Michael Landau (musician)

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Michael Landau, 2008

Michael Landau (born June 1, 1958 in Los Angeles ) is an American guitarist , studio musician and songwriter .


Michael “the Man” Landau is one of the most sought-after studio musicians in the USA. He is already considered a living studio legend by fans and professionals. He has supported many stars of the American and British music scene with recordings or compositions, for example Steve Lukather , Richard Marx , Pink Floyd , Chicago , Cher , Joni Mitchell , Michael McDonald , Rod Stewart , and jazz greats like Miles Davis . But other well-known artists of pop and rock music also frequently employ him; He has worked on albums by Jennifer Lopez , Seal , Anastacia , Christina Aguilera , Celine Dion , Madonna , Michael Bolton , Teri DeDario , Vasco Rossi , Eros Ramazzotti and Mariah Carey , among others .

Landau also runs his own projects, such as the bands Burning Water and The Raging Honkies , with whom he released a total of six albums. Some of his solo albums have also been released, including the successful records Tales from the Bulge and Star Spangled Banner as well as the album Live 2000 . With Robben Ford , Landau founded the band Renegade Creation , which has already released two albums. Landau also plays with Wayne Krantz and Jimmy Herring in The Ringers and is a member of the Steve Gadd band.

For the music for the comedy The Secret of My Success , he was nominated as a co-author for the 1988 Golden Globe Award .

Michael Landau has been close friends with Steve Lukather since he was at school. Both have partly a very similar guitar style. His brother Teddy Landau, bassist with Burning Water , the Raging Honkies and many of his solo projects, is married to the singer Michelle Branch .


One of his trademarks are his "Magic Chords" - chords / chord remnants or single notes "floated in" with the volume sweller / pedal, which give certain passages of a song an "angelic" float and thus an additional effect. Mainly in ballads, e.g. B. in the style of Mariah Carey , Celine Dion or Michael Bolton , these can be found again. The “Magic Chords” can be heard very well on Landau's first solo album Tales from the Bulge .

As a soloist, Landau is characterized by elegant, soft single-note lines, which are basically blues-based, but have many jazzy and fusion elements.



Michael Landau temporarily had his own guitar model with the American guitar manufacturers Tyler Guitars and Suhr Guitars. Fender has been producing replicas of its two vintage Fender Stratocasters since 2013 , which are also sold in stores. In addition, Landau also used Gibson-Les-Paul models and Gibson SGs in the past .

Amplifiers and Effects

As an amplifier, he uses, among other things, a Custom Audio OD100 Classic Plus, in whose development he was significantly involved. In addition, he uses various Fender, Marshall Plexi and Suhr amps in the studio . Live today, Landau uses a Hot Rod DeVille ML 212, which was specially developed for him by Fender. The basis was the Fender Hot Rod DeVille III, which Landau had been using for years.

Michael Landau was known for his rack equipment in the 1980s and 90s . With Buzz Feiten, he was one of the first guitarists to use the Bob Bradshaw Switching System . Bradshaw and Landau met in 1982 at a studio session and they worked together.

In the early 1980s, Landau also used Mesa / Boogie amps, while in the late 80s he preferred Soldano amps ( SLO-100 ) and preamps ( Soldano X88R). In the 1990s he used the further development of the X88R, the Custom Audio Electronics 3+ SE.

For his floating "Magic Chords", Landau combines a tri stereo chorus (Dyna My Piano) ( rackmounted ) with a detune effect from a harmonizer . Landau originally wanted to mimic Pat Metheny's chorus effect , but then developed his own chorus sound, which he eventually became known for. Often he also used a delay and a compressor to make the sound even more extreme. Since the 1990s he has also used an Arion Stereo Chorus SCH-1 in pedal format.

Discography (excerpt)

  • 1987: A Momentary Lapse of Reason (Pink Floyd)
  • 1989: Lukather (Steve Lukather), Los Lobotomys ( Los Lobotomys )
  • 1990: Tales from the Bulge
  • 1993: Burning Water (Burning Water)
  • 1994: Mood Elevator and Live and Lit (both Burning Water, the latter recorded 1992–93)
  • 1995: We Are the Best Band (The Raging Honkies)
  • 1996: Abbandonato (Burning Water)
  • 1997: Boner (The Raging Honkies)
  • 2000: Live 2000 (Michael Landau Trio), Give Me A Ride (Stolenfish)
  • 2000: Stilelibero (Eros Ramazzotti)
  • 2001: Star Spangled Banner , Irresistible ( Jessica Simpson )
  • 2002: Twisted Angel ( LeAnn Rimes ), LA Reflections (AOR), Like I Said (Stolenfish)
  • 2003: 9 (Eros Ramazzotti)
  • 2004: My Own Best Enemy (Richard Marx)
  • 2006: Live (Michael Landau Group, double CD)
  • 2012: Organic Instrumentals (The Michael Landau Group)
  • 2013: Gadditude (Steve Gadd Band)


Individual evidence

  1. Michael Landau | Credits | AllMusic , accessed July 12, 2015
  2. Renegade Creation: Bullet Review | Blues Rock Review, by Charlie DuMez , accessed July 12, 2015
  3. Internet site of "The Ringers" ( Memento of the original from July 8, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed July 12, 2015 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.theringerslive.com
  4. Steve Gadd Band: Gadditude, review by Dan Bilawsky , accessed July 12, 2015
  5. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed July 12, 2015  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.fender.com
  6. Michael Landau's website , accessed May 28, 2010
  7. Hot Rod DeVille ™ ML 212 | Guitar Amplifiers | Fender® Amplifier  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed July 12, 2015@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / intl.fender.com  
  8. See Racks of the Rich & Famous, in. Guitar World, May 1988, p. 86
  9. On The Road Blog by Custom Audio Electronics , accessed July 12, 2015
  10. ^ The Road Blog by Custom Audio Electronics , accessed July 12, 2015
  11. The incredible story behind the Soldano SLO-100 , accessed July 12, 2015
  12. Soldano Custom Amplification: About , accessed July 12, 2015
  13. ^ To Interview With Bob Bradshaw , accessed July 12, 2015
  14. Guitar & Bass. The musician trade magazine, December 2010, from p. 58.
  15. Michael Landau, "Session Star", Interview by Joe Matera , accessed July 12, 2015

Web links