Glyn Johns & Opinions on Coldplay

Glyn Johns

English producer and engineer Glyn Johns has been behind the board for classic albums by Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Clash. He joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a candid conversation about being re-worked by Phil Spector, trying to infuse The Eagles with the blues, and more from his storied career.

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Lemmy

Lemmy

With his mutton chops, leather biker gear, and one word moniker, Lemmy was a larger-than-life rock icon. The lead singer, bassist, and founder of English heavy metal innovators Motörhead died on December 28 at the age of 70. Born Ian Kilmister, Lemmy started out as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix before making important contributions to the seminal space rock band Hawkwind. After getting kicked out of that band in 1975, he formed Motörhead. Initially they didn’t fit in with the metal and progressive rock acts of the time, but became a template for thrash metal in the 1980s. Greg always appreciated the sly sense of humor behind Lemmy’s music. Jim notes that he was also a serious scholar of military history. In tribute to Lemmy’s passing, he plays the 1979 Motörhead cut Bomber about the Heinkel He 111 aircraft.

Glyn Johns

soundman

One day in February 1969, engineer and producer Glyn Johns disembarked a flight from Los Angeles to London. He went straight to a studio to work with the Beatles on what would eventually become Let It Be. That was followed by an all-night session with the Rolling Stones for Let It Bleed. And after that, he rejoined the Beatles and jutted on over to Royal Albert Hall to record Jimi Hendrix live. Just a day in the life, eh? Those legendary recordings are just beginning of Johns tremendous list of credits which includes Led Zeppelin, the Faces, the Kinks, The Who, the Eagles and more recently Band of Horses and Ryan Adams. He relays this life spent recording in a new book called Sound Man. And he is as candid in his conversation with Jim and Greg, as he is in print. The aforementioned Let It Be? Johns remarks that Phil Spector puked all over it. Of Eric Clapton, Johns admits he initially refused to bring him into a session with Pete Townshend due to his drug-addled personality. And he talks about parting ways with the Eagles after they wanted to go in a more rock ‘n’ roll direction—something Johns says the band wouldn’t know if they fell over it.

For more behind-the-booth conversations, check out Jim and Greg’s interviews in the Footnotes section with Stephen Street, Butch Vig, Bob Ezrin, Tony Visconti, Mark Howard, Giorgio Moroder, Joe Boyd and of course, Brian Eno.

A Head Full of Dreams Coldplay

A Head Full of Dreams

Over the past 15 years, Coldplay has arguably become the biggest rock band in music. The group returns with their 7th album, A Head Full of Dreams, which lead singer Chris Martin says is the band’s last effort. Greg thinks that in the past the group has presented some interesting and layered material, but not in 2016. This is their most pop/danceable album yet Greg feels there’s a lack of conviction. Coldplay just didn’t take it far enough, and the lyrics are pretty awful to boot. Greg gives it a Trash It. Jim agrees and thinks the Coldplay of yore was a very good band indeed. But the Coldplay of today doesn’t go anywhere new. Even bringing in the big guns like Beyoncé and President Obama can’t save this record. It’s a double Trash It for A Head Full of Dreams.

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