Ever since I first heard Johnny Cash’s cover of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” on American IV: The Man Comes Around, Rick Rubin has been a music production hero of mine, with every record that his name graces leaving me hungry for a look behind the curtain. Thankfully, after years of reading cryptic articles, paying an unusual amount of attention to that Dixie Chicks DVD (the part when the dog bops its head to the beat is priceless), and chasing Internet rumors, a real live book is coming out with just the behind-the-scenes info and biographical bits I’ve been craving.
Blogcritics reports that Jake Brown’s Rick Rubin: In the Studio provides great insight into Rubin’s unique take on the producer role as a kind of “fifth Beatle;” being a close listener and confidante to the music stars he works with (Metallica, Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty, Beastie Boys, and on and on). The book not only includes specific accounts of behind-the-scenes studio stories, but also adds testimonials from the artists themselves.
If you’re interested in the early days of Rubin, ECW Press’ description thankfully adds that the book also covers the rise of Def Jam Records, which Rubin notoriously founded with music mogul Russell Simmons out of their NYU dorm room in the early 80s.
Sorry to go all fanboy on you here, but I like to think that Rubin also approaches music as a fan first and producer second; a concept we try to employ ‘round here at TwentyFourBit.