by Dan Gibson
For decades, it took a special sort of music obsessive to think about the person producing the songs they loved. Now, with producer dominated pop, R&B and hiphop, it's a little different, but it's easy to listen the music of Joy Division without thinking about how Martin Hannett influenced the dark, foreboding sound of "Atmosphere". Still, music is rarely just a product of just the people in the band. Sometimes, having the right producer can make a world of difference. Martin Rushent, while largely unknown, worked on songs and albums that altered British music history, including the early Stranglers albums and music by the Buzzcocks, the Go-Go's, Altered Images, the Associates, just to name a few.
Rushent's greatest legacy is probably the Human League album Dare, which is about as good as a synthpop album can be and features a pop song that will likely live on forever, "Don't You Want Me?":
The Human League - "Open Your Heart":
Rushent left the music business for several years to raise his children, but returned in recent years to produce albums by British upstarts like The Pipettes and his son's band, Does It Offend You, Yeah.