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Phil Ramone was born in 1931. A violin prodigy, he studied at Juilliard before establishing his first music studio in 1961. In addition to his producing activities, Ramone is also extremely active in music and service related organizations. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and the Producers and Engineers Wing, and is a Trustee of the MusiCares Foundation. He lives in Westchester County, NY.

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Compelling Glimpse Behind the Glass 26. Oktober 2007
Von Donald Gibson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Imagine yourself facing the task of telling Tony Bennett during a recording session that, while he sounds fine, you believe he's hit a few bum notes. Not only should you have the credible acumen for identifying such flaws, but also the knowledge of how to correct them. Fortunately, Phil Ramone has an abundance of both. One of music's most prolific and distinguished producers, he candidly shares experiences from his career in his new book, Making Records: The Scenes Behind The Music.

While neither a strict memoir nor a technical manual, the book blends elements of the two, usually within the context of representative and applicable anecdotes.

Ramone writes an engaging account of his ascension in the music industry, from working as a studio apprentice to engineering recording sessions and ultimately producing albums and live events. As a result, the reader gains priceless insight on some landmark recordings as well perspective on the evolution of music production over the last 50 years.

What makes this book such an enjoyable read is the producer's unassuming way of relating his memories and knowledge. One would suspect that someone as proficient and experienced as Phil Ramone would have, by now, lost all sense of wonder in regard to how music is made. Quite the contrary, while he undoubtedly knows what he's doing in the studio, he seems just as amazed and inspired by the creative process as any typical fan would feel.

Fans of Billy Joel, in particular, will take pleasure in reading what Ramone recollects about producing many of the Piano Man's greatest albums. He recounts how certain iconic sound effects were achieved, like the shattering glass that opens "You May Be Right" and the reverberating helicopter propellers that bookend "Goodnight Saigon." He explains his view on what was lacking in Joel's first four albums -- which he didn't produce -- and why that deficiency resulted in releasing Songs From The Attic. He even divulges how he would humorously blackmail Joel and his band into working whenever they got hungry or distracted.

In sharing his experiences of working with Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, and a plethora of others, the consistent factor is how Ramone approached (and still approaches) each project with the artist's intent foremost in his mind. He astutely notes that his name doesn't appear on the covers of the albums he produces. Thus, instead of attempting to conform an artist to a certain style or standard, he respects and caters to each artist's creative goal.

At the same time, Ramone justifiably points out the credentials that he brings to the making of an album. A classically trained musician in his own right, he understands music from both sides of the glass. Even when he has worked with artists who've had production experience, like Paul Simon or Paul McCartney, Ramone says that he contributed a sense of objectivity that the artists found helpful.

Accommodating in his profession as well as in his prose, Ramone has graciously written a book that music fans of any age or education can appreciate. Given his expertise, he could have easily filled these pages with professional terminology related to record production. While he certainly refers to technological aspects and specific equipment associated with his work, he does so without leaving the average reader overwhelmed or confused. Rather, he only mentions something of this sort within the context of recounting a pertinent (and understandable) experience.

Making Records: The Scenes Behind The Music offers an intriguing glimpse into the art of music production. Few careers in this field have rivaled that of Phil Ramone. Now, in addition to albums, concerts, and other live events, he has once again produced a quality work. And this time, finally, his name is on the cover.
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Don't be fooled by misleading negative customer reviews--this is a good book 13. März 2010
Von Frederick J. Decker - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Some of the negative customer reviews fault this book for not being what the reader expected--a technical book about recording for example--instead of dealing with the book the author(s) actually wrote.

This book answers fans' questions about how records are made based on Phil Ramone's personal experience.

It's not an autobiography or a how-to be a record producer book--although there are elements of both.

This is a layman's terms explanation of how records are made directed toward music fans.

Phil Ramone's long career stretches back to the 1950's. He engineered David "Fathead" Newman's album "It's Mister Fathead" for Atlantic Records in 1958 and he was still active at the time this book was written in 2007.

Ramone's seen alot of changes during his career. It's interesting to read what has changed and what has remained the same.

Ramone uses examples to explain his points. Many are great. Phil Ramone describes the mixing process then uses Billy Joel's "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant," as an example of one of his favorite mixes. Then he lists specific sections of the song and characteristics of the mix to listen for in each:

"MAIN THEME: 'A BOTTLE OF WHITE, A BOTTLE OF RED...' (AT 0:14)...This section offers an example of complimentary equalization."

"With complimentary equalization, instruments that have frequencies in common are equalized to remove or enhance some of their shared frequencies. This helps each instrument stand out, and allows it to retain its own designated space in the mix."

"In the introduction, the acoustic guitar (which comes in on the second verse) was equalized with a fair amount of treble. If it hadn't been, the sound of the guitar would compete with that of the accordian. Heard on its own, the equalized guitar would sound thin and weak, blended into the mix, it sounds terrific..."

There are 3 other short examples.

Would it be interesting to listen to the song and try to hear what Ramone is explaining? If so, maybe you'd like this book.

That quote's about as technical as Ramone gets.

Another example is Phil Ramone's story of engineering Dionne Warwick records for songwriter/producers Hal David and Burt Bacharach on songs like "What The World Needs Now Is Love," "I Say A Little Prayer," "Alfie," and "Do You Know The Way To San Jose."

Phil Ramone goes on to explain what sets Burt Bacharach's music apart:

"First, the idiosyncratic way that he structures a melody. Burt is audacious in pushing beyond the traditional songwriting form; his compositions are replete with unusual chord progressions, bitonal harmonies, arresting rhythmic patterns, unexpected key changes, nonsymmetrical phrasing, and offbeat time signatures--most of which are rarely found in a standard pop tune. Burt also weaves fabulous contrasts and textures into his arrangements."

"A Bacharach arrangement typically features airy, sustained strings, expansive woodwinds, felicitous brass solos (flugelhorn has been one of his favorites), throbbing tympani, and drum parts that ascend to thundering crescendos."

Rhino Records has a Burt Bacharach compliation with all these songs and others on it available new for $8.98.

There are lots of photos of Phil Ramone with famous people and war story anecdotes--like Phil Ramone's story of running sound for President Kennedy's birthday party in May 1962, when Marilyn Monroe sang "Happy Birthday Mr. President."

If you want to know how records are made--by a top guy in the business for 50 years--this is a well crafted book.
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Compelling look behind the scenes by a master. 13. Januar 2015
Von D. P. Jestic - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
After reading the negative reviews, I just had to add my 2c. It is NOT technical (one reviewer called it too technical...have no idea what he was reading. Another claimed he was mislead...have no idea how). This would function well in a course titled, "So You Want to be a Record Producer." It flows well, paced perfectly. The first 25% I thought it merely a 'pleasant little book,' but soon realized I was intrigued by what he was telling me. In so many of these books, the author is betrayed by a super-sized ego. Not here. Not just some name-dropping book. Some dazzle by discussing their awards. Not here. Some books become sniggering, immature tell-alls. Not here. Some are platforms for revenge. Not here. Ramone comes across as the adult in the room, gracious and diplomatic, with a firm focus on how records are made, his interaction with the talent, and his obvious love of the game. The stories show us personal sides of the stars rather than embarrass. Ramone had a long history with Billy Joel and Paul Simon, but he also had repeat business with Barbra Streisand and award/concert spectacles. We get entertaining stories of Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, and others, as well. R.I.P., Phil.
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Makinbg Records 23. Februar 2010
Von J. C. Tract - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This book is written for people not connected with the industry. Mr. Ramone is a fantastically gifted individual. If you are looking for secrets or tricks of the trade, this is not the book. It is very tame. Take his explanation of "B Sides" from 45rpm singles as a place for throw away songs. "B Sides" were highly coveted spots because they paid the same mechanical royalty as the "A Side." Which means they where a valuable commodity and bargaining chip for artists and publishers. The politics involved in "B Sides" were monumental.
Mr. Ramone's joy is making records, and he does not cast any disparaging shadows on his sacred cow. I'm sure he's seen more than his share of record company and artist insanity, and it might have been more interesting to hear how one coped with being as creative as he is in one of the most crooked businesses known to man.
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Great book about the History of Record making 28. Oktober 2011
Von Barb the baker - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
If you are really into the history of Rock n Roll, this book is a must have. You can really feel the involvement of Phil Ramone with the artists and the eventual record. It's great to have documentation of the industry before it went full electronic.
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