Mark Opitz

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Mark Opitz
Born1952 (age 70–71)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
OriginSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation(s)Record producer, audio engineer
Years active1971–present

Mark Opitz AM (born 1952) is an Australian record producer and audio engineer. He started his career with Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1971. He has produced AC/DC, the Angels, Australian Crawl, Cold Chisel, Divinyls and INXS. He has won the ARIA Award for Producer of the Year in 1987 and 1988. He had previously won Best Australian Producer at the Countdown Awards for his work in 1980, 1982, 1985 and 1986. On 8 June 2020 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for "significant service to the performing arts, particularly to music production."[1] In August of that year he was listed as one of The 7 Most Influential Music Producers of All Time by Mixdown Magazine's David Tomisch and Will Brewster.

Early years and personal life[edit]

Mark Opitz was born in Melbourne in 1952.[2][3] His mother Shirley, his father and an older sibling had moved from Darwin in the early 1950s to suburban Upwey and then Croydon.[2] During childhood his parents separated, he remained with his mother, living in Burwood. She worked as a nurse.[2] His neighbour and best friend was Kym Gyngell.[2] The family relocated to Brisbane when his parents were briefly reconciled.[2][3] After the couple separated again Opitz and his sibling were cared for by various people before being placed in the Margaret Marr Memorial Home for Boys in Wynnum – run by the Methodists.[2] While there he was subjected to emotional and physical abuse by the staff and bullying by fellow boarders.[2] After leaving the boys home he relocated to Sydney in the early 1970s. He has four children from his two marriages.[2] As from 2012 Opitz was married to Natalie (his second wife): they met in November 1998 at the Mushroom 25 Concert.[4]


Opitz started his career at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's ABC TV in Sydney in 1971 as a studio trainee working on children's TV show Mr. Squiggle and rock music series GTK.[3] Initially he aspired to be a programme director, "I started as a cameraman. I worked on music shows."[4] He became an audio engineer.[5] In order to become a record producer he transferred to EMI in 1974 working in the mastering department.[4] By 1976 he was label manager for EMI's Australian division of Capitol Records.[4][6] He worked as assistant producer for EMI's in-house productions.[4]

Opitz took a position as Vanda & Young's apprentice producer at EMI Studios 301 in Sydney in 1977. Under their tutelage he worked with Albert Productions artists AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, John Paul Young and Flash and the Pan. He developed his production skills as an audio engineer, mixing engineer and record producer. His early producing jobs were on the Angels' albums Face to Face (1978) and No Exit (1979).[7][8][9] He assisted the Angels to develop their signature sound with thick guitars, which dominated Australia's 1980s airwaves.[9][10]

Warner Music's management offered Opitz the position as Head of A&R during 1980, while he was producing the East album for Cold Chisel. As A&R he signed Billy Field and Divinyls to the label. He also produced further albums for Cold Chisel, Richard Clapton, Swanee and the Hitmen.[7] He left Warner in 1982 to buy Rhinoceros Studios in Sydney, with a commercial partner, and set up his own production company. Over the next five years he produced albums for Jimmy Barnes, INXS, Models, Hoodoo Gurus, Australian Crawl, Noiseworks and the Reels.[7][8] During the 1980s Opitz won Australian music industry awards for his production work on six occasions: Best Australian Producer at the Countdown Awards for 1980, 1982, 1985 and 1986;[11] as well as Producer of the Year at the ARIA Music Awards of 1987 and the following year.[12][13]

Opitz was based primarily in the United States and Europe during the 1990s while working with international artists. However, he produced more INXS studio albums Welcome to Wherever You Are (1992) and Full Moon, Dirty Hearts (1993).[7] He had accompanied the group on their international tour, which resulted in the live album, Live Baby Live (1991), as well as Live at Wembley Stadium 1991 from their performance at Wembley Stadium. In the late 1990s Michael Gudinski of Mushroom Records invited Opitz to join his executive team and oversee Australian music recording projects in readiness for the sale of Gudinski's label to News Limited. Opitz worked in various facets of Mushroom Records' business interests and produced the Mushroom 25th Anniversary series of concerts, albums and TV/VHS specials in 1998.

Opitz is included in Billboard's All Time Top "Producer Encyclopaedia", which covers all genres of music. He worked with Bob Dylan on latter's Academy Award ceremony performance of "Things Have Changed" from the movie The Wonder Boys and on Kiss and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's recording Kiss Symphony: Alive IV (2003). He has also worked with Lenny Kravitz, Ray Charles and the Beach Boys. Opitz' company The Best Seat in the House produced the INXS DVD/TV special I'm Only Looking for international release through Warner Music in the US and Universal Music for the rest of the world. This project included many interviews, mini-documentaries as well as music videos and live performance footage. He also produced the music for Kiss' US TV special/DVD release Rock the Nation in 2006 and Paul Stanley's solo project in 2007. He produced albums for Rose Tattoo, Jeff Lang, and Monique Brumby.

As of 2011 Opitz was a full voting member in all categories of both ARIA Awards in Australia and Grammy Awards in the US. He developed music programmes by merging various music genres for rock group Bad//Dreems from Adelaide.[14] In 2016, the Australian National University (ANU) spent $12 million to establish their School of Music with Opitz as a Visiting Fellow of that department.[15] In August 2017 he was listed as one of The 7 Most Influential Music Producers of All Time by Mixdown Magazine's David Tomisch and Will Brewster.[10]


  • Wallis, Luke; Jenkins, Jeff; Opitz, Mark (2012), Sophisto-Punk: the Story of Mark Opitz and Oz Rock, North Sydney, NSW: Penguin Random House Australia, ISBN 978-1-74275-794-0

Technical works[edit]

List of technical works by Mark Opitz
Year Artist(s) Work Role(s) Ref.
1977 John St Peeters "Summer of Love" (single) Producer [16]
Reg Lindsay Silence on the Line Engineer [17]
AC/DC Let There Be Rock Engineer [8]
1978 The Angels Face to Face Engineer, producer [7][8]
The Angels After the Rain – The Tour (EP) Producer [7]
AC/DC Powerage Engineer [8]
1979 The Angels No Exit Engineer, producer [7][8]
The Reels The Reels Engineer, producer [7][8]
The Angels Out of the Blue (EP) Producer [7]
1980 Cold Chisel East Engineer, producer [7][8]
Swanee Into the Night Producer [7]
1981 The Hitmen The Hitmen Producer [7]
Cold Chisel Swingshift Mixer, producer [7][8]
1982 Richard Clapton The Great Escape Producer [7]
Divinyls Monkey Grip EP Producer [7][8]
Cold Chisel Circus Animals Engineer, producer [7][8]
INXS Shabooh Shoobah Engineer, producer [7][8]
Swanee This Time Its Different Producer [7]
1983 Australian Crawl Semantics (EP) Producer [7][8]
Divinyls Desperate Producer [7][8]
INXS Dekadance Engineer, mixer, producer [8][18]
1984 Cold Chisel Twentieth Century Engineer, mixer [8]
Eurogliders This Island Producer [7][8]
Richard Clapton Solidarity Producer [7]
Jimmy Barnes Bodyswerve Engineer, mixer, producer [7][8]
Mental As Anything "Apocalypso (Wiping the Smile Off Santa's Face)" (single) Producer [7]
Cold Chisel Barking Spiders Live: 1983 Producer [7][8]
Deckchairs Overboard "Walking in the Dark" (single) Producer [7]
1985 Divinyls What a Life! Producer [7][8]
Flame Fortune Flame Fortune (12" EP) Producer [7][18]
The Venetians Step off the Edge Producer [7]
Models Out of Mind, Out of Sight Mixer, producer [7][8]
Deckchairs Overboard Deckchairs Overboard Producer [7]
Jimmy Barnes For the Working Class Man Producer [7][8]
1986 INXS and Jimmy Barnes "Good Times" (single) Producer [7]
Spaniards Locked in a Dance Producer [7]
Models Models' Media Producer [7]
1987 Hoodoo Gurus Blow Your Cool! Producer [7][8]
Noiseworks Noiseworks Producer [7][8]
INXS Kick Mixer, remaster [8]
Jimmy Barnes Freight Train Heart Producer [7][8]
Mental As Anything Mouth to Mouth Mixer [8]
1988 The Saints Prodigal Son Mixer [8]
The Venetians Amazing World Producer [7]
1989 The Ocean Blue The Ocean Blue Producer [8]
Mental As Anything Cyclone Raymond Producer [7][8]
Cats in Boots Kicked & Klawed Producer [8]
Scary Bill Scary Bill Producer [7]
1990 Steelheart Steelheart Producer [7]
Red House Red House Producer [8]
INXS X Remaster, remixer [8]
1991 INXS Live Baby Live Mixer, producer [8]
Roxus Nightstreet Producer [7]
1992 1927 1927 Producer [7]
INXS Welcome to Wherever You Are Producer, remaster, remixer [7][8]
Ghost of an American Airman Life Under Giants Mixer, producer [8]
1993 INXS Full Moon, Dirty Hearts Mixer, producer [7][8]
1994 INXS "The Strangest Party (These Are the Times)" (single) Producer [8]
1997 Inqbator Hatched Mixer, producer [8]
1998 Hunters & Collectors Juggernaut Mixer, producer [7][8]
Paul Kelly Words and Music Producer, remixer [7][8]
1999 Deadstar Somewhere Over the Radio Producer [7]
Jimmy Barnes [[Love and Fear (album)|] Engineer, mixer, producer [7][8]
Little Angels Little of the Past Producer [8]
2002 Broklyn Run Brooklyn Run Producer [8]
Jimmy Barnes Raw Mastering, mixer [8]
2003 Kiss Kiss Symphony: Alive IV Mixer, producer [8]
2007 Rose Tattoo Blood Brothers Photographer, producer [8]
Billy Thorpe Solo – The Last Recordings Producer [8]
2008 Paul Stanley One Live Kiss Mixer [8]
2009 Jeff Lang Chimeradour Producer
2012 Sunset Riot Uprising Producer
2013 Owen Campbell The Pilgrim Producer [19]
2017 Black Aces Anywhere But Here Producer [20][21]
2020 Rose Tattoo Outlaws Engineer, mixer, producer [8][22]

Awards and nominations[edit]

ARIA Music Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. They commenced in 1987.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1987 himself[23] Producer of the Year Won
1988 himself[24] Producer of the Year Won

TV Week / Countdown Awards[edit]

Countdown was an Australian pop music TV series on national broadcaster ABC-TV from 1974–1987, it presented music awards from 1979–1987, initially in conjunction with magazine TV Week. The TV Week / Countdown Awards were a combination of popular-voted and peer-voted awards.[11]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1980 himself for East by Cold Chisel Best Australian Producer Won
1982 himself Best Australian Producer Won
1984 himself for work with Australian Crawl, INXS & Divinyls Best Australian Producer Nominated
1985 himself Best Australian Producer Won
1986 himself Best Australian Producer Won




  1. ^ "Award Extract – Australian Honours Search Facility". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 7 June 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Wallis, Luke; Jenkins, Jeff; Opitz, Mark (2012), Sophisto-Punk: the Story of Mark Opitz and Oz Rock, North Sydney, NSW: Penguin Random House Australia, ISBN 978-1-74275-794-0
  3. ^ a b c "Sophisto-Punk: The Story of Mark Opitz and Oz Rock". Loud Mouth. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e Valentish, Jenny (2013). "Jenny Valentish Interviews Mark Opitz". Time Out. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  5. ^ Kurutz, Steve. "Mark Opitz Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  6. ^ Kimball, Duncan. "Record Labels – EMI Records (Australia)". MilesAgo. Archived from the original on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 23 October 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  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 am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax Holmgren, Magnus; Shaw, Julian. "Mark Opitz". Australian Rock Database. Archived from the original on 26 March 2004. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  8. ^ 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 am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax "Mark Opitz > Credits". allmusic. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  9. ^ a b McFarlane, 'The Angels' entry. Archived from the original on 2 August 2004. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  10. ^ a b Tomisch, David; Brewster, Will (31 August 2020). "The 7 Most Influential Australian Music Producers of All Time". Mixdown Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 March 2022. Retrieved 22 October 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ a b "Countdown to the Awards" (Portable document format (PDF)). Countdown Magazine. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). March 1987. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
  12. ^ "Winners by Award – Producer of the Year". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  13. ^ "17th Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 22 February 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2016. Note: User may be required to access archived information by selecting 'The History', then 'By Award', 'Producer of the Year' and 'Option Show Nominations'.
  14. ^ "Bad//Dreems – Ivy League". Ivy League Records. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ "Cold Chisel, AC/DC, INXS producer joins ANU School of Music". ABC News. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  16. ^ St Peeters, John (18 July 1977). "Summer of Love" (label sticker). Sydney, NSW: EMI (Australia). 11480B. Note:"Summer of Love" is the B-side of "Shiny Side Up".
  17. ^ Lindsay, Reg; Coe, Rod (1977), Silence on the Line, EMI (Australia), retrieved 22 October 2022
  18. ^ a b Lade, Neil (22 April 1985). "Canberra Living". The Canberra Times. Vol. 59, no. 18, 102. p. 16. Retrieved 23 October 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  19. ^ Dickens, Rob (2 July 2013). "TRead about Owen Campbell's new release The Pilgrim". Listening Through the Lens. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Bendigo hard rock four piece Black Aces return with new album 'Anywhere But Here' – The Rockpit". 7 October 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  21. ^ "Black Aces to release second album 'Anywhere But Here'". 4 September 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  22. ^ "ROSE TATTOO will release "Outlaws" March 6". Rose Tattoo. 20 February 2020. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  23. ^ ARIA Music Awards of 1987:
    • Winners: ARIA (1987). "Winners by Year 1987". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
    • Winners and nominees: ARIA (1987). "ARIA Awards". YouTube. ARIA Official YouTube Account (Australian Recording Industry Association). Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  24. ^ Middleton, Karen (3 March 1988). "Music Awards: A Scratch on the Record". The Canberra Times. p. 23. Retrieved 6 December 2013 – via National Library of Australia.

External links[edit]