Laurie Latham - Producer feature at Helicon Mountain Studios
Laurie has been producing records since the mid 70's but he looks and acts much younger than he must be. Some of Laurie's work is iconic, for example Ian Dury's 'Sex and drugs and rock and roll' is a classic. Laurie worked on the classic Paul Young album 'No Parlez', he has worked with Squeeze, The Police, The Stranglers, Cher, Sinead O'Connor, Paul McCartney, Robie Williams, Jamiraquai, Feeder, Dionne Warwick, Beverly Knight, Bono etc etc.
In late June 2008 we met up with Laurie Latham at the fabulous Helicon Mountain Studios in London. The studio owned by legendary musician Joolz Holland is gorgeous, it's superbly equipped with an SSL G Series console, loads of great outboard, mics and has a fantastic live room. We tried during the photo shoot to capture some of its charm.
Laurie Latham Drum Recording Tips
We have listed off a good selection of his landmark productions below but in a nut shell, Laurie is a super talented producer who can really bring things to the party and help you make a fantastic record!
We have edited the video feature in to two parts, a further video will be available sometime in the future, in the meantime check out some of the pictures that we took in our gallery.
In 1973 Maximum Sound Studios sees Laurie Latham starting as an 18 year old assistant learning tape editing and microphone techniques inbetween taking time out from the studio to attend a sound engineering course at Surrey University where George Martin gave some interesting lectures.
The early seventies saw Laurie begin to engineer late night reggae sessions including tracks for Jamaican star ALTON ELLIS and soon graduated to position of Chief Engineer working with many different artists as diverse as VIVIEN STANSHALL to JIMMY WEBB. Unique and memorable sessions for Laurie during this period were recording the music for the film ‘MONTY PYTHON & THE HOLY GRAIL’ and also again with the Python team recording ‘The Lumber Jack Song’ with George Harrison producing.
By the mid seventies Laurie have developed a long working relationship with MANFRED MANN who helped him immensely with song structures and composition culminating in a successful period of work including the hit single ‘Blinded By The Light’ which reached number 1 in the USA.
After a brief spell working in the USA Laurie returned to the UK and with the legendary Blackhill Enterprises now as his management began work with IAN DURY recording the new national anthem ‘Sex And Drugs And Rock’n’Roll’ and then the production of the classic album ‘New Boots and Panties’ which remained in the chart for over two years.
Other productions included the singles ‘What A Waste’, and ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ which went to number 1 in the UK in 1979.
Production work continued with the artist ANTHONY MOORE for the esoteric album ‘Flying Doesn’t Help’ which featured JIMMY PAGE on guitar. Rave reviews followed with Richard Williams of ‘Melody Maker’ declaring it ‘the finest release since the Velvet Underground’s 1st album’.
In 1983 Laurie produced for PAUL YOUNG the multi million selling album ‘No Parlez’ reaching number 1 in the UK and many other territories. The record featured hit singles ‘Love of the Common People’ and ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat’ which also reached number 1 in the UK. This was followed by the equally successful ‘Secret of Association’ album which included the number 1 USA single ‘Every Time You Go Away’. The year ended as runner up to Quincy Jones (‘Thriller’) in the Music Week Awards for best producer and was also a nominee in the first ever televised BRIT Awards Ceremony.
The 80’s continued producing hit records for ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN ‘Bring on the Dancing Horses’ and ‘The Grey Album’; SQUEEZE’s ‘Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti’; THE STRANGLERS ‘Aural Sculpture’ with the hit single ‘Skin Deep’. THE POLICE who had reunited to make a sequel version of ‘Don’t Stand So Close to Me’. THE CHRISTIANS first album which topped the charts and became the biggest selling album by a debut artist for Island Records. The 90’s started with Laurie producing THE CHRISTIANS follow up album ‘Color’ recorded in the Channel Islands with STEVE FERRONE and MANU KATCHE sharing drum and percussion duties. This album went straight in the charts at number 1. Production work for EMI followed with the guitar band DIESEL PARK WEST; their LP ‘Decency’ was recorded in Brussels on a vintage Neve console and entered the UK charts on its release.
The mid nineties saw Laurie setting up base at Helicon Mountain Studios where he collaborated with JOOLS HOLLAND in the launching of the independent record label ‘Beautiful Records’. Also at this time Laurie assisted CHER with her writing and produced three tracks. In 1995 Laurie was hired to re-master the entire back catalogue of Tamla Motown Hits. Production work on RIK WRIGHT’s (Pink Floyd) solo album ‘Broken China’ featuring SINEAD O'CONNOR and DAVID GILMOUR. Co-wrote and produced the theme tune for the TV film ‘Starburst’ with MARTIN CLUNES, NEIL MORRISEY and JOOLS HOLLAND.
At London’s AIR studios Laurie was re-united with IAN DURY to finish and mix highly acclaimed album ‘Mr. Love Pants.’ Further work continued with Ian producing tracks at Rak Studios London for his new album ‘Ten More Turnips From The Tip’. Sadly Ian passed away before the record’s completion. However Laurie finished production of the record with ROBBIE WILLIAMS contributing vocals to the final song Ian had written.
In 2000 Laurie produced tracks for PAUL MCCARTNEY, ROBBIE WILLIAMS, SINEAD O'CONNOR, CERYS MATHEWS and GRANT NICOLAS from FEEDER for the record ‘Brand New Boots and Panties’, a remake of the classic 1977 album in memory of Ian with proceeds going to the charity Cancer Backup. The year continued with Laurie producing multi platinum record ‘JOOLS HOLLAND’s Small World Big Band’ album featuring artists: STING, GEORGE HARRISON, PAUL WELLER, SAM BROWN, JOE STRUMMER, DR. JOHN, RUBY TURNER, DAVID GILMOUR, MICA PARIS, Graham "SUGGS" MacPherson, ERIC BIBB, MARK KNOPFLER, VAN MORRISON, CHRIS DIFFORD, JOHN CALE, STEVE WINWOOD,
MARK ALMOND, MICK HUCKNALL, PAUL CARRACK, TAJ MAHAL, JAMIROQUAI.
Laurie then produced the equally successful ‘Jools Holland and More Friends’ album featuring: SAM BROWN, NORAH JONES, EDWIN STARR, BRYAN FERRY, DIONNE WARWICK, TOM JONES, CHRISSIE HYNDE, THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA, HUEY (FUN LOVIN CRIMINALS), BADLY DRAWN BOY, RAY DAVIES, ROBERT PLANT, JEFF BECK, RUBY TURNER, MARIANNE FAITHFULL, GUY BARKER, BEVERLY KNIGHT, GEORGE BENSON, JIMMY CLIFF, BONO.
In 2001 Laurie produced the STEREOPHONICS hit single ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ which reached number 4 in the UK single charts and it was then included on the re-released version of their album ’Just Enough Education to Perform’ helping it achieve the number 1 position.
Another successful guest album for JOOLS HOLLAND followed. The album ‘jack O The Green’ featured artists: BUDDY GUY, TERRI WALKER, SMOKEY ROBINSON, DAVID GRAY, SOLOMON BURKE, ERIC CLAPTON, SHANE MCGOWEN, STEVE EARLE, SAM BROWN, NICK CAVE, PAUL RODGERS, THE SUGARBABES, RINGO STARR, RUBY TURNER, PRINCE BUSTER, ELIZA CARTHY, MICHAEL MCDONALD, CANDY DULFER, KIRSTY MACCOLL, PETER GABRIEL, SUGGS, RONNIE WOOD and LITTLE JIMMY SCOTT.
Laurie also produced an album ‘TOM JONES & JOOLS HOLLAND' for Warner Brothers, further production work included the single ‘Cry’ for the artist KEALER which received positive reviews and much radio airplay also an album and the single ‘How Ever Did It Come To This ‘ by the band EASYWORLD.
In recent times, Laurie produced ten tracks for the first solo album by RAY DAVIES (of the KINKS), he has also produced Jools Holland's guest albums 'Moving Out To The Country', 'Best Of Friends' and 'The Informer'. These albums have featured collaborations with KT TUNSTALL, DR. JOHN, BOB GELDOF, LULU, INDIA ARIE, SOLOMAN BURKE, MARK ALMOND, to name but a few.
Special Thanks to SPJ for the biography and to George Shilling for asking the questions on camera!
Year | Artist | Album | Label | Credit
2006 Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra Southern Friends WEA / Warners Arranger / Producer / Engineer / Mixer
2006 Kealer tbc Producer / Artist Development
2006 Ray Davies Other People's Lives Producer / Engineer / Mixer
2005 Ray Davies Thanksgiving Day Producer
2005 Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Dancing The Ska WEA / Warners Producer / Eng / Mixer / Percussion
2004 Tom Jones & Jools Holland Tom Jones, Jools Holland WEA / Warners Producer / Engineer / Mixing
2004 Peter Gabriel Play The Videos Producer
2003 Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra Friends 3 Producer / Engineer / Mixer
2003 Robert Plant Sixty Six To Timbuktu Producer
2003 Badly Drawn Boy NME Presents: One Love Producer
2002 Ian Dury & The Blockheads Ten More Turnips From The Tip Producer
2002 Ian Dury & The Blockheads One Love Producer
2002 Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra: Small World Big Band WEA / Warners Producer / Engineer / Mixer
2002 Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra Friends (Vol 1) WEA / Warners Producer / Arranger / Mixer
2002 Various Artists Acoustic V2 Producer
2001 Various Artists & The Blockheads Brand New Boots & Panties: Tribute To Ian Dury East Central On Producer
2000 Slapp Happy Camera Produer
1999 Hugh Cornwell Black Hair Black Eyes Black Suit Producer
1998 Slapp Happy Ca Va Producer
1998 Ian Dury & The Blockheads Mr. Love Pants Mixer
1998 Terry Edwards & The Scapegoats Birth Of The Scapegoats: The John Peel Sessions & More Audio Supervisor
1998 Jools Holland The Best Of Jools Holland WEA / Warners Producer / Engineer / Mixer
1997 Hugh Cornwell Guilty Producer / Engineer
1996 Rik Wright Broken China Producer / Engineer
1995 Various Artists Tamala Motown Catalogue Motown Re-Mastering
1995 Lena Fiagby Lena Fiagby Producer
1994 Raw Raw (EP) Beautiful Records Producer
1994 Wendy James Do You Know What I'm Sayin' Producer
1994 Jeffrey Gaines Somewwhat Slightly Dazed Producer / Engineer
1993 Paul Young Crossing Producer
1991 Paul Young Don't Dream It's Over Producer
1990 The Christians Colour Island Producer
1987 Echo & The Bunnymen Echo & The Bunnymen Producer
1987 The Christians The Christians Island Producer
1985 Echo & The Bunnymen Songs To Learn & Sing Producer
1985 Paul Young Secrets Of Asscociation CBS Arranger / Producer
1985 Squeeze Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti Producer
1984 Jacqui Brookes Sob Stories Producer
1984 The Stranglers Aural Sculpture Epic Producer
1983 Paul Young No Parlez CBS Arranger / Producer
1981 Anthony More World Service Engineer
1980 Manfred Mann's Earth Band World Service Engineer
1979 Ian Dury Do It Yourself Stiff Producer / Engineer
1978 Kevin Ayers Rainbow Take Away Engineer
1978 Various Artists Stiffs Live Stiff Mixer
1978 Anthony More Flying Doesn't Help Producer / Mixer / Vocals
1978 Manfred Mann's Earth Band Watch Engineer
1977 Ian Dury New Boots And Panties Producer / Engineer
1976 Manfred Mann's Earth Band The Roaring Silence Engineer
1975 Manfred Mann's Earth Band Nightmares & Bombers Engineer
1975 Monty Python Monty Python & The Holy Grail Engineer
1973 Monty Python Matching Tie & Hankerchief Engineer
Year | Artist | Album | Label | Credit
2004 Easyworld How Did It Ever Come To This? Jive / BMG Producer
2004 Kealer Cry Jive / BMG Producer
2003 Stereophonics Handbags & Gladrags V2 Producer
1978 Ian Dury & The Blockheads What A Waste Stiff Producer
1978 Ian Dury & The Blockheads Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick Stiff Producer
1978 Manfred Mann's Earth Band California Engineer
1977 Ian Dury & The Blockheads Sex Drugs & Rock n' Roll Stiff Producer
1976 Manfred Mann's Earth Band Blinded By The Light Engineer
1976 Monty Python The Lumberjack Song Engineer