Keith Olsen

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Keith Olsen
Born(1945-05-12)May 12, 1945[1]
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, U.S.
DiedMarch 9, 2020(2020-03-09) (aged 74)
Genoa, Nevada, U.S.
Years active1960s–2020
Associated acts

Keith Alan Olsen[1] (May 12, 1945 – March 9, 2020) was an American record producer and sound engineer, who worked with Rick Springfield; Fleetwood Mac; Ozzy Osbourne; the Grateful Dead; Whitesnake; Pat Benatar; Heart; Santana; Saga; Foreigner; Scorpions; Magnum; Journey; Emerson, Lake & Palmer; Joe Walsh; and Eric Burdon & the Animals, among others.

Olsen produced over 100 complete albums. His production work earned him more than 39 Gold, 24 Platinum, and 14 Multi-Platinum album certifications.[citation needed]


Olsen was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States, and went to school in Minneapolis, where he developed an appreciation for classical, pop, and jazz music.[2] He gained production experience working in recording studios in the Minneapolis area, and musical and touring experience playing upright bass in jazz and folk bands.[3] He subsequently played bass as a member of the Music Machine, who had a hit with the single "Talk Talk".[2] During this time he began collaborating with Curt Boettcher,[2] producer of the Association's single "Cherish", and met another early influence, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, who taught him "to envision everything about a production as you hear the song the first time."[4]

After moving to Los Angeles he was instrumental in launching the careers of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. He helped them to secure a record deal, produced their first album, Buckingham Nicks, and let them live in his house, employing Nicks as a housekeeper for a while.[4] After introducing them to Mick Fleetwood, he went on to produce Fleetwood Mac's eponymous 1975 album, which reached No. 1 in the US.

Through the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Olsen built a reputation as a producer. In addition to Fleetwood Mac, some of the artists he has worked with include the Grateful Dead (he produced and engineered their 1977 album Terrapin Station); Bob Weir; Eddie Money; Emerson, Lake & Palmer; Rick Springfield (he produced Springfield's No. 1 hit "Jessie's Girl"); REO Speedwagon; Pat Benatar; Heart; Joe Walsh; Starship; Santana; Kim Carnes; Sheila; Jethro Tull; the Babys; Magnum (Goodnight L.A.); Saga; Ozzy Osbourne (No Rest for the Wicked); Scorpions (Crazy World); Bad Company; Europe; 38 Special; Russ Ballard; Sammy Hagar; Whitesnake; Foreigner; Sheena Easton; Steve Perry; Journey; Loverboy; and Lou Gramm. He was also involved in several movie soundtracks, including Footloose, Vision Quest, Tron, Flashdance and Top Gun.[4]

In 1996, Olsen stepped back from artist production to concentrate on developing surround sound music mixes for the Kore Group record label,[2] licensing existing masters, remixing them for surround sound, and re-releasing them. As corporate director of global product development at Mackie Designs, he assembled a team of experts to develop their digital products line.[3][4]

More recently, Olsen produced several albums per year for Pogologo Productions Group and was a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) Producers and Engineers Wing, the mission of which he strongly believed was necessary in this era of digital revolution.[3] He also served on the A&N Committee, the P&E Steering Committee and the P&E Advisory Council.

Olsen died on March 9, 2020 from cardiac arrest at his home in Genoa, Nevada at the age of 74.[1][5][6]

Production credits[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Slotnik, Daniel (March 12, 2020). "site:Keith Olsen, Rock Hitmaker With a Broad Résumé, Dies at 74". The New York Times. Retrieved March 12, 2020.}
  2. ^ a b c d Eder, Bruce. "Keith Olsen biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  3. ^ a b c "Profile". Keith Olsen's Pogologo Productions Group. Archived from the original on 2013-01-30. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  4. ^ a b c d Thode, Lesley A. "Keith Olsen". The Penguin Biographies. Fleetwood Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  5. ^ Trapp, Philip (March 10, 2020). "Ozzy Ozbourne, Scorpions + Whitesnake Producer Keith Olsen Dies". Loudwire. Loudwire Network. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  6. ^ "Acclaimed Producer KEITH OLSEN, Who Has Worked With OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE And SCORPIONS, Has Died". March 9, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al "Keith Olsen | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 March 2020.

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