Mike Hedges

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Mike Hedges
Born1953
OccupationProducer, audio engineer
Years active1969—present

Mike Hedges (born 1953) is a British audio producer/engineer best known for his work with The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Manic Street Preachers.[1][2] During his career, Hedges has worked with an eclectic roster of artists ranging from rock and pop acts such as U2, Dido, Travis, Texas, The Beautiful South, and Everything but the Girl, to cult-indie band The Cooper Temple Clause and classically oriented projects, The Priests and Sarah Brightman.[3] His creative input and influence dramatically impacted the trajectories of bands such as The Cure, The Associates, Manic Street Preachers, and Travis.[4][5][6]

Young life[edit]

Hedges was born in Nottingham, England in 1953 and grew up in Zambia (specifically Northern Rhodesia), where he attended a Jesuit school.[7][8][9] He comes from a Catholic family.[9]

Career[edit]

Hedges returned to the UK in 1969 and was working in Haywards Heath as a squash coach when he was offered a job as a tape op at London's Morgan Studios.[9][8] His first engineer credit came in the form of Heatwave's Central Heating.[8] In 1981, he left Morgan Studios to become a freelancer and start Playground Studios in Camden Town, then moved on to work at Abbey Road Studios for ten years.[8][9] Siouxsie and the Banshees, Southern Death Cult, and Wah! were among some of his earliest clients.[8] Hedges lived in the Willesden area of London near Morgan Studios.[10]

In 1990, he purchased Chateau de la Rouge Motte, a home in Domfront en Poiraie in the Normandy countryside, and retired for less than a month in 1992.[8][10] He renovated the chateau to act as a new studio and outfitted it with a 16 channel EMI TG12345 Mark IV mixing desk, which he bought directly from Abbey Road Studios in 1983.[11][12][10] The desk was originally installed in Abbey Road Studios, and had been used to record The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd and John Lennon's single "Imagine."[12][10] Among the albums recorded there were Lush's Split, Manic Street Preachers' Everything Must Go (BRIT Award recipient)[13] and This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, and Travis' The Man Who(partially).[14][10][15][16] James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers recalled that Hedges greeted them with a hand covered in Normandy brandy and lit on fire, which is how Hedges claimed to welcome every new band.[17]

There were four floors in the chateau: Hedges and his family lived on the top floor; the ten bedrooms on the first floor are for visiting musicians; and the ground floor and basement are control rooms and recording studios.[10] Hedges moved the Mark IV desk back to London in the early 2000s, where it resided in the front room of a studio, and in 2017 was auctioned off for £1.4 million.[18][9][19]

Hedges has also worked as part of the musical team for a number of films including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Doom Generation.[20][21]

In 2009, he was working in an A&R role at Sony BMG, where he signed The Priests.[9] He also discovered Friar Alessandro in Italy in 2012.[22]

Hedges retired in 2017.[23]

Personal life[edit]

He has 4 sons, Michael, Ethan, Aengus and James [24][25][26]

Selected discography[edit]

Year Title Artist Label References
1983 The Sin of Pride The Undertones EMI Records [27]
1988 Peepshow Siouxsie and the Banshees Wonderland [28]
1989 Welcome to the Beautiful South The Beautiful South Go! Discs [8]
1996 Everything Must Go Manic Street Preachers Epic Records [29][10]
1997 White on Blonde Texas Mercury Records [8][30]
1999 The Man Who Travis Independiente [31][2]
2000 All That You Can't Leave Behind U2 Universal Music Group [32][33]
2001 Listen and Learn Screaming Orphans Warner Music Group
2003 Life for Rent Dido Cheeky Records [34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Father Ted had Eurovision ambitions - ours are global'". The Independent Ireland. 18 November 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Mike Hedges". Stephen Budd Music Management. n.d. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Mike Hedges". AllMusic. n.d. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Album Review: Manic Street Preachers – 'Everything Must Go 20' (20th Anniversary Reissue)". Live 4ever. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  5. ^ "CLASSIC TRACKS: The Cure 'A Forest' : Producers: Robert Smith, Mike Hedges • Engineers: Mike Hedges, Mike Dutton". Soundonsound.com. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  6. ^ O'Hare, Peter (2008). "Microphone/Amplification". Approaching Sound: A Sonicological Examination of the Producer’s Role in Popular Music (PDF) (Masters). University of Glasgow. p. 41. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  7. ^ "The singing priests". Irish Central. 21 October 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Thompson, Dave. Alternative Rock: Third Ear - The Essential Listening Companion. p. 777.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Mike Hedges". issuu. Resolution Magazine. 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Tingen, Paul (1998). "MIKE HEDGES: Recording Manic Street Preachers, The Audience & Pure Essence". Sound on Sound. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  11. ^ Kreps, Daniel (4 March 2017). "Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' Recording Console Heads to Auction". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  12. ^ a b Tingen, Paul (10 April 2011). "Mike Hedges: That's what I call a home studio". Manics.rawkstar.net. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  13. ^ Hendicott, James (9 November 2015). "Manic Street Preachers announce 'Everything Must Go' 20th anniversary stadium gig in Swansea". NME. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  14. ^ Valish, Frank (29 April 2015). "Lush - Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson on Their 1994 Album "Split"". Under the Radar Magazine. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  15. ^ Eringa, Dave (1999). "Recording The Manic Street Preachers' 'If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next'". SOS. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  16. ^ "Writing To Reach You: Travis Reflect On 'The Man Who'". Clash Music. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  17. ^ Price, Simon (2 June 2016). "And If You Need An Explanation: Manic Street Preachers interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  18. ^ "Abbey Road console used by Pink Floyd sells for £1.4m". ITV. 28 March 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  19. ^ Blistein, Jon (28 March 2017). "'Dark Side of the Moon' Recording Console Sells for $1.8 Million". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  20. ^ Wyatt, Stephan (11 June 2019). "Lush's 'Split' Turns 25 - Anniversary Retrospective". ALBUMISM. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  21. ^ "Recording and Production in the News". Prism Sound. 2005. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  22. ^ Burns, Julie (14 December 2012). "Interview with Friar Alessandro, The Voice of Christmas". Italy Magazine. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  23. ^ "Supporting a Piece of Music History". Dyn Audio. 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  24. ^ "Interview" (PDF). World Radio History. Studio Sound. 1996. p. 52. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  25. ^ "Legendary Producer Mike Hedges To Produce The Priests". editorial today. n.d. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  26. ^ "Blue Touches Blue". Noa. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  27. ^ Murphy, John L. (23 April 2018). "Revisit: The Undertones: The Undertones". Spectrum Culture. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  28. ^ "Siouxsie and the Banshees – Peepshow – Classic Pick on The Homestretch". KXCI. 16 September 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  29. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (17 May 2016). "How we made Manic Street Preachers' Everything Must Go". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  30. ^ "White on blonde". muziekweb. n.d. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  31. ^ Sillitoe, Sue (1999). "MIKE HEDGES: Recording Travis 'Why Does It Always Rain On Me?'". Sound on Sound. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  32. ^ ""All That You Can't Leave Behind" - U2". U2 Songs. n.d. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  33. ^ "James Sanger". broadjam. n.d. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  34. ^ "Dido Life for Rent". AllMusic. n.d. Retrieved 9 August 2021.

External links[edit]