Phil Ramone was not a member of the Ramones. He was also not Phil Spector. He was something in between, a musician who handled the controls for many legendary recordings beginning in the 1960s. Ramone died Saturday of a brain aneurysm at the age of 79. In his honor, here are the six best Phil Ramone productions.
6. Art Garfunkel - "Crying In My Sleep"
"Crying In My Sleep" may not be as timeless as some of Phil Ramone's other recordings. The light rock vibe is almost laughable, but there is great reward for those who can look past the sheen. Today's producers perform miracles by autotuning and robotically perfecting musicians. Phil Ramone worked a miracle organically by turning a depressive, unfun breakdown from effing Art Garfunkel into an enjoyable pop song.
5. Bob Dylan - "Tangled Up In Blue"
For being a universally regarded songwriting god, Bob Dylan is not an easy dude to record. His best records have often sounded shitty, and his voice often lands in the most annoying of frequency ranges. Ramone nailed it with 1975's Blood On The Tracks, giving Dylan a modernization without dating the album too hard. Most importantly, Dylan's singing is expressive without grating.
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