What makes Rick Rubin so special

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With the Beastie Boys, Slayer and Johnny Cash he has released great albums that have more than moved the pop world: A biographical overview of Noe Noack's 50th birthday.

From: Noe Noack

Status: 10.03.2013 | archive

On March 10, 2013, the extraordinary producer celebrated his 50th birthday. Almost everything he touched in the last 30 years, whether rap, punk, metal, country, pop or crossover noise, it went to gold. mtv.com names Rick Rubin the most important producer of the last 20 years.

He grew up in Long Island, New York. Rick Rubin's family has Polish roots and worked their way up to the upper middle class. At the age of 18 or 19, Rick Rubin's passion for music was already greater than his interest in various business courses. He met Russell Simmons at the University of New York. In 1984 the two Def Jam Recordings were founded. Rick Rubin is only 21 years old.

In addition to LL Cool J, RUN DMC and later Public Enemy, Rick Rubin mainly devotes himself to the Beastie Boys, whom he helped to discover. Their debut album "Licensed To Ill" hit the mark in 1986 and turned the pop world upside down. It was the first rap album to reach pole position on the American Billboard charts.

Rubin is also responsible for the songwriting for most of the songs and puts together a brutal mix of rock guitar riffs, hip hop beats and snot-spoon raps. An irresistible mixture that creates a new, global youth culture.

After a dispute, Rick Rubin separated from his partner Russel Simmons in 1986 and founded his own label under the name Def Recordings. In 1993 he changed the name: “Def Recordings” became “American Recordings”.

There are no musical drawers or genre boundaries for Rick Rubin. If he feels something while listening to music, it doesn't matter whether it's rap, punk, country, pop or heavy and thrash metal. The best proof of this limitless tolerance: In 1986 he produced “Reign In Blood”, SLAYER's masterpiece.

Rick Rubin also got along well with the muscular dwarf Glen Danzig. From the punk rocker with a penchant for Gothic and the mystical, he finally tickled “Evil Elvis” on his solo debut. After listening to old Elvis and Johnny Cash recordings for days, the energy level for Rick Rubin was right for this recording ...

But with Rick Rubin you never know what's coming next, what he's up to and catches fire. Shakira on Metallica, albums with the Dixie Chicks on Linkin Park and Rage Against the Machine, Neil Diamond on Slipknot, and Sheryl Crow and Justin Timberlake recordings after working with System Of A Down. In 1994, Rick Rubin polished the dusty pop pearl Tom Petty again with "Wildflower".

AC / DC and the chili peppers

With the somewhat coarser Australians from AC / DC, the spiritual producer Rick Rubin seems to have had his problems. Malcolm Young even thinks he's a kind of quack - and swears: Never again with Rubin. Nevertheless, he got a lot out of the songs "Big Gun" and "Ballbreaker" and hit the core of AC / DC.

In addition, the Red Hot Chili Peppers swear by Rick Rubin. Since the classic "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" he has produced every album by the Californian freaks.

And finally: Johnny Cash

In 1994 Rick Rubin and Johnny Cash meet. The two quickly become friends and Rubin soon takes care of the forgotten country hero like a caring son. With “Unchained” Rick Rubin helps Man In Black to make an impressive comeback. Super model Kate Moss plays in the video for "Delia's Gone". And so Johnny Cash gradually opened up to the younger MTV audience.

Rick Rubin records six albums with the country idol, with Johnny Cash not experiencing the last two albums "American V: A Hundred Highways" and "American VI: Ain't No Grave" himself, since he was 71 Years of death: "I'm so proud of the work Johnny and I have done. It was a wonderful, deeply moving time, full of hard work,"says Rick Rubin in retrospect.

System of a Down and Jay Z

Rick Rubin also succeeded in metal and hard rock experiments with the Armenian-born System Of A Down, who cracked the world market through him. And Jay Z, who has long been a rap multi-millionaire, is fulfilling a childhood dream and is recording an album with the producer of his teenage idols: The Black Album ”.

The Swedish political punks from Int. Rick Rubin is a fan of Noise Conspiracy. Despite rather modest sales, they were allowed to record two albums with the master. “The chemistry is just right,” singer Dennis Lyxzen once told me in an interview with Zündfunk.

"If Rick Rubin suddenly starts to headbang while listening to your recordings in the Lotus seat, seemingly meditating, then he has you and the song where he wanted it. He's a producer who doesn't make his record, but who makes you your best possible He squeezes the best out of you. The process can take weeks. You live with him and he lets you keep improving your music. You also become a better, more open person. If the energy is right, then it is recorded . And no matter who you are, he is fully focused on you in this process. Metallica can call, but he cannot be spoken at work. "

Dennis Lyxzen, Int. Noise Conspiracy

The weird methods of Rick Rubin are also said to have relaxed Metallica and the success proves him right. 10 Grammys, including two producer awards, speak for themselves. In 2007 Rubin ventured into higher spheres in terms of business technology and took over the reins of the Sony subsidiary Columbia.

Rubin has the last word

The industry has high hopes for the sound guru's entry. As Vice-President of the Board of Directors, Rick Rubin wants to lead the music industry out of the crisis and advocates an Abbo payment system. To this day, however, he has not yet been able to implement this vision in his sense. Rick Rubin is considered a silent and level-headed contemporary who now resides in the Malibu hills and immerses himself in another world with intensive yoga and Zen exercises.

But when it comes to music and business, the Buddha-like being with the gray beard can very quickly become a highly concentrated, energetic doer who does not allow himself to be tampered with in the trade and business.

Mick Jagger also had to experience this painfully and flashed off. Rick Rubin also has his contracts written that he can work with artists who do not publish on his label. He just knows exactly what he wants.