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Old 31st May 2003
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Re: Brendan O'Brien

Originally posted by Dave Derr

Brendan was really a huge part of the grunge and Seattle sound wasnt he? I mean... Red Hot Chilli Peps, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, and another one of my faves.... Sound Garden. Good lord, you have to wonder if we would have had the Grunge thing at all, without his anti-perfect, character oriented, sloppy-yet-beautiful tracking and mixing. He made it ok to have a really woofy... or tiny, pointy snare, that sounded different on every single 2 and 4.

Super Unknown was my favorite album in 1995. Sound Garden peaked on that album, combining their classic riffs and heavy grunge style, with one beautiful melody after another. And talk about massive compression...) Can you imagine seeing Sound Garden in a Seattle club in 1990? That must have been an intense scene. I have re-discovered that album on Genelecs and now on my HR24 Mackie Monitors. Brendan O'brien helped formulate the 90's grunge rock genre, and just generally kicks az.

HMmmm, for some reason, I bet he's an SSL mixin man...
Yep, those years and that genre really helped pave the way for Brendan... but he was actually a member of the Georgia Satellites in the 80's, I believe he played keyboards and some guitar with them. Like many other young engineers, Rick Rubin took him under his wing, put him on board as tracking/mixing engineer for the first couple Black Crowes albums and the Chilli Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magic... My order of events might be a bit wacked, but he mixed Soundgarden's Superunknown... an amazing album, and my favorite of the genre as well, produced by Michael Beinhorn and tracked by another powerhouse, Jason Corsaro. Brendan's first big production (that i'm aware of) came with the first Stone Temple Pilots album, which he produced and mixed, and Nick DiDia tracked. They went on to do 4 or 5 more STP albums as well. Brendan did not work on Pearl Jam's first album, but produced/mixed their 2nd, 3rd and 4th albums IIRC. Ok, what else... produced/mixed King's X Dogman album somewhere around that time too... I'm drawing a blank...

What impresses me most about Brendan, besides his character-driving drum sounds and exciting mixes, is that most of his clients are "return customers"... which implies to me that he must be a pleasure to work with. As anyone on here would agree, it's tough to see someone 12 hours or more a day for 2-3 months and not want to strangle them at times! I bet he's a real class act... just a hunch...