Tony Cox (record producer)

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Tony Cox is a British record producer and arranger. As such he was influential in late 1960s and 1970s folk rock developments and the fledgling progressive rock scene, and has since worked primarily as a composer and orchestrator.


He entered the music business as a performer in 1966, and as a duo with Douglas MacRae-Brown released The Young Idea LP in 1967,[1] and had a UK top ten hit single with a cover version of the Lennon-McCartney song "With a Little Help from My Friends".[2] (The album was re-issued on CD in 2009 with previously unreleased tracks.) He continued performing in the studio with various acts he produced such as Trees[3] and Mick Softley.[4] He was an early adopter of the EMS VCS 3 synthesizer and in 1971 played on the Spirogyra album St. Radigunds,[5] and Mike Heron's album Smiling Men With Bad Reputations.[citation needed] In 1972 he played piano with The Bunch alongside Sandy Denny on vocals,[6] and in 1976 he played synth on Martin Carthy's Crown Of Horn LP.[7]

In 1974 he founded Sawmills Studios in Cornwall,[8] one of the first residential recording studios in the UK.[9]

In 1978 he married the singer-songwriter Lesley Duncan,[10] and produced her single "The Magic's Fine".[11] In 1979 produced and arranged the charity single "Sing Children Sing" for the International Year of the Child.[10] In 1982 he produced Duncan's cover version of Bob Dylan's 'Masters of War' single.[10] In 1996 they moved to the Isle of Mull, Scotland.[12]

From 1988 to 1990 he worked for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group as music supervisor, overseeing various shows.[12]

Recently Cox has been composing 'Protomodal' music for instrumental ensemble, creating a uniquely distinctive sound by utilizing unusual modal scales and unorthodox harmonies, mixing rigid composition rules with John Cage like chance elements.[13]



Arranger and orchestrator[edit]


  1. ^ The Young Idea LP, at Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  2. ^ The Young Idea, on] Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  3. ^ Trees on Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  4. ^ Mick Softley on Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  5. ^ Spirogyra on Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  6. ^ The Bunch on Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  7. ^ Martin Carthy on Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  8. ^ The Great British Recording Studios, by Howard Massey
  9. ^ Sawmills studio 'about us' Retrieved 6 November 2016
  10. ^ a b c Interview with Lesley Duncan, at Retrieved 6 November 2016
  11. ^ Lesley Duncan – The Magic's Fine on Retrieved 6 November
  12. ^ a b Tony Cox, FATTO* – a little about what I’ve done Retrieved 8 November 2017
  13. ^ Tony Cox on Protomodalism Retrieved 8 November 2017
  • The Young Idea LP, at Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  • The Young Idea, on Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  • Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music, by Rob Young. ISBN 0-571-23753-3
  • The Young Idea CD liner notes by Stefan Granados
  • The Great British Recording Studios, by Howard Massey. ISBN 1-4584-2197-X
  • Mick Softley CD Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  • credits on Retrieved 5 November 2016.

External links[edit]