Tony Visconti

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Tony Visconti

Anthony "Tony" Edward Visconti (born April 24, 1944 in Brooklyn , New York City ) is a British - American music producer and musician.

Visconti has worked with a number of prominent performers since the late 1960s. He had his first success in 1968 with the production of numerous singles and albums for T. Rex / Tyrannosaurus Rex, whose sound he helped shape. He later produced successful albums for Gentle Giant , Osibisa , the Sparks , Thin Lizzy , The Boomtown Rats , The Stranglers , Manic Street Preachers , The Moody Blues and Morrissey . Best known is his long collaboration with David Bowie , for whom he has repeatedly worked as a producer and musician since the album Space Oddity (1969).


Born and raised in Brooklyn , Anthony Visconti learned to play the ukulele at the age of five. As a teenager he played tuba in a brass ensemble, double bass in a classical orchestra and rock'n'roll guitar. When he was 15, he focused on a band called Ricardo and the Latineers .

In the following years Visconti played bass and electric guitar with several soft rock and lounge bands . In 1967 he released the regional hit Long Hair with his then wife Siegrid under the name Tony and Siegrid , which remained the duo's only success. After the failed attempt to become a pop singer, Visconti worked as a producer for his publishing house, the Richmond Organization .


Visconti's breakthrough came from a chance meeting in 1967 with British producer Denny Cordell , who hired him to assist with the recording of successful jazz singer Georgie Fame . In the course of this work Visconti moved to London , where he made his home.

One of the most important parts of his career was working with the British band T. Rex and its initiator Marc Bolan , which he discovered for his record company and through their artistically and commercially most successful time, from the album My People Were Fair ... (1968) to the album Zinc Alloy… (1974), accompanied and whose sound he played a major role. In 1967 Visconti also met David Bowie, who was completely unknown at the time but, like Bolan, was very ambitious, with whom he developed a friendly relationship as with Bolan. In his autobiography, he describes that both of them stopped by his house more often at jam sessions and parties because they still lived with their parents and had little money.

Visconti produced Bowie's second and third albums, David Bowie (Space Oddity) (except for the title track, which he thought was inappropriate for Bowie's style), in 1969, and The Man Who Sold the World , 1970. Visconti also played bass with Bowie, the Guitarist Mick Ronson and drummer John Cambridge in the short-lived band Hype . He resumed work with Bowie in 1973 when he mixed his 1974 album Diamond Dogs . He also produced or co-produced the albums Young Americans (1975), "Heroes" (1977), Lodger (1979), Scary Monsters (1980), David Bowie in Bertolt Brecht's "Baal" (1982), Heathen (2002) and Reality (2003), The Next Day (2013) and Bowie's latest album Blackstar (2016).

From 1973 to the end of the 1980s he ran his own “Good Earth Studios” in London. He produced three top 10 albums by Thin Lizzy, Bad Reputation (1977), Live and Dangerous (1978) and Black Rose: A Rock Legend (1979). In 1980 he produced two classic new wave albums, Hazel O'Connors Breaking Glass and Mondo Bongo by the Boomtown Rats.

In 1987 Visconti toured with Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues, of which he also produced two albums ( The Other Side of Life , 1986 and Sur La Mer , 1988), and created accompanying music for the British science fiction series Star Cops .

In the late 1980s, Visconti's permanent work with top artists declined. He left London and returned to New York. Here he worked with many new groups. In 1990 he produced the debut album for the New York band Electric Angels, then Electric Honey for Luscious Jackson , Leisure Noise for Gay Dad, Soul Caddy for Cherry Poppin 'Daddies, Dawn of Ananda for Annie Haslam and Moonchild for Debbie Gibson . In 1997 Visconti produced the debut album of the Seahorses, the new band of former Stone Roses member John Squire . The Do It Yourself album was a medium success. He also produced two albums for the German group Phillip Boa and the Voodooclub (Hair 1988 + Hispanola 1990). In 2001 he produced the Prefab Sprout album The Gunman and Other Stories .

After the end of his marriage to Siegrid, Visconti married two more times. With Mary Hopkin (marriage from 1971 to 1981) and May Pang (1989-2000) he has two children each.

Visconti later moved back to the New York area and worked mainly with young musicians, such as the Copenhagen band Kashmir , on whose debut album David Bowie also appears. The latter can also be heard on the CD Breasticles (2003) by US artist Kristeen Young , whose albums Visconti produced and which he brokered as the opening act for Morrissey's 2006 tour. The production of his album Ringleader of the Tormentors (2006) was one of the greatest successes for Visconti in a long time. It reached number 1 on the charts in many European countries. Tony Visconti also worked with the political band Anti-Flag on their 2008 album The Bright Lights of America .

2016 and 2017 was in the jury for the "Anchor Reeperbahn Festival International Music Award".


  • Tony Visconti - The Autobiography: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy . Harper Collins, 2007, ISBN 0-00-722944-5 .

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Individual evidence