very Irregular Head, by Rob Chapman, (2010), p291 "On Monday 12 August 1974 Jenner, along with engineers John Leckie and Pat Stapley, returned to Abbey Road studios to produce what would turn out to be his last-ever recording dates."
  14. ^ ""Also during his time at Abbey Road he produced and mixed albums for Be Bop Deluxe" (Retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  15. ^ ""Producer - John Leckie" (retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  16. ^ ""I did a record with Magazine (Real Life)"( retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  17. ^ ""Producer, engineer – John Leckie" (retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  18. ^ ""produced albums for SIMPLE MINDS ("Life in A Day" "Real To Real Cacophony" and "Empires & Dance"" (Retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  19. ^ ""Bill Nelson was in BeBop Deluxe in '70s and we did seven albums together for which I'm forever grateful 'cos he was the first guy to let me produce." (Retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  20. ^ ""Public Image Limited, (the debut single, Public Image)" (Retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  21. ^ ""Producer, engineer – John Leckie", (retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  22. ^ "True brit: John Leckie", Sound on Sound, May 1997, retrieved 7 November 2010
  23. ^ "Andy Partridge's Ape House Label » Andy Partridge Chats With John Leckie – Part One". Ape.uk.net. 31 March 2009. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  24. ^ ""the introduction of John Leckie as the recording producer" (retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  25. ^ ""Producer, engineer – John Leckie" (retrieved 4 October 2016)". 
  26. ^ ""Producer - John Leckie"(retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  27. ^ ""the EP was produced by John Leckie and marked a shift in sound towards shorter, more direct songs." (Retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  28. ^ ""Producer John Leckie" (retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  29. ^ ""Producer John Leckie" (retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  30. ^ ""Producer, engineer – John Leckie" (Retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  31. ^ ""Producer - John Leckie" (retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  32. ^ ""we did seven albums together for which I'm forever grateful 'cos he was the first guy to let me produce" (retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  33. ^ ""Producer - John Leckie" (Retrieved 21 October 2016)". 
  34. ^ ""Producer - John Leckie" (Retrieved 2 October 2016)". 
  35. ^ "Andy Partridge Chats With John Leckie - Part Two on Huffduffer". Huffduffer.com. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  36. ^ Billboard, 25 Jul 1981, pS-9 “UK producer John Leckie, noted in Norway by such bands as Magazine, is producing acts like The Cut and DePress”
  37. ^ ""Also, Jumbo knew that I had been out to Nigeria in 1982. I worked at the equivalent of Abbey Road in Lagos. This was an EMI-owned studio, and I went out there to show them how to use the 24-track machine and MCI desk." (retrieved 4 October 2016)". 
  38. ^ ""Producer – John Leckie" (retrieved 4 October 2016)". 
  39. ^ ""Producer - John Leckie" (retrieved 4 October 2016)". 
  40. ^ ""Album information. Producer – John Leckie" (retrieved 4 October 2016)". 
  41. ^ ""The La's – There She Goes (John Leckie version)" (retrieved 4 October 2016)". 
  42. ^ Devlin, Louise (2009) "John Leckie: Producing the Goods", The Skinny, 19 May 2009, retrieved 7 November 2010
  43. ^ ""Production was handled by John Leckie and the recording took a little over a fortnight in the late summer of 1989." (Retrieved 4 October 2016)". 
  44. ^ "John Leckie: Music Head - "We did go in to record the follow-up album, but the band only had one song called "One Love." We spent a lot of time on this, then I went off and did The Posies while they mixed "One Love.""(retrieved 21 October 2016)". 
  45. ^ ""Part of the reason for this sudden and much-needed focus was the presence of the producer John Leckie," (retrieved 6 October 2016)". 
  46. ^ ""John Leckie, a veteran studio hand who had worked with John Lennon, Pink Floyd and the Stone Roses, was called in to replace him." (retrieved 6 October 2016)". 
  47. ^ ""'All Change' was produced by the legendary John Leckie" (retrieved 6 October 2016)". 
  48. ^ ""Producer - John Leckie" (retrieved 6 October 2016)". 
  49. ^ Billboard, 23 Nov 1996, p70. “John Leckie (best producer for Kula Shaker’s “K”);”
  50. ^ "Stone Roses producer John Leckie on the ten essential records he's worked on, "Whole Nutha Zone by Dr John (Parlophone 1998)" (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  51. ^ ""I worked on the second album (The Second Coming) for over a year and for various reasons I didn't finish it with them." (retrieved 6 October 2016)". 
  52. ^ ""There are three people listed as producers on this album, the band, John Leckie and Roger Bechirian…" (retrieved 6 October 2016)". 
  53. ^ The Rough Guide to Rock, edited by Peter Buckley, 2003, p498 ""Respect (1993) A&M. Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians' most finely crafted work to date. The songwriting is superb, John Leckie's production is sympathetic…"". 
  54. ^ ""The group went on to release the albums Paradise Circus in 1989, and & Love For All in 1990, the latter of which was produced by Andy Partridge and John Leckie." (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  55. ^ ""They start the album with John Leckie at the controls" (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  56. ^ ""Our correspondent Jonathan Levitt, currently based in Beijing, China, takes a look at that album and interviews guitarist and co-lead songwriter Ray Hanson, who conspired with vocalist Jim Jones, bassist Will Pepper and drummer Phil Smith to paint Thee Hypnotics' masterpiece with producer John Leckie." (retrieved October 8 2016)". 
  57. ^ ""With Stuart Ross on drum and bass, Jolyon Dixon on guitars, and produced by veteran musicians Craig Leon and John Leckie (Radiohead, The Stone Roses), Scarlet's Chemistry is a mixture of sex and women's liberation." (retrieved October 8 2016)". 
  58. ^ ""…surprising when considering they're two of only four tracks on The Closer We Get produced by the untouchable John Leckie." (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  59. ^ ""How did you guys decide on John Leckie to produce? SELWAY: It was one of the suggestions that came our way. Around that time we were aware of the variety in what he does. I mean it's a very eclectic production record behind him. He had just worked on so many great records that we'd loved, and then of course he'd done the Stone Roses record as well." (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  60. ^ ""September, 1990 – Dear 23 their major-label (DGC Records) debut album, is released. John Leckie (XTC, Stone Roses) and The Posies are the producers. The first single is "Golden Blunders."" (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  61. ^ ""Englishman John Leckie (XTC/Stone Roses/Posies) helmed 'These Days' which was recorded from December 1990 to January 1991 at Vancouver's Mushroom Studios" (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  62. ^ ""That can perhaps be attributed to the faster tempos of some of the songs, but the more likely reason is the plush, radio-friendly shine that producer John Leckie (The Verve, Radiohead) gives to the album." (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  63. ^ ""1993, J, We Are The Majority, A&M Records" (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  64. ^ "'"Baaba Maal: Out of Africa?" "Noted pop producer John Leckie — who has recorded rock acts that include worldwide hitmakers Radiohead and The Stone Roses — produced the Missing You sessions." (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  65. ^ "Molokai Papa Wemba, 1998 "This live studio performance from one of Africa's greatest stars is a collection of classic hits and newer songs from the late 90's, produced by John Leckie, reflecting that stage of Wemba's musical odyssey." (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  66. ^ "Sampradaya: Pandit Shiv Kuma Sharma, 1999, "Produced by John Leckie, the album was recorded at Real World Studios during the 1998 Real World Recording Week." (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  67. ^ "Ashkhabad – City Of Love, "Engineer – John Leckie" (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  68. ^ "Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali "'Sacrifice to Love', is Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali's debut album on Real World Records. Produced by John Leckie, it features four of their own compositions" (retrieved 8 October 2016)". 
  69. ^ "John Leckie: Producing the Goods, "Winning awards for Best Producer numerous times- in 2001 for UK Music Managers Forum, a Brit Award in 1997, a Q Award in 1996 and a Music Week Award in 1995, seems to have in no way blown up an ego bubble."". 
  70. ^ "John Leckie: Producing the Goods". The Skinny. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  71. ^ ""the band signed to EMI Ireland in 1998 and began work on their debut album "Wildflowers" with acclaimed producer John Leckie"". 
  72. ^ Suede: Love and Poison, by David Barnett (2003) p253, quote: “Floundering in a creative wilderness, Suede hoped to get back on track by recording two of their strongest numbers with fabled Stone Roses producer John Leckie.”
  73. ^ "All Music Review by Mark Deming. "Good Morning Aztlán finds Los Lobos working with a new producer, John Leckie," (retrieved 9 October 2016)". 
  74. ^ "Longwave There's a Fire "Indeed, under the guidance of veteran producer John Leckie, the New York City-based foursome has sculpted a seamless set that encompasses the entirety of its vision without sounding either disjointed or tentative." (retrieved 9 October 2016)". 
  75. ^ "My Morning Jacket, Z "As Side One begins, the presence of producer John Leckie (of Radiohead, Stone Roses, and, er, Kula Shaker fame) is immediately evident." (retrieved 9 October 2016)". 
  76. ^ "John Leckie interview at Poptones "John Leckie answers Poptones.co.uk's Questions of Doom about producing New Order's new album," (retrieved 9 October 2016)". 
  77. ^ "The Blockheads Where's the party? "Chas Jankel and co have enlisted producer John Leckie to make sure the glass sparkles" (retrieved 9 October 2016)". 
  78. ^ ""'Winter Hill' Super producer John Leckie has a fearsome track record that includes The Verve's Storm In Heaven, the Stone Roses' debut, Radiohead's The Bends and This Nation's Saving Grace by The Fall. He was drafted in to work on two of the songs here including this one:" (retrieved 9 October 2016)". 
  79. ^ "Rodrigo y Gabriela Raucous Rhythms "Rodrigo y Gabriela was produced by John Leckie, renowned for his work with alternative rock acts including Radiohead, Muse, and Stone Roses. The duo specifically chose him because it knew he could capture the fiery energy of its live performances while avoiding even a hint of nuevo flamenco's new age leanings." (retrieved 9 October 2016)". 
  80. ^ ""legendary producer John Leckie mans the boards, infusing instant credibility" (retrieved 10 October 2016)". 
  81. ^ ""The 'big sound' the band achieve on this record can be attributed to the polished production of legendary producers John Leckie" (retrieved 10 October 2016)". 
  82. ^ ""No CV is a pretty inappropriate title for My Computer's second album, considering who they have behind the production desk. John Leckie has worked with some of the greatest names in music," (retrieved 10 October 2016)". 
  83. ^ ""The whole wrap on the song has an 80s feel, no doubt partly due to the hand of producer John Leckie," (retrieved 10 October 2016)". 
  84. ^ ""The John Leckie String Quartet Sessions" (retrieved 10 October 2016)". 
  85. ^ ""Producer - John Leckie" (retrieved 10 October 2016)". 
  86. ^ "John Leckie gives young Indian rock groups a push with Soundpad" (retrieved 10 October 2016)". 
  87. ^ ""John Leckie talks about the recording of the Portico Quartet record 'Isla' at Abbey Road Studios, working with the band, and mixing the record in The Big Room at Real World Studios" (retrieved 10 October 2016)". 
  88. ^ ""The original Stone Roses singles have been re-mastered by John Leckie & Ian Brown" (retrieved 10 October 2016"". 
  89. ^ "The Coral, Butterfly House (Deltasonic)". Retrieved 11 October 2016. “Working with producer John Leckie, the Merseyside band soldiers on after the departure of guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones.”  
  90. ^ ""Bellowhead hire legendary producer John Leckie to translate their mighty live sound to the studio."(retrieved 11 October 2016)". 
  91. ^ ""Now, re-released on Real World Records, 'Knee Deep In The North Sea' has been remixed by John Leckie" (retrieved 11 October 2016)". 
  92. ^ ""Legendary producer John Leckie attended one of their early shows and offered to return to Snap Studios to record 'Lucy', a download single." (retrieved 11 October 2016)". 
  93. ^ ""And you're all back together again as its the original Cast line up isn't it, as well you teamed up with John Leckie again to record "Troubled Times…" (retrieved 10 October 2016)". 
  94. ^ ""Like Hedonism, Broadside is produced by the great John Leckie, who has previously done wonderful things with the Stone Roses and Radiohead;" (retrieved 11 October 2016)". 
  95. ^ ""At the moment John is working with a Belgian band Novastar" (retrieved 11 October 2016)". 
  96. ^ ""the John Leckie-produced follow-up finds them pitching up closer to the post-punk era" (retrieved 11 October 2016)". 
  97. ^ ""Winning awards for Best Producer numerous times- in 2001 for UK Music Managers Forum, a Brit Award in 1997, a Q Award in 1996 and a Music Week Award in 1995, seems to have in no way blown up an ego bubble." (retrieved 14 October 2016)". 
  98. ^ ""1996. Best Producer – John Leckie" (retrieved 14 October 2016)". 
  99. ^ ""Best British Producer – John Leckie" (retrieved 14 October 2016)". 
  100. ^ ""Winning awards for Best Producer numerous times- in 2001 for UK Music Managers Forum, a Brit Award in 1997, a Q Award in 1996 and a Music Week Award in 1995, seems to have in no way blown up an ego bubble." (retrieved 14 October 2016)". 
  101. ^ "UK Album of The Year – sponsored by Focusrite: The Coral – Butterfly House, awarded to producer, John Leckie, and engineer, Guy Massey (retrieved 14 October 2016)". 
  102. ^ "John Leckie. John Leckie is best known as the Producer of records such The Stone Roses debut album 'The Stone Roses' and 'The Second Coming', Radiohead's 'The Bends' along with albums by Cast, The Coral and The Verve. He has won a Music Week Award (1995), Q Award (1996) and Brit Award (1997) all for "Best Producer" as well as "Producer of the Year" award at the Music Managers Forum in 2001." (retrieved 14 October 2016)".