MICHAEL BEINHORN (PART 1): PUBLISHED ON PRX 7 / 19 / 2019 - BEYOND A SONG originates in BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA and is sponsored by: THE BLUEBIRD NIGHTCLUB, AIRTIME RECORDING STUDIO, and VISIT BLOOMINGTON.COM
Beyond a Song host Rich Reardin interviews musician, composer, and producer extraordinaire, Michael Beinhorn.
Forgoing a promising career in medical illustration, Michael Beinhorn began his musical endeavors in 1979 as co-founder of the seminal New York musical collective Material. The group’s singular style and strong artistic personalities led to their producing their own recordings out of necessity. As the band rose to prominence, in 1980 they were approached by Brian Eno, collaborating on the track “Lizard Point” from Eno’s acclaimed recording “Ambient 4: On Land.”
In 1983, Beinhorn co-produced Herbie Hancock’s landmark recording, Future Shock, which included the groundbreaking cut “Rockit.” The song, co-written and co-produced by Beinhorn, would become Columbia Records’ most successful 12-inch single ever, selling over three million copies and winning a Grammy in 1984 for Best R&B Instrumental Recording.
After departing Material in 1984, Beinhorn’s production career began to reach new heights. His work on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ breakthrough albums “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan” and “Mother’s Milk” was instrumental in propelling the band to stardom.
Beinhorn gained a reputation for producing a number of “high watermark” albums that have helped to define the careers of a diverse range of artists, including Soul Asylum, Hole, Soundgarden, Ozzy Osbourne, Courtney Love, Marilyn Manson, Social Distortion, Korn, Golden Palominos, and Mew. His recordings have achieved combined worldwide sales of more than 45 million albums, and he is one of only a handful of producers to have two separate recordings debut in Billboard’s Top Ten in the same week, with Marilyn Manson’s “Mechanical Animals” (#1) and Hole’s “Celebrity Skin” (#9) also earning him a 1998 Grammy nomination for Producer of the Year.
In addition to producing, arranging, engineering, co-writing, and performing on many of his projects, Beinhorn’s attention to detail and tireless pursuit of sonic excellence led him to develop and commission the first two-inch eight-track Ultra-Analog multitrack tape recording format.
In recent years, Beinhorn has turned his attention to the concerns facing today’s artists and producers attempting to maintain their creative ethics and focus on the recording process. He has been increasingly active in mentoring fellow artists and aspiring record producers. He addresses these and other pertinent issues in his book “Unlocking Creativity”, published by Hal Leonard. He continues to inspire the artists he works with to excel to greater heights, with an unwavering commitment to sonic exploration and creative excellence.
Musical selections include: Rockit, Lizard Point, Memories (feat: Whitney Houston), Excerpts from "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" (Live) [From Yessongs], Sexy Mexican Maid, American Music, Black Hole Sun