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Rick Rubin: In the Studio

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There is no greater enigma than Rick Rubin working in record production today. As mysterious personally as the Buddhist religion he practices, Rubin has made one thing crystal clear: the records he produces are sonically and stylistically beyond reproach. MTV has called Rubin “the most important producer of the last 20 years,” while Rolling Stone ventured even further, deeming Rubin the most successful “of any genre.” Without a niche, Rubin has taken greater risks than any producer in the record industry over the past quarter century. Pushing his artists into new territory has garnered Rubin seven Grammys, including Producer of the Year in 2007, and made him the most in-demand record producer working today. Now for the first time, Rick Rubin: In the Studio offers the behind-the-scenes stories of how Rubin created hit albums with such diverse legends as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Run DMC, Johnny Cash, the Beastie Boys, Audioslave, Tom Petty, Metallica, Danzig, Slayer, LL Cool J, The Cult, Weezer, the Dixie Chicks, Linkin Park, System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine, Jay Z, Neil Diamond, Sheryl Crow, and Slipknot. This book chronicles his meteoric rise, from his early days as DJ Double R in the early ’80s, founding and running Def Jam Records alongside Russell Simmons from an NYU dorm room, discovering and producing the Beastie Boys and LL Cool J, to his transition in the early ’90s into a successful independent record executive, signing and producing the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Johnny Cash, to his role as the most influential producer of all time (currently as the co-head of Columbia Records), and his continued successes with rock/metal supergroups Audioslave, Linkin Park, and Metallica. This in-depth look at the life and times of Rick Rubin — in the studio and beyond — is a must-have for any music fan.

262 pages, Paperback

First published August 1, 2009

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Jake Brown

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Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Bianca Sandale.
435 reviews14 followers
April 26, 2022
1981: The Pricks – The Pricks
1983: Hose – Hose
1984: T La Rock & Jazzy Jay – "It's Yours"
1984: LL Cool J – "I Need a Beat"
1985: Beastie Boys – "Rock Hard"
1985: Run-DMC – King of Rock (mixing)
1985: Jazzy Jay – "Def Jam/Cold Chillin' In The Spot"
1985: Jimmy Spicer – "This Is It / Beat The Clock"
1985: Hollis Crew – "It's The Beat"
1985: LL Cool J – Radio
1986: Run-DMC – Raising Hell
1986: Slayer – Reign in Blood
1986: Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill
1986: Original Concept – Can You Feel It?
1986: Junkyard Band – "The Word" / "Sardines"
1987: Public Enemy – Yo! Bum Rush the Show (exec.)
1987: The Cult – Electric
1987: Run-DMC – "Christmas in Hollis"
1987: Various – Less Than Zero (soundtrack)
1987: LL Cool J – "Jack The Ripper"
1988: Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (exec.)
1988: Slayer – South of Heaven
1988: Danzig – Danzig
1988: Run-DMC – Tougher Than Leather
1988: Original Concept – Straight from the Basement of Kooley High! (exec.)
1989: Masters of Reality – Masters of Reality
1989: LL Cool J – Walking With a Panther
1989: Wolfsbane – Live Fast, Die Fast
1989: Andrew Dice Clay – Dice
1990: The Black Crowes – Shake Your Money Maker (exec.)
1990: Andrew Dice Clay – The Day the Laughter Died
1990: Danzig – Danzig II: Lucifuge
1990: Slayer – Seasons in the Abyss
1990: Geto Boys – The Geto Boys (supervisor)
1990: Trouble – Trouble
1990: Wolfsbane – All Hell's Breaking Loose Down at Little Kathy Wilson's Place
1991: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik
1991: Slayer – Decade of Aggression
1991: Andrew Dice Clay – Dice Rules
1991: The Four Horsemen – Nobody Said It Was Easy
1991: Dan Baird – Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired
1992: Sir Mix-a-Lot – Mack Daddy (exec.)
1992: Trouble – Manic Frustration
1992: Danzig – Danzig III: How the Gods Kill (exec.)
1992: The Red Devils – King King
1992: Andrew Dice Clay – 40 Too Long
1992: Red Hot Chili Peppers – What Hits!?
1993: Flipper – American Grafishy (exec.)
1993: Mick Jagger – Wandering Spirit
1993: Raging Slab – Dynamite Monster Boogie Concert (exec.)
1993: The Cult – The Witch (CD, Single)
1993: Danzig – Thrall: Demonsweatlive
1993: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Flashback
1993: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Greatest Hits
1993: Messiah – 21st Century Jesus (exec.)
1993: Andrew Dice Clay – The Day the Laughter Died, Part II
1993: Digital Orgasm – Do It (exec.)
1993: Barkmarket – Gimmick (exec.)
1993: Various – Last Action Hero: Music From The Original Motion Picture
1994: Johnny Cash – American Recordings
1994: Sir Mix-a-Lot – Chief Boot Knocka (exec.)
1994: Slayer – Divine Intervention (exec.)
1994: Danzig – Danzig 4
1994: Tom Petty – Wildflowers
1994: Andrew Dice Clay – Dice Live at Madison Square Garden
1994: Deconstruction – Deconstruction (exec.)
1994: Milk – Never Dated (exec.)
1994: Lords of Acid – Voodoo-U (exec.)
1994: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Live Rare Remix Box
1994: Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Plasma Shaft
1995: God Lives Underwater – God Lives Underwater (exec.)
1995: Nine Inch Nails – Further Down the Spiral
1995: Red Hot Chili Peppers – One Hot Minute
1995: AC/DC – Ballbreaker
1995: God Lives Underwater – Empty (exec.)
1995: Jazz Lee Alston – Jazz Lee Alston (exec.)
1996: Slayer – Undisputed Attitude (exec.)
1996: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – She's the One
1996: Sir Mix-a-Lot – Return of the Bumpasaurus (exec.)
1996: Donovan – Sutras
1996: LL Cool J – All World: Greatest Hits
1996: Johnny Cash – Unchained
1996: Barkmarket – L. Ron (exec.)
1996: Raging Slab – Sing Monkey Sing (exec.)
1996: Kwest tha Madd Ladd – This Is My First Album (exec.)
1997: System of a Down - Demo Tape 3
1997: Various – Private Parts: The Album
1998: Slayer – Diabolus in Musica
1998: Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson – VH1 Storytellers
1998: System of a Down – System of a Down
1998: Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (mixing)
1998: Various – Chef Aid: The South Park Album
1998: Sheryl Crow – The Globe Sessions
1999: Kula Shaker – Peasants, Pigs & Astronauts
1999: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Echo
1999: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
1999: Various – Loud Rocks
1999: Melanie C – Northern Star
1999: Mr. Hankey Poo – Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo
1999: Various – Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics (exec.)
2000: Johnny Cash – American III: Solitary Man
2000: Rage Against the Machine – Renegades
2000: Eagle-Eye Cherry – Living in the Present Future
2000: Paloalto – Paloalto
2001: Saul Williams – Amethyst Rock Star
2001: American Head Charge – The War of Art
2001: System of a Down – Toxicity
2001: Slayer – God Hates Us All (exec.)
2001: Macy Gray – The Id (exec.)
2001: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – The Final Studio Recordings
2001: Krishna Das – Breath of the Heart
2002: Aerosmith – O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits
2002: Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way
2002: Johnny Cash – American IV: The Man Comes Around
2002: Audioslave – Audioslave
2002: System of a Down – Steal This Album!
2002: Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Rahat
2003: The Jayhawks – Rainy Day Music (exec.)
2003: The Mars Volta – De-Loused in the Comatorium
2003: Limp Bizkit – Results May Vary
2003: To My Surprise – To My Surprise (exec.)
2003: Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – Streetcore
2003: Jay-Z – "99 Problems"
2003: Rage Against the Machine – Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium
2003: Johnny Cash – Unearthed
2003: Paloalto – Heroes and Villains
2003: Krishna Das – Door of Faith
2003: Manmade God – Manmade God (exec.)
2004: Johnny Cash – My Mother's Hymn Book
2004: Slipknot – Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)
2004: The (International) Noise Conspiracy – Armed Love
2004: Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz – Crunk Juice
2004: T.H. White – More Than Before (keys)
2005: Weezer – Make Believe
2005: System of a Down – Mezmerize
2005: Audioslave – Out of Exile
2005: Shakira – Fijación Oral Vol. 1 (exec.)
2005: Limp Bizkit – Greatest Hitz
2005: Neil Diamond – 12 Songs
2005: Johnny Cash -The Legend of Johnny Cash
2005: System of a Down – Hypnotize
2005: Shakira – Oral Fixation Vol. 2 (exec.)
2006: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium
2006: Dixie Chicks – Taking the Long Way
2006: Johnny Cash – American V: A Hundred Highways
2006: Slayer – Christ Illusion (exec.)
2006: Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSounds
2006: God Dethroned – The Toxic Touch
2006: U2 – U218 Singles
2006: Johnny Cash The Legend of Johnny Cash Vol. II
2007: Linkin Park – Minutes to Midnight
2007: Poison – Poison'd!
2007: Luna Halo – Luna Halo (exec.)
2007: Gossip – Live in Liverpool (exec.)
2007: Dan Wilson – Free Life (exec.)
2007: Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One, Rakim – "Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been)"
2007: Vanessa Carlton - "Heroes & Thieves"
2007: Coheed and Cambria - "Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow"
2008: Ours – Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy
2008: Neil Diamond – Home Before Dark
2008: Weezer – Weezer (Red Album)
2008: Jakob Dylan – Seeing Things
2008: Metallica – Death Magnetic
2008: The (International) Noise Conspiracy – The Cross of My Calling
2009: Gossip – Music for Men
2009: Pete Yorn – Back & Fourth (exec.)
2009: The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You
2009: Brandi Carlile – Give Up the Ghost
2009: Slayer – World Painted Blood (exec.)
2009: Type O Negative – Bloody Kisses "Top Shelf" edition (2009 re-release) "Summer Breeze" (Rick Rubin Mix)
2010: Johnny Cash – American VI: Ain't No Grave
2010: Gogol Bordello – Trans-Continental Hustle
2010: Linkin Park – A Thousand Suns
2010: Josh Groban – Illuminations
2010: Kid Rock – Born Free
2011: Adele – 21
2011: Red Hot Chili Peppers – I'm with You[1]
2011: Metallica – Beyond Magnetic
2011: Linkin Park – A Thousand Suns+
2012: Linkin Park – Living Things[2]
2012: Howlin' Rain – The Russian Wilds (exec.)
2012: ZZ Top – La Futura
2012: The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
2012: Lana Del Rey – Paradise
2012: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Covers EP
2013: Linkin Park – Living Things +
2013: Black Sabbath – 13
2013: Kanye West – Yeezus (exec.)[3]
2013: Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (exec.)[4]
2013: Jake Bugg – Shangri La
2013: Linkin Park – Recharged
2013: Lady Gaga – Artpop
2013: The Avett Brothers – Magpie and the Dandelion
2013: Red Hot Chili Peppers – I'm Beside You
2014: Jennifer Nettles – That Girl
2014: Ed Sheeran – X[5]
2014: Angus & Julia Stone – Angus & Julia Stone
2014: Damien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy
2014: Linkin Park & Alec Puro - Mall
2014: Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow
2014: Yusuf – Tell 'Em I'm Gone
2015: GoldLink – And After That, We Didn't Talk
2016: Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
2016: Various – Star Wars Headspace
2016: James Blake - The Colour in Anything
2016: The Avett Brothers – True Sadness
2017: Billy Corgan – Ogilala
2017: Jovanotti – Oh, vita!
2017: Eminem – Revival[6]
2018: Ruen Brothers – 'All My Shades Of Blue'
2018: The Smashing Pumpkins – Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun.
2019: Santana – Africa Speaks
2019: Jovanotti – Jova Beach Party
2019: Jovanotti – Lorenzo sulla Luna
2019: Kae Tempest – The Book of Traps and Lessons
2019: The Avett Brothers – Closer Than Together
2020: The Strokes – The New Abnormal
2021: Imagine Dragons – Mercury – Act 1[7]
2021: Santana - "Peace Power", "America for Sale", "Mother Yes"
2022: Jovanotti - Mediterraneo
2022: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Unlimited Love
2022: Imagine Dragons - Mercury - Act 2
Profile Image for Ben Field.
55 reviews1 follower
September 29, 2020
This is probably closer to a 2.5 for me. It was well researched and put together, but it’s really just a collection of interview clippings detailing the recording process of the various albums Rick Rubin has worked on.

I think I would’ve enjoyed this more if I was a bigger fan of many of the albums explored, but I’m not a huge rock fan and there was a LOT of metal guitarists talking about what amps they used. That’s not really Rick Rubin in the studio though is it? I’m interested in learning about Rick Rubin, but there’s very of little of Rick in this that isn’t mediated by some rockstar during a Rolling Stone interview. The most interesting parts of this book were the parts in which I learnt about Rick’s approach to creativity, his philosophy and the way in which his mindfulness practice influences his work. There was painfully little about who Rick is as a person and how this has shaped his professional life.
Profile Image for Sudarshan.
60 reviews11 followers
August 17, 2022
Well written and a work of love, this book chronicles the career of music producer Rick Rubin. I was not aware of him until before few months. When I first heard about him, and knew of his involvement in bringing out some of the most influential music of the last quarter century, I was intrigued. I wanted to know more about him. He is a character alright. And I love characters. People who are not normal by any standards. And he is abnormal. Abnormal in his appearance, his approach, his process. The thing I loved most about the book was it details how he helped once revered artists rekindle the fire for creativity. Like Jhonny Cash, and Metálica. This book might not be extraordinary to those who are big fan of the producer and know many things about him already. But, for those who are not that much tuned into music but are interested to know the creative process of one of the best producers of all time, this is a gem.
127 reviews
December 16, 2022
An interesting book, but was expecting more. The book is written around a great many interviews and articles from other publications, and while I respect the thoroughness the author shows in his review of Rick Rubins like, the account does at times feel somewhat hollow. I would have liked it more in the style of a biography, and more geared to Rick's in studio process. Still worth the read though.
Profile Image for Jason Roberson.
110 reviews
June 9, 2022
I really enjoyed this book. The author navigated through his career quite well. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't more about Rick Rubin, the man. There were glimpses as he wrote around his interactions with the band, but I was really hoping for more.

Some excerpts for my own future reference:

As a teenager, Rubin immersed himself in the world of Rock ‘n’ Roll; he had the requisite long hair, leather jacket, and position as lead guitarist in a punk rock band called the Pricks. But one part of that lifestyle he avoided entirely was alcohol and drugs. “Kids I knew did drugs or got drunk out of boredom. I didn’t want to give up my time,” he told USA Today.

By October of 1983, Rubin was DJ’ing for the Beastie Boys under the name DJ Double R and met his first producer-mentor-DJ Jazzy Jay. A few months later the pair set about to produce a single together. I didn’t even want to make records, I had a job at a pharmacy making good money. Rubin, the Beastie Boys and Jazzy Jay gathered to record the track in Queens. Rubin borrowed $5,000 from his parents to press the single, imprinting “Def Jam Records” on it; it’s the first hip hop record to bear the logo of the future company.

Run DMC: Raising Hell secured Rubin’s position as the hottest producer in hip hop. Given that he had already produced a hit LP for LL Cool J, the Village Voice hailed Rubin as the King of Rap. That title would be further validated with Def Jam’s next release, arguably Rubin’s most successful and groundbreaking production of the 1980’s; the Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill.

Russell Simmons explained, “Slayer and Oran Jones had nothing in common. If we’d been a huge label with many divisions, it would h
ave been fine. But at a small company like Def Jam, it was apparent that a real culture and creative separation had taken place.” In his separation agreement with Def Jam, Rubin took Danzig and Slayer to Def American, while Simmons kept control of the bulk of the Def Jam artists.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Our brains work differently, but if you put them together it’s like the idiot and the savat. Every time we broke out a guitar or a notebook, we came up with a great song. Then the producer Rick Rubin started coming to rehearsal. He would lay down on the couch with his big-ass beard and appear to take a nap. But he absorbed every note and arrangement and lyrical concept like a sponge.

Johnny Cash: So successful were Cash’s interpretations of songs, in some cases he completely reinvented the song – most notably in the case of the single “Hurt,” his cover of the Nine Inch Nail hit. Said Cash to Time of including the song, “It was Rick Rubin’s idea. We were looking for a song that we felt had an impact.” To Johnny Cash, “Hurt” was a song about “a man’s pain and what we’re capable of doing to ourselves and the possibility that we don’t have to do that anymore.

Audioslave: After Rage Against the Machine frontman Zach de la Rocha left the group in 2000, the remaining three members wanted to keep making vital music. Rick Rubin suggested they meet with former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell. THe musicians found common ground and chemistry, and supergroup Audioslave was born.

Neil Diamond: Despite Rubin’s Zen approach to the outcome, Diamond described the producer as anything but uninvolved to the Washington Post. “He certainly wasn’t easygoing in the studio. He’s a passionate, obsessive person, like I am… I have so much respect for the guy. Despite his appearance, which can be really intimidating, he’s a throwback to the ‘60s, a big lovable bear of a man. The only problem I had was his habit of hugging. At first, I was taken aback. After a while, I got to like it. He’s like father Earth taking you into his bosom.”

Linkin Park: Linkin Park was clear they didn’t want to complete the “trilogy” with another album in the same ilk as their previous two. Rubin told Linkin Park, “Whatever you think your fans want to hear, whatever music you think you need to make, whatever limitations you think you have, just forget about it. Throw everything out the window because none of it matters. What’s important is making music you’re inspired by.”

Rubin’s close friend Chris Rock sums it up succinctly: “Most producers have their own sound, and they lease that out to different people, but we know it’s still their record. The records you make with Rick are your records. He makes it his job to squeeze the best out of you – and not leave any fingerprints.”
Profile Image for Blog on Books.
268 reviews97 followers
March 29, 2010
In the course of observing the rock based recordings of the late 20th Century, two names keep surfacing when it comes to exemplary album production. Brian Eno and Rick Rubin. Between the two of them, they have been responsible for some of the biggest and best selling albums of the rock era. Eno with his work on bands like U2, Coldplay and the Talking Heads, and Rubin with everyone from the Beastie Boys to the Red Hot Chili Peppers; Tom Petty to Metallica.

Yet, as much as they are icons of rock production, the similarities seem to end there.

In his book, `On Some Faraway Beach: The Life and Times of Brian Eno', author David Sheppard chronicles both the life and the oeuvre of the enigmatic Mr. Eno; from his early upbringing in Suffolk, England to his days in an English provincial art school, to his joining a barely formed Roxy Music (where he is first credited with performing `treatments'), a decade-long solo career, on through his many cerebral and aesthetic projects (`Oblique Strategies` being one of the most famous), several highly regarded avant-garde musical collaborations (first with Robert Fripp, then with David Byrne), a long series of ambient-based albums ultimately leading to his high-profile production work with David Bowie, Devo, U2, Coldplay and others.

Brown's chronology, `Rick Rubin: In the Studio,' while similar in development (sans the musician part) began in the dorms of NYU where his DefJam Records first took off, to his early years exploring hardcore rock and street based hip-hop, collecting a list of associates ranging from the aforementioned Beastie Boys, to RUN DMC, Slayer and more. Eventually, Rubin formed his own label (parting ways with co-Def Jam owner, Russell Simmons), moved to California and formed Def American (later just `American') Recordings. Rubin's stature continued to rise, and whilst not being much of a musician nor an engineer, he ended up helming records from the likes of the Chili Peppers, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, the Dixie Chicks, Neil Diamond, Linkin Park and others.

The two books have much in common with and are as diverse as their respective subjects. While Sheppard's book is both detailed and an intelligent rendering of the events in and surrounding it's subject, Brown's book is more tactical and directly relating to each of the recordings involved. Sheppard's work is much more fluid and articulate in describing the ever-weaving career path (including numerous non-music endeavors - like his ambient wallscape `77 Million Paintings`) while Brown largely sticks to the nitty-gritty of the details of the making of each record outlined. (Brown's is rightly subtitled as part of his `In the Studio' series.) Sheppard seems to have spent much more time with the principals in Eno's life's work, while much of Brown's book is, unfortunately, based largely on an assemblage of reworked press quotes.

In all, both books shed a light on the sometimes hidden-from-view process of the recording studio. Sheppard's Eno tome comes across as a much more painstaking and revealing work, while a similar type of in-depth, wide-ranging examination of Rubin's career is still yet to be written. - Tim Devine
Profile Image for Wassim.
36 reviews1 follower
January 21, 2023
More a collection of essays about the creation of various records than a cohesive book or a biography of Rubin. Your enjoyment will come down to how much you like the artists involved. Though there are some good insights here into various bands' creative processes (and Rubin's own), there is nothing too in-depth regarding the making of any particular album. Also worth mentioning the bizarre mistake the author makes when talking about Slayer and the recording of 1986's Reign in Blood, which Brown refers to as "the group's debut album"; their first album was Show No Mercy in 1983. Strange to me that neither author nor editor caught what could have been fixed with a quick Google search
Profile Image for Ian Carpenter.
573 reviews12 followers
September 21, 2016
Disappointing if you're looking for much about and from the man himself. Most of it is assembled from other sources, magazines mainly, and those quotes often get repetitive. It's weakly assembled, the writing a little poor and so much of it is focused on the bands he's recorded. A chapter on an album can go several pages with no mention of Rubin. I frankly felt like I learned more about what's fascinating about him from the few recurring visits Neil Strauss makes to him in The Truth (and that's what made me want to check this out).
17 reviews
September 26, 2018
Hugely readable (more like a 4 star on that level), but the book is not so much 'authored' as compiled from various magazine articles written by others.
Profile Image for Barry Hammond.
589 reviews26 followers
October 23, 2021
From his start in rap music as part-owner of Def Jam records and producer of acts like LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Jazzy J, The Beastie Boys and Run-DMC, to his credits with hard Metal groups like Slayer, Danzig, Linkin Park, AC/DC, Metallica, to new rock acts The Cult, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Nine Inch Nails, System Of A Down, comedian Andrew "Dice" Clay, folk giant Donovan, to Americana artists like Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Sheryl Crow, Neil Diamond, The Dixie Chicks and The Avett Brothers, Rick Rubin has worked with a remarkable variety of styles and a near perfect success rate. He's accomplished this not by having a "style" or "sound," like many other producers, but by concentrating on the basics of songwriting, structure, what makes an artist an individual, having a wealth of good material to begin with, a wide understanding of many kinds of music, and making a fertile environment for that artist to work in and a great ear for what works and what doesn't. Biographer Jake Brown gets the basics of what makes him an original and an innovator down pat. - BH.
Profile Image for William Willis.
11 reviews3 followers
December 17, 2018
Failed to realize this book wasn't actually written by Rick Rubin himself which is my only draw back and the only reason I haven't finished it.

However Jake Brown delivers the bird's eye view of the prolific career of one of the best, if not the best, producers in all of the music industry. With excerpts from various interviews and quotes from those close/worked with Rick Rubin, all weaved together in a chronological timeline, follow in great detail the success of Rick Rubin.

You will read this and realize you aren't cool, until you are Rick Rubin cool.
October 30, 2019
Da amante della musica (e di ciò che nel tempo ha creato Rick Rubin, partendo dalla Def Jam in poi) , ho adorato questo libro e spiega veramente quella che la sua idea di musica.
Mi sono piaciuti particolarmente gli aneddoti sui Beastie Boys, anche se sono di parte. Ma da bassista scegliere solo un gruppo da quelli da lui prodotti mi sembra riduttivo.
Ho apprezzato anche gli episodi sui Red Hot Chili Peppers, ma a mio dire qualcuno poteva essere messo da parte per raccontare altre vicende da studio con molti altri artisti.
Profile Image for Matt.
48 reviews
April 24, 2019
Very stark contrast between what I expected and what I got. Focused more as a career biography than a look inside methods and concepts. I guess that's for some people, just not what I had in mind.
1 review
May 7, 2022
Brief history of music through the works of this legend, just mind blowing what this man has accomplished.
Profile Image for Dave Mason.
88 reviews4 followers
January 8, 2013
Enjoyable, fast read. Really focuses on the great albums he has produced; not a ton on his background, growing up etc., which can sometimes bog down a book at the start. Rubin has produced some beauties, such as Beattie boys licensed to ill, run dmc raising hell, slayer reign in blood, the cult electric, red hot chili peppers blood sugar sex magic, Johnny cash, system of a down etc. The chapters essentially cover an album and u get some good insight in the mood of the band, how the songs came together, equipment used. The author didn't have access to Rubin or the musicians, so the chapters are largely patched together with interviews taken from other sources. I'm ok with that, but it lessens the impact of the writing and insight. It's also lacking in any real criticism of Rubin and his work on these albums, which would have presented a more balanced view, given that not all the albums were critical and/or commercial success, and some of the albums arguably led to well know band friction. Summary: entertaining read about some classic albums and how they came together. Couple stars deducted because no real interviews with key players involved (except one, george drakoulias) and a bit too much boosterism for the works that are presented.
Author 4 books2 followers
September 25, 2014
As some others have said, its basically a quick easy read that intros Rubin's work, largely on an album by album basis. Quotes are largely taken from other sources, so at times it felt a little like reading a book report to me, but overall it gave a quick overview of Rubin's style -he wants to find the 'essence' of each artist and is willing to let them take as long as it takes, he's a guru, etc. - and has led me to find out more. I was a little surprised to find some of the more technical aspects, such as the gear each artist used on the albums, but enjoyed the insight to the more technical side of things.
Profile Image for Mike.
68 reviews1 follower
February 24, 2010
Solid compendium of one of the best producers in the music business. It's interesting to read how he gets the best from artists. A little too adulatory, though. It's basically a collection of "how great it was to work with Rick" quotes from 25 years worth of promotional interviews. Occasionally they'd hint that the working relationship with particular artists was less than stellar, but that's about as far as they'd go with it. The man's a genius and has produced some of the greatest albums of all time, but he's not perfect.
Profile Image for Tony Espy.
61 reviews2 followers
August 4, 2016
Rick Rubin has produced some of my favorite bands, and some that I don't care for all that much, but there's no denying his genius when it comes to making great records. This book gives a great overview of his career, and discusses the making of some of my personal favorites like RHCP's Blood Sugar Sex Magic, By The Way, and Stadium Arcadium, as well as his five records with Johnny Cash. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is that the book is primarily based on existing material vs. first-hand interviews. Still worth reading if you're a music fan.
Profile Image for Joe.
40 reviews
April 6, 2013
very interesting book. being a recording junkie id have rather really talked to rick asking him specific questions during the recording....or just been a fly on the wall for these sessions. however it wasn't really pretending to be that. very cool stories. definitely a good read for peeps who know that this guy has produced a ton of fantastic albums.
Profile Image for Eric.
26 reviews
February 22, 2011
Some good information and for the most part interesting. However, the chapters are very uneven as they are pulled from whatever MTV or Guitar.com interviews the author could get a hold of. If you're a RHCP fan there's a lot of info about the records they did with Rubin.
Profile Image for Peter.
Author 3 books10 followers
February 26, 2014
This book is constructed through quotes and attempts to shine a light on how one producer can be so influential and successful with so many diverse artists. It comes across as more of an overview of Rubin's work without providing any serious insight into his character.
Profile Image for Spragga.
7 reviews2 followers
March 19, 2015
I found the parts about Rick Rubin very interesting, until it turned in to more of a band bio. I skipped chapters on Linkin Park and System Of A Down and the Dixie Chicks, the book had become uninteresting at that point.
Profile Image for Daniel.
4 reviews
May 27, 2013
Very intereating read if you are a fan of his work. Focuses on mainly his begining then RHCP and Johnny Cash and skims over but lightly mentions others.
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