- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Top 5: Knob-twiddlers
Question of the Day
Alternative-rock mainstay Beck’s new album, “Modern Guilt,” to be released Tuesday, was produced by Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley and “Grey Album” remix fame. Throughout his career, Beck has employed au courant knob-twiddlers, from the Dust Brothers to Nigel Godrich. Each has exerted a strong influence over how Beck sounds at a given moment. At their best - or, if you prefer, their pushiest — producers often are de facto composers.
1. George Martin — How do you turn a scruffy quartet of Liverpudlians into the most innovative act in rock history? Hook ‘em up with the classically inclined yet progressive-minded Mr. Martin.
2. Phil Spector — The progenitor of the so-called Wall of Sound (lots of echo and orchestration), Mr. Spector and his sonic architecture left indelible impressions on artists from Brian Wilson to Bruce Springsteen.
3. Quincy Jones — The 75-year-old is legendary in his own right as a composer and arranger. (The theme music for “Sanford and Son,” anyone?) But he found his biggest payday in a former child star, whom he helped turn into the biggest pop star in the world. Michael Jackson’s three albums with Mr. Jones (“Off the Wall,” “Thriller” and “Bad”) were his best and best-selling. He hasn’t come close since.
4. Jeff Lynne — An inveterate wall-of-sounder from his days as the frontman of the Electric Light Orchestra, Mr. Lynne has a distinctive stamp: bright guitars, sunny orchestration and ringing vocal harmonies. Using a pair of unearthed John Lennon demos, he even made the Beatles sound like Jeff Lynne.
5. Brian Eno/Daniel Lanois — How do you take a scruffy quartet of Dubliners and turn them into the most popular band of the past 25 years? Hook ‘em up with master boardmen like Mr. Eno and Mr. Lanois. They’re not shabby on their own, either. Mr. Eno, a Roxy Music original, has done memorable work with Peter Gabriel and Talking Heads, while Mr. Lanois helped revitalize the recording career of Bob Dylan (“Oh Mercy,” “Time out of Mind”).
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- D.C. plans to seek stay of order striking down ban on handguns in public
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq