A tribute from Tim Rushent
My father Martin Rushent died the Saturday just gone (June 4th 2011) aged 63.
He was most famous for his work with The Human League … having the album Dare! and the single “Don’t You Want Me.” go number one on both sides of the Atlantic … and pretty much everywhere on Planet Earth.
My brother James, sisters Joanne and Amy and my fathers sister Carol and brother Antony have always been very, very proud of him. But in the past three days since he left us, we have had to “down tools” in our normal life to field calls, emails and comments coming to the Martin Rushent Memories FaceBook group. The appreciation, admiration and overwhelming love has made us even more proud and I fear we have a long way to go yet!
He initially worked with T-Rex, Shirley Bassey, Fleetwood Mac, The Stranglers, Buzzcocks. You talk about putting in the hours before you know your craft … my father will have doubled those hours (on his own time!) just to make sure he did it better and more perfect than the next guy!
He made electronic dance records in 1980 when to do so didn’t involve a Mac and a cracked copy of Cubase with a bunch of hooky sample cds. It involved working on hugely expensive equipment, that took an age to programme (the brass swells in the League track “Hard Times” had to be programmed step by velocity step by velocity step …. it took him DAYS to do the whole riff!) and normally it would drift out of time whilst the synths drifted out of tune as it was being printed to tape!
But the guy sat there and did it so he could bring something new to the the table, something exciting and fresh … whilst making sure that the tracks could be strummed on an acoustic guitar and still be remembered chord for chord, note for note, word for word as decent songs that you could remember. He made sure that the songs were instant and drilled into your brain. Don’t believe me? Hum the intro riffs of Don’t You Want Me. See?
He also implemented many technological advances into his machines and mixes that are still used today … dance music separation and effect usage basically owes him it’s blueprint … sampling owes an equally huge debt.
His success with the League was Massive. And he followed it up with Altered Images who where big here in the UK, Pete Shelly’s solo stuff, The Go Go’s … just do the research and you’ll see. Wow …. sometimes even I can’t quite believe it.
Oh …. and he won Producer of the Year in 1982 for and countless other awards around the world … including, I believe, one of the first … if not THE first … platinum disc here in the UK for a million sales of “Don’t You Want Me.”
I could go on for another 1000 paragraphs but I’d still only cover a fraction of a fraction of his work and enthusiasm for what he loved to do … pay or no pay … hit or no hit! He has been a a runner, assistant, engineer, producer, publisher, record label owner, teacher, raconteur and worked with artists such as Sting right the way down to the local Salvation Army Band and school band rockers.
He loved to be talked about because whilst he was a great Record Producer, he was equally one of the most greatest, memorable characters you could ever hope to meet … in a REALLY funny way. He was also a bit of an obnoxious twat … but trust me … he would have loved to be remembered that way too!