Robert John "Mutt" Lange

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Mutt Lange)
Jump to: navigation, search
Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Birth name Robert John Lange
Born (1948-11-11) 11 November 1948 (age 67)
Mufulira, Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia)
Origin Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Record producer
  • songwriter
  • Bass guitar
  • guitar
  • vocals
Years active 1974–present
Associated acts

Robert John "Mutt" Lange (/ˈlæŋ/;[1] born 11 November 1948) is a South African record producer and songwriter. He is known for his work in the studio and innovations in multitrack recording. He has produced albums for, or otherwise worked with, artists such as AC/DC, Def Leppard, The Boomtown Rats, Foreigner, Michael Bolton, The Cars, Bryan Adams, Huey Lewis and the News, Billy Ocean, The Corrs, Maroon 5, Lady Gaga, Nickelback, and Muse. He also wrote and produced songs with his then-wife, Canadian singer Shania Twain. Her 1997 album Come On Over, which he produced, is the best-selling country music album, the best-selling studio album by a female act, the best-selling album of the 1990s, and the 9th best-selling album in the United States.[2]

Early life[edit]

Lange was born in Mufulira, Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia), and raised in Durban, South Africa. His German mother came from a prosperous family, and his South African father was a mining engineer. Nicknamed "Mutt" at an early age, Lange grew up a fan of country music, in particular the singer Slim Whitman. While studying at Belfast High School in what is now Mpumalanga province, he started a band in which he played rhythm guitar and sang harmonies.


After his national service (1966–1967) he formed the band Sound Reason in 1969. In 1971, he started the group Hocus, recording one album and releasing five seven-inch singles.

In 1978, Lange wrote and produced Ipswich Town's FA Cup final single "Ipswich Ipswich Get That Goal", his connection with the club being due to their South Africa-born player Colin Viljoen. The song is derived from a previous recording "Give That Thang To Me" by Paul Jones (1977), with some parts rearranged and new lyrics.

Beginning production work in 1976, his first major hits came in October 1978 with the UK No. 1 single "Rat Trap" for The Boomtown Rats, followed in July 1979 with AC/DC's hard rock album Highway to Hell (#8 UK, No. 17 US). He produced a total of five albums for UK band City Boy from 1976 to 1979.

He produced two more albums with AC/DC, including Back in Black (1980) which is currently the second best-selling album of all time. He also worked with rock group Foreigner with 4, and with Def Leppard on their hit albums, High 'n' Dry, Pyromania, Hysteria and Adrenalize co-writing most of the songs.

After Hysteria, Lange bowed out of working with Def Leppard while their peak success with Pyromania.[3] He would return to work with them years later in a more limited role in 1999, co-writing three tracks for their album Euphoria. One of these songs, "Promises", was a Number 1 hit on the mainstream rock charts for the band.

In 1991, he produced Bryan Adams's Waking Up the Neighbours, including co-writing "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You", a single written for the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves that currently holds the record for the longest consecutive Number 1 UK chart single with 16 consecutive weeks at the top of the charts (7 July-26 October 1991).

Lange produced the single "Make You" from the album Great Escape by Irish singer Tara Blaise which was released in May 2008.

In the 2001 television film Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story, actor Anthony Michael Hall portrayed Lange.

Personal life[edit]

Lange is a strict vegetarian and a follower of the egalitarian teachings of Sant Mat. He has not given an interview for decades and prefers to live a recluded life, primarily in La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland.

Lange was once married to Stevie Vann and moved to England. The marriage broke down in the 1970s. While still married Lange started a five-year relationship with Northern Irish employee Oonagh O'Reilly.

After hearing Shania Twain's music, he got in touch with her and they spent many hours on the phone. They finally met six months after the initial contact and were married on 28 December 1993; because Lange is teetotal, they had non-alcoholic champagne at their wedding. Lange also had the song "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" performed as a sign of his dedication. In August 2001, their son Eja (pronounced "Asia") was born. On 15 May 2008, a spokesman for his employer Mercury Nashville announced that Twain and Lange were separating,[4] after Lange had an affair with Twain's best friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud, with whom he reportedly later began a relationship.[5] Lange and Twain divorced in June 2010.


Produced albums[edit]

Albums on which Lange produced at least three tracks

Produced album tracks[edit]

Albums on which Lange produced at least one track:

Album tracks written or co-written[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]


History of Contemporary Music of South Africa – Garth Chilvers and Tom Jasiukowicz TOGA Publishing 1994

External links[edit]