Robert John "Mutt" Lange
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Robert John "Mutt" Lange
|Birth name||Robert John Lange|
|Born||11 November 1948|
|Origin||Johannesburg, South Africa|
Robert John "Mutt" Lange (//; 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 and producing many of rock's most famous albums. He has produced albums for, or otherwise worked with, artists such as Céline Dion, AC/DC, Britney Spears, 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.
Robert John 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) Lange 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 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[when?] the third 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. 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 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 secluded life, primarily in La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland.
Lange met Stevie Vann when the two attended the same school in Northern Rhodesia in the early 1960s, and the two reconnected a few years later while attending Belfast High School in South Africa. The two would play together in a short-lived band named Hocus, later marry and emigrate to the United Kingdom in the 1970s. The marriage broke down in the 1970s. While still married, Lange started a five-year relationship with Oonagh O'Reilly, an Irish-born co-worker.
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. Lange is a teetotaler and, as a result, they had non-alcoholic champagne at their wedding. Lange had the song "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" performed as a sign of his dedication to Twain. 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, after Lange had an affair with Twain's best friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud, with whom he reportedly later began a relationship. Lange and Twain divorced in June 2010. On January 1, 2011, Twain married Frédéric Thiébaud, the former husband of Marie-Anne.
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Albums on which Lange produced a majority of the tracks:
- Hocus – "The Swan"/"He", 1972
- Richard Jon Smith – Superstar Smith, 1974
- Spider – Spider, 1975
- City Boy – City Boy, 1976
- City Boy – Dinner at the Ritz, 1976
- Kevin Coyne – In Living Black and White, 1976
- Mallard – In a Different Climate, 1976
- Graham Parker – Heat Treatment, 1976
- Supercharge – Local Lads Make Good, 1976
- The Motors – 1, 1977
- City Boy – Young Men Gone West, 1977
- Clover – Love on the Wire, 1977
- Clover – Unavailable, 1977
- Supercharge – Horizontal Refreshment, 1977
- The Boomtown Rats – The Boomtown Rats, 1977
- The Rumour – Max, 1977
- Savoy Brown – Savage Return, 1978
- Michael Stanley Band – Cabin Fever, 1978
- City Boy – Book Early, 1978
- Outlaws – Playin' to Win, 1978
- The Boomtown Rats – A Tonic for the Troops, 1978
- Deaf School – English Boys/Working Girls, 1978
- City Boy – The Day the Earth Caught Fire, 1979
- The Records – Shades in Bed, 1979
- Supercharge – Body Rhythm, 1979
- The Boomtown Rats – The Fine Art of Surfacing, 1979
- AC/DC – Highway to Hell, 1979
- Tycoon - Tycoon, 1979
- Broken Home – Broken Home, 1980
- AC/DC – Back in Black, 1980
- Foreigner – 4, 1981
- Def Leppard – High 'N' Dry, 1981
- AC/DC – For Those About to Rock We Salute You, 1981
- Def Leppard – Pyromania, 1983
- The Cars – Heartbeat City, 1984
- Def Leppard – Hysteria, 1987
- Romeo's Daughter – Romeo's Daughter, 1988
- Billy Ocean – Tear Down These Walls, 1988
- Bryan Adams – Waking Up the Neighbours, 1991
- Def Leppard – Adrenalize (executive producer), 1992
- Michael Bolton – The One Thing, 1993
- Stevie Vann – Stevie Vann, 1995
- Shania Twain – The Woman in Me, 1995
- Bryan Adams – 18 til I Die, 1996
- Shania Twain – Come on Over, 1997
- The Corrs – In Blue, 2000
- Shania Twain – Up!, 2002
- Shania Twain – Greatest Hits, 2004
- Nickelback – Dark Horse, 2008
- Maroon 5 – Hands All Over, 2010
- Muse – Drones, 2015
- Ashley Clark – Ashley Clark, 2015
Produced album tracks
Albums on which Lange produced at least one track:
- Jessica Jones – "Sunday, Monday, Tuesday" , 1972
- Stephen – "Right On Running Man", 1974/5
- Graham Parker and the Rumour – The Parkerilla, 1978
- XTC – "This Is Pop" (single version), 1978
- Roman Holliday – Fire Me Up (executive producer), 1984
- Billy Ocean – Suddenly (executive producer), 1984
- Billy Ocean – Love Zone (executive producer), 1986
- Billy Ocean – Greatest Hits, 1989
- Bryan Adams – So Far So Good, 1993
- Tina Turner – What's Love Got to Do with It, 1993
- Michael Bolton – Greatest Hits, 1995
- Celine Dion – All the Way... A Decade of Song, 1999
- Backstreet Boys – Backstreet's Back, 1997
- Backstreet Boys – Millennium, 1999
- Bryan Adams – The Best of Me, 1999
- Britney Spears – Oops!... I Did It Again, 2000
- Celine Dion – A New Day Has Come, 2002
- Bryan Adams – Room Service, 2004
- Various artists – Music from and Inspired by Desperate Housewives, 2005
- Anne Murray – Anne Murray Duets: Friends & Legends, 2007
- Bryan Adams – 11, 2008
- Tara Blaise – Great Escape, 2008
- Lady Gaga – Born This Way, 2011
- Zander Bleck – Bring It On, 2012
Album tracks written or co-written
- Britney Spears - "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know" from Oops!...I Did It Again, 2000
- Bryan Adams – "I Will Always Return", "You Can't Take Me" and "This Is Where I Belong" from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, 2002
- Bryan Adams – "So Far So Good" from Anthology, 2005
- Bryan Adams and Sarah McLachlan – "Don't Let Go" from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, 2002
- Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, and Sting – "All for Love" from The Three Musketeers: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, 1993
- Jessica Andrews – "I'll Take Your Heart" from Heart Shaped World, 1999
- Backstreet Boys – "It's Gotta Be You" from Millennium, 1999
- Blackhawk – "I'm Not Strong Enough to Say No" from Strong Enough, 1995
- Michael Bolton – "Only a Woman Like You" from Only a Woman Like You, 2002
- Michael Bolton – "Said I Loved You...But I Lied" from The One Thing, 1993
- Clout – "Don't Stop" from Substitute, 1978
- Billy Ray Cyrus – "Only God (Could Stop Me Loving You)" from Storm in the Heartland, 1994
- Def Leppard - All songs on Hysteria, 1987
- Def Leppard – "Ring of Fire" and "I Wanna Be Your Hero" from Retro Active, 1993
- Def Leppard – "Promises", "All Night" and "It's Only Love" from Euphoria, 1999
- Dionne Warwick - "Without Your Love" - track produced by Richard Landis album Finder of Lost Loves 1985
- Heart – "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" from Brigade, 1990
- Heart – "Will You Be There (In the Morning)" from Desire Walks On, 1993
- Huey Lewis and the News – "Do You Believe in Love" from Picture This, 1982
- Huey Lewis and the News – "It Hit Me Like a Hammer" from Hard at Play, 1991
- Lonestar – "You Walked In" from Crazy Nights, 1997
- Loverboy – "Lovin' Every Minute of It" from Lovin' Every Minute of It, 1985
- Reba McEntire – "I'll Take Your Heart" from Moments and Memories: The Best of Reba, 1998
- Miss Willie Brown – "You're All That Matters to Me", 2012
- PJ Powers – "(Let That) River Roll" from Thandeka Talk to Me, 2001
- Starship – "I Didn't Mean to Stay All Night" from Love Among the Cannibals, 1989
- Carrie Underwood – "Who Are You" from Blown Away, 2012
- Celtic Woman – "Walk Beside Me", 2015
- 1991 – "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" – Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television
- 1995 – The Woman in Me – Best Country Album
- 1998 – "You're Still the One" – Best Country Song
- 1999 – "Come on Over" – Best Country Song
- 2016 – Drones – Best Rock Album
-  RIAA Retrieved 3 September 2008.[dead link]
- "Robertjohnmuttlange.com". www.robertjohnmuttlange.com.
- Eggar, Robert (2010). Shania Twain: The Biography. Simon and Schuster. pp. 200–201. ISBN 9781451604542.
- "Stevie Vann Lange bio". Vocal Tutor.com. 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "Shania Twain, Mutt Lange Separating After 14 Years".
- Bacardi, Francesca. "Shania Twain to Ex-Husband Robert "Mutt" Lange's New Wife, Her Former BFF: "I Wish I'd Never Met You"—Watch!". E! Online. Retrieved 2015-03-12.
- "Shania Twain". Biography.com. A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
-  Archived 5 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Interscope Recording Artist Zander Bleck Readies New Album as Two Songs Are Released Today. MarketWatch. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
History of Contemporary Music of South Africa – Garth Chilvers and Tom Jasiukowicz TOGA Publishing 1994