Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Elton Speaks About Phil Ramone
We are very sorry to hear of the passing this weekend of record producer and engineer Phil Ramone, who Elton called, "a friend, a musical genius and the most lovable person. It was a thrill for me to have worked with Phil, and I have so many wonderful memories."
In addition to his definitive, and 14-time Grammy Award-winning, work with Quincy Jones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, and countless others, Phil worked on a wide variety of Elton projects, starting in 1970 when he engineered the sessions at his own A&R Recording Studios in New York City for a live radio broadcast on WABC radio that would become Elton's first live album, 11-17-70.
In 1990, Phil produced The Measure Of A Man, Elton's vocal contribution to the soundtrack for the film Rocky V. Nine years later, Phil Executive Produced Elton John And Tim Rice's Aida and helmed four tracks on the album, including Elton's collaborations with Heather Headley and Sherie Rene Scott (A Step Too Far) and Lulu (The Messenger).
Phil returned to work on Elton's live material in 2000 when he produced Elton John One Night Only – The Greatest Hits for CD and DVD release. Then in 2002, Phil was back in the studio producing the Elton and Alessandro Safina version of Your Song, which reached #4 in the UK singles charts and #8 in Canada.
In 2004, Phil kept busy with a variety of live and in studio Elton projects. He produced the audio for the July American television broadcast of Elton's orchestral concert at Radio City Music Hall. He also worked on two of the Dream Ticket DVD collection concerts: Elton at the Royal Opera House and the aforementioned One Night Only. And that same year, Phil produced Elton and Ray Charles singing Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word on Genius Loves Company, the last studio album by Ray before his death.
2006 saw Phil behind the board for another Elton duet – this time with Tony Bennett: Rags To Riches. Then, in 2007, Phil was the producer of Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden on CD and DVD. Phil's final project for Elton was the October of 2008 CD and DVD releases of The Red Piano.
Phil Ramone was 79.