andy johns

Johns, speaking with PG at the L.A. Amp Show in 2010

Johns, who died Sunday at age 61, is perhaps most famously identified for engineering landmark LPs from Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones in the early ’70s,

If there were a gold standard for recording studio resourcefulness and professionalism, Andy Johns may well have set it. Johns, who died Sunday at age 61, is perhaps most famously identified for engineering landmark LPs from Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones in the early '70s, and was also a producer of considerable prowess—taking the helm for albums from Jethro Tull, Free, and Humble Pie in the late '60s and early '70s, and Van Halen (For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge) and Joe Satriani (The Extremist) in the '90s.

Johns may have been equally capable of manning the desk as producer as engineer, but his sonic legacy will likely be his absolute mastery of the latter role. On the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street, he deftly captured the band at both their tightest, fieriest, and most gloriously ragged extremes—subtly but profoundly enhancing and highlighting the band's muscle and killer rhythmic instincts without sacrificing an ounce of their feral potency.

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