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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:28 pm 
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Dada God
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Since there has been a lot of discussion about Bob Ezrin recently in various threads, I thought I'd start a new one dedicated to discussion about him.

Most on here know of my thoughts on Ezrin and to save a lot of typing and space I will sum them up with one word: Genius.

I'd love to hear others thoughts and opinions about Ezrin's impact on the band, songwriting and arranging skills, production methods and anything else. Also, if anyone has any personal anecdotes about him I ask that you please share them.

Now that Ezrin has delivered a sure-fire hit of an album it looks as if he still has it! It's 2017 and the man is still a genius!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:10 am 
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Billion Dollar Baby
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I'm going to assume that I shouldn't post here. :evil:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:17 am 
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Dada God
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guttertrash wrote:
I'm going to assume that I shouldn't post here. :evil:

Lol


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:21 am 
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Dada God
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quite the contray, I would ask that you post. it will get the debate going. that was my point of creating the thread.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:55 am 
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Dada God
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Back in the '70s, BE was the essential catalyst in corralling, and honing, the Cooper talents. Like the band, he was bursting at the seams with enthusiasm, creativity, and an ability to fine-tune them onto the charts. He also knew a handful of crack players, who would become an integral part of the ACG/AC machine. With the exception of L&W - where his own personal demons paralleled Alice's - Ezrin's WB work is nigh faultless.

But, just as Alice turned into a dinosaur rocker, churning out the same old musical tricks, so BE has morphed into the producer equivalent. His kitchen-sink bombast is way past its sell-by date, whilst slick overproduction seems to be his default stock- in-trade these days. Paranormal, and Paranoiac Personality, would be so much better if everything had been scaled down, not up. His seeming obsession with session guests/outside writers, who aren't an integral part of the AC machine, gives the album a very patchwork feel. Genius? No; more svengali.

If there is another AC solo album, then I'd like it to be Ezrin-free.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:37 am 
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Billion Dollar Baby
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Ezrin was a master of the 70s, because he was young and hungry, and he would experiment. I think he and Alice are trying to follow trends that can keep them current, but it pushes everything into a territory that is not Alice. There is a clash there that doesn't work for me. Instead of embracing what Alice is, they feel like experimenting with mainstream ideas may translate to something, but it makes everything come off a bit more stale honestly, because the production doesn't fit the writing. There is some brilliance in the writing, but for me, it doesn't have the edge that it needs to work. It sounds like a pop band, but the riffs demand more. W2MN's production was better and more straightforward, but they wrote some god awful modern music. This album suffers like Eyes did from overly modern techniques. Alice's vocals most all need nothing smoothing them over. It takes away from what he is and the purpose of all of it. Fireball which is the best song on the album in my opinion sounds immensely from vocals being smoothed over, and the guitars are super thin and organ dominates them. Public Private Breakdown needs a much thicker, dirtier tone. Listen to The Whigs. Parker Gispert has fabulous tones on those albums, and you can tell that the tone he wrote the song with was thick and that is what it needed, but the compression kills what the song needed. Great classic songwriting betrayed by a production that fits a pop band. The power of the writing is lost. He was an innovator, but now he is a status quo producer...no imagination or innovation anymore. Alice mentioned that the album was recorded live in the studio, but it sounds so much different than most albums recorded live, so I'd be curious to know the situation with overdubbing and the added effects after the fact, because it is not an album recorded like Eyes or Dirty Diamonds when it comes to the instruments.


Last edited by guttertrash on Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:41 am 
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Killer
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mr.barlow wrote:
Most on here know of my thoughts on Ezrin and to save a lot of typing and space I will sum them up with one word: Genius.


When you compare LITD to the 2 ACG albums that preceded it and KISS' Destroyer to the 3 studio albums that preceded it, I find it hard to disagree with the Genius label for Mr. Ezrin.

I will state though, that Bob is not infallible as he also produced KISS' The ELder, and the AC solo albums he has produced leaves me with the conclusion that Bob is able to bring out the best in songwriters to create outstanding albums, but when he works with musicians/bands within which musical prowess greatly overshadows song writing abilities, the quality of the results is considerably lower.

Ted


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:58 am 
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Billion Dollar Baby
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Ted Sallis wrote:
mr.barlow wrote:
Most on here know of my thoughts on Ezrin and to save a lot of typing and space I will sum them up with one word: Genius.


When you compare LITD to the 2 ACG albums that preceded it and KISS' Destroyer to the 3 studio albums that preceded it, I find it hard to disagree with the Genius label for Mr. Ezrin.

I will state though, that Bob is not infallible as he also produced KISS' The ELder, and the AC solo albums he has produced leaves me with the conclusion that Bob is able to bring out the best in songwriters to create outstanding albums, but when he works with musicians/bands within which musical prowess greatly overshadows song writing abilities, the quality of the results is considerably lower.

Ted


As much as I like the some of the songs on Destroyer, I much prefer Neil Bogert's production on Dressed To Kill.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:30 am 
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guttertrash wrote:
As much as I like the some of the songs on Destroyer, I much prefer Neil Bogert's production on Dressed To Kill.


That same production style wouldn't have benefitted Goin' Blind. It's strange how production, engineering, mixes and artwork color our perception of music.










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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:00 am 
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Billion Dollar Baby
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Goin' Blind is on Hotter Than Hell, and it's production is much closer to Dressed To Kill than Destroyer. The songs on Destroyer would not have suffered at all from the earlier, rawer production except for Beth, and it is noticeable that with Beth, they were aiming for a sound that would crossover into a more mainstream friendly sound, thus you get an album with tape effects, orchestration, and even a choir though most of the songs would work just fine otherwise. Many fans of Kiss left them with Destroyer while it gained them much popularity and introduced them to a wider audience with their softer image.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:45 am 
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guttertrash wrote:
Goin' Blind is on Hotter Than Hell, and it's production is much closer to Dressed To Kill than Destroyer. The songs on Destroyer would not have suffered at all from the earlier, rawer production except for Beth, and it is noticeable that with Beth, they were aiming for a sound that would crossover into a more mainstream friendly sound, thus you get an album with tape effects, orchestration, and even a choir though most of the songs would work just fine otherwise. Many fans of Kiss left them with Destroyer while it gained them much popularity and introduced them to a wider audience with their softer image.


I was saying the production of DTK wouldn't have suited Goin' Blind. Should have made that more clear. i was much happier with Rock And Roll Over than I was with Destroyer. It was closer to the pre-Alive albums, production-wise.










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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:05 am 
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Dada God
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guttertrash wrote:
Goin' Blind is on Hotter Than Hell, and it's production is much closer to Dressed To Kill than Destroyer. The songs on Destroyer would not have suffered at all from the earlier, rawer production except for Beth, and it is noticeable that with Beth, they were aiming for a sound that would crossover into a more mainstream friendly sound, thus you get an album with tape effects, orchestration, and even a choir though most of the songs would work just fine otherwise. Many fans of Kiss left them with Destroyer while it gained them much popularity and introduced them to a wider audience with their softer image.



Ezrin sucked a lot of the life out of Destroyer. That album really has no balls. That said the only time Kiss really got their sound down was the first live album.

Bob was faultless from LITD through WTMN then was a total coked out mess on LAW. Da Da was genius as he allowed Alice to just run with it. The production is fine but nothing special.

After that I lost track of him. Not a Floyd fan though you have to give him credit for the classic ABITW. That song will be played forever.

W2MN was just overblown. Simple as that. The new album doesn't seem to have the budget that W2MN has and the sound is often muddy and compressed. I really wish he would have let some o the songs breathe rather than throw everything on. I also wish he would push Alice more and that they were not so jolly hockey sticks together.

He was a great producer and arranger many years ago but not anymore. He was never in the genius category but how many producers could you say were? Brian one ear Wilson maybe. Phil Spector nah not quite. Almost destroyed The Ramones.

Anyway, I hope he is at the the controls for one more album with AC DD MB and NS. It would hopefully be a fitting last hurrah for all.










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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:18 am 
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Eddie Kramer nailed it on Alive as well as on Rock and Roll Over and Love Gun. He has been pretty fantastic on most of his productions. Would love to have seen what he could have done on those first four albums. No idea why they left him for Vini Poncia. Pa


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:23 am 
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Was there a reason why Kiss never worked again with Bob?










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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:06 am 
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Billion Dollar Baby
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I've said this before. If it wasn't for Bob Ezrin this forum wouldn't exist.
My personal opinion it's that LITD, Killer and Schools Out are an incredible run of albums in a very short time. I love B$B but I think it's at this point that the production starts to slicken just a bit too much, however the band still manage to retain their edge.
There are some great songs on the first three solo lps but I'm not a fan of a lot of the production choices which I personally find a bit shobiz and schmalzey. What once sounded subversive and dangerous now appears neutered and jazz hands. A bit like Game of Thrones edited for a U certificate.
But was this Bob Ezrin taking control of Alice's music and shaping it to his vision or was it Bob enabling Alice to achieve the direction Alice wished to go in? I wasn't there and I honestly don't know the answer. Mr Barlow has made many comments previously about Alice's attempts to cross over to a more mainstream profile and I won't attempt to repeat them here.
I was told by someone who "was there" that he really pulled Pink Floyd's the Wall together and that he really worked his ass off on that record. That album sounds notably different from previous Pink Floyd albums and initially I didn't take to it, however it grew on me incredibly quickly and now sits as one of my favorites.
I wasn't so keen on his work on Janes Addiction's Strays. I read somewhere that he didn't really like their previous lps. Anyway that to my ears was a Janes album with none of the elements that made them special before.
A few years ago I was working on an album with Doc Milton who used to be in Alein Sex Fiend and we got to chatting about producers. He told me Bob was his favorite all time producer and he'd love to work with him if the chance arose.
As for his work with Alice now I've quite enjoyed it. They are obviously happy working together and I think this comes across. I personally would like a less Metal sound to some of the songs but that's just me and neither Bob or Alice are my bitch!
Oh and I like the vocal effect on Fireball (which is absolutely fantastic btw) it reminds me of John Lennon on Tomorrow Never Knows!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Dada God
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From pitkin88:
"Da Da was genius as he allowed Alice to just run with it."

Do you have a source for that? My understanding is that he was as heavily involved as with any other album.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:05 pm 
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pitkin88 wrote:
Was there a reason why Kiss never worked again with Bob?

Yes. Ezrin turned them down. He has done 4 Kiss albums, by the way.










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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:10 pm 
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I can't deny that I like Paranormal and I was quite critical of BE before I heard it. So I will take most of it back.

The one thing that irks me is the session players. I completely understand the use of them and even BE playing himself on Destroyer that was mentioned f.ex. because quite frankly - KISS. (Whom I love in a way, but still.)

What I don't get, is replacing ACG members and touring band on Paranormal for example with equal or lesser outside players. It's like it's a fetish of BE to bring in guys to replace the "right" guys (and girl in this case).

ACG and the band would have been an awesome and versatile group of musicians to suit different styles and bring cohesion and continuity. Tommy plays on it, but he is an exception in the band anyway due to his role with Alice and he is not a session guy standard player. Glen Roxie and Nita are. Nita is a virtuoso even, although I am not sure if there would have been much use for her style but Ryan - It's like replacing Joe Perry on an Aerosmith record. Which BE has done too, by the way, although uncredited.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:53 pm 
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Dannorama wrote:
pitkin88 wrote:
Was there a reason why Kiss never worked again with Bob?

Yes. Ezrin turned them down. He has done 4 Kiss albums, by the way.


Just three: Destroyer (1976), Music from "The Elder" (1981), and Revenge (1992).

Hunter


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:26 pm 
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padre_sliprat wrote:
guttertrash wrote:
As much as I like the some of the songs on Destroyer, I much prefer Neil Bogert's production on Dressed To Kill.


That same production style wouldn't have benefitted Goin' Blind. It's strange how production, engineering, mixes and artwork color our perception of music.


padre_sliprat makes a good point re. production, in that I must admit that the production on Destroyer is largely why I rate the album as 1 of my favourite KISS albums (along with Alive!).

Ted


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