Published Jun 06, 2011Martin Rushent, who produced records by such acts as Human League, Buzzcocks, XTC and the Stranglers, has died. At this time, his cause of death is unknown, but the BBC confirms that the studio whiz passed away at the age of 63.
Rushent got his start as an engineer in the early '70s, working with T. Rex, Fleetwood Mac, Yes, Gentle Giant and many others. Then, in the early '80s, he became a producer in the burgeoning new wave and punk scene, working with everyone from Generation X and the Buzzcocks to Altered Image and the Stranglers.
In later years, Rushent worked with the Pipettes and beatboxer Killa Kela, among others. But it was his work on Human League's hugely successful 1981 album, Dare, and its single, "Don't You Want Me," that the producer is best known for.
In an old BBC interview, Rushent discussed working on Dare, an album that won him Best Producer at the 1982 Brit Awards.
"They were under the impression that I was going to work on what they'd done so far and improve that and carry on," he said. "I said, 'no, I'm not doing that, we're starting again,' which was a bit of a shock for Phil [Oakey, lead singer]. He argued about that, but I said, 'no, if I'm going to produce you, you're going to do what I tell you to do'. This is my attitude to everybody I produce; it's a sort of democratic dictatorship!"
Rushent is survived by wife Ceri, along with his sons, Tim and James, and his daughters, Amy and Joanne. James Rushent has a music career of his own as the frontman for Does It Offend You, Yeah?
A Facebook tribute page for Martin Rushent is available here.