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Old 07-11-2006, 07:32 AM   #1
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U2 and Rick Rubin: what would it be like?

From atu2.com's last Off the record column:

"We know that U2 is in the recording studio working on new songs, but when it gets serious enough to bring in a producer, who might they call? Well, Zsuzsi O. from the Hungarian fan site U2.hu let us know about an April interview they conducted with author Michka Assayas. In the interview, Assayas tells about Bono's interest in working with Rick Rubin, who's recently produced for Johnny Cash, the Dixie Chicks, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Assayas told U2.hu, "Bono is a great admirer of Rick Rubin," and says he encouraged Bono to work with Rubin: "I think it would be fantastic but I do not know if it's going to happen. Because we discussed it with Bono and I said to him you should do that! They are thinking about it."

Making things more interesting was an article last week in USA Today profiling Rubin, which includes this nugget: "He'd love to produce a U2 disc."

What kind of a producer is Rick Rubin? Is he like Eno/Lanois, a "5th member" in the studio, more like Lillywhite who polishes things up in the end or does he listen to the music in the studio and picks the best mixes/songs?
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Old 07-11-2006, 09:43 AM   #2
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We were sort of talking about this in the news section last week. Based on his previous work, I don't think anyone can really predict what type of sound Rubin would get from the guys. The UsaToday article was pretty good at describing him and his process, I think.

I really like this quote from him:
Quote:
"to inspire and challenge artists to do their best work, and to do it for the sake of the work as opposed to the ends. So much is about the process and pleasing ourselves, not thinking, 'Can it get on the radio, will it be done in time?' I try to erase all the restrictions that I've seen impede great art over and over. If the album is great, everything else will follow."
http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/n...bin-main_x.htm
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:17 AM   #3
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Rick's a producer that encourages the artist to do what they're best at while at the same time push them to territory that may not be the most comfortable.

He encouraged Cash to go up and play some shows where it was just him and his acoustic, no backing band or anything before recording sessions started. This is something Cash hadn't done in decades.

He encouraged Diamond to actually play guitar on this album.

He also found a poem Keides had written and encouraged him to bring it to the band, he reluctantly did and they wrote 'Under the Bridge' something that was pretty far out for them at the time.
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Old 07-11-2006, 12:45 PM   #4
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Rick Rubin Would "Love To Produce A U2 Disc"

Just saw this article on U2log.com...check it out:

http://u2log.com/archive/2006/07/ric..._a_u2_disc.php

I think a Rubin/U2 colloboration would be awesome! Maybe we'd get the "BIG" guitars a lot of us would love to hear on a U2 album.
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Old 07-11-2006, 12:51 PM   #5
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I would be all for it. U2 needs to turn the wheel big time, but the media would put alot of hype in a Rubin/U2 record.
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:11 PM   #6
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Wow. I'd love to hear the crystal clear guitar sounds that often make it to a Rubin produced disc. U2's production is sometimes a bit too muddy methinks.
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:22 PM   #7
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http://forum.interference.com/t161883.html
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Old 07-11-2006, 02:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Man
Wow. I'd love to hear the crystal clear guitar sounds that often make it to a Rubin produced disc. U2's production is sometimes a bit too muddy methinks.
it is, and sometimes that worked to create a sort of atmosphere, but lately it's just made the sound distorted if you turn it up too loud...did Rubin do Stadium Arcadium? that has pretty damn good production, so good you hardly even notice it's there! very clean.
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Old 07-11-2006, 02:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by AtomicBono


it is, and sometimes that worked to create a sort of atmosphere, but lately it's just made the sound distorted if you turn it up too loud...did Rubin do Stadium Arcadium? that has pretty damn good production, so good you hardly even notice it's there! very clean.
yes I belive Rubin produced Stadium ...
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Old 07-11-2006, 03:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by AtomicBono


it is, and sometimes that worked to create a sort of atmosphere, but lately it's just made the sound distorted if you turn it up too loud
Given the popularity of iPods, I think we'll see less distortion on the next U2 album regardless of producer. The mastering engineers will have less reason to crank up the loudness.
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Old 07-11-2006, 03:09 PM   #11
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Originally posted by ntalwar


Given the popularity of iPods, I think we'll see less distortion on the next U2 album regardless of producer. The mastering engineers will have less reason to crank up the loudness.
just another reason to love iPods
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:16 PM   #12
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Rubin's kind of been hit-or-miss over the years. Part of me marvels at some of the stuff he did with Johnny Cash and the Chili Peppers, but then part of me cringes at projects of his like the last Weezer album.

A U2-Rubin collaboration could have potential, though. If any new producer were to be brought in, I wouldn't object to it being him.

I'd really prefer Eno, though.
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:59 PM   #13
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for some reason - not even clear to myself - I think it would be disasterous

I think the Rubin sound is way too stripped down for U2
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:20 PM   #14
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One of the reasons people are excited by a U2/Rubin collaberation is that, in that same interview, MA said that the type of sound you would get would shock you in the same way Achtung Baby shocked U2 fans years ago.

IMO, you wouldnt get another AB, you would get a completely different sound nobody would have seen coming and it will make some people on this board who are pro-u2 experimenting go and others
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:05 PM   #15
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The next album should include Eno/Lanois but primarily RUBIN!!!
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harry Vest
The next album should include Eno/Lanois but primarily RUBIN!!!
No. I want a cohesive album, and there's no way you would get that with this combo.
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Old 07-11-2006, 07:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Salome
for some reason - not even clear to myself - I think it would be disasterous

I think the Rubin sound is way too stripped down for U2
No it's not.

He produced the last few RHCP records, and they're lush with different instruments and effects, and overdubs. They poured it on.
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Old 07-11-2006, 08:31 PM   #18
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I don't know about this...I feel that Rubin producing this would look like too much of a desperate commercial move for U2. Of course, I wouldn't have said that about getting Lanois/Eno for ATYCLB, and it resulted in their most desperately commercial album.

Rubin seems to be good not at getting artists to rock out, but to find their most essential selves. For Cash it was stripping down. For the Peppers it was something else entirely, on different albums. But with U2 I don't think they need to distill anything because they've already done that to an extent. I feel that the band needs to move away from obvious radio play material, and also away from the whole sounding-like-Boy thing. Okay, it was a nice conceit to go back to the basics in spirit, but it's time to think outward again, not inward.

And my choice still remains Nigel Godrich, although I imagine he will have his hands full with Radiohead for at least the next six months.

Second to that...Eno. ALONE.
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:20 PM   #19
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I hate Eno's production on U2 albums. Achtung Baby and UF had horrid production, and I think he made himself too big a part of their overall sound. No more Eno, ESPECIALLY alone.

I would love a Rick Rubin-produced U2 album.

A Nigel Godrich-produced U2 album would just be...
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMelon
I hate Eno's production on U2 albums. Achtung Baby and UF had horrid production, and I think he made himself too big a part of their overall sound. No more Eno, ESPECIALLY alone.
Funny how you failed to mention Zooropa, which I feel is U2's BEST produced album, and the one which Eno probably had his hands on the most.

I don't know where you get that Achtung Baby had horrid production. If it sound muddy and dirty it was supposed to. Eno wrote a great article for Rolling Stone when the album came out for the cover story ("Bringing Up Baby"), and maybe you think it still sounds like crap but it's clear he went in with an agenda and I think he pulled out a career-defining work of art.

Eno producing ALL by himself gave us Passengers, which I think is another phenomenally produced record. I'd like to hear why you think he's so bad, and what you're blaming on him and not Lanois.
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