As a former member
of Adam & The Ants and one of the most distinctive and successful pop producers
of the last decade, his recording of a series of Steve Reich compositions might
seem surprising, even improbable. On the contrary, Shift CD is a work that
has been gestating for many years and possesses an inner logic of its own.
Chris' multi-faceted career began in the late 70s with his production of the Dalek
I's groundbreaking Compass Kum'pas
, one of the first albums to realise the full potential of a marriage between pop
and electronic rhythms.
In a roundabout way this led to his joining Adam & The Ants where, at the height
of their success, he was involved as both drummer and producer. He was instrumental
in forging the band's distinctive drum sound, which propelled records like Dog Eat
Dog and Antmusic
to the upper reaches of the UK chart and made the Ants one of the most successful
bands of their era.
Chris' unique production style was equally acclaimed, resulting in him being voted
1981's Album Producer Of The Year by Music Week for his work on the best-selling
Kings of the Wild Frontier
After leaving the ants in 1982, Chris concentrated his energies on production.
Consequently, his list of successes over the intervening years is huge...
Aside from two hugely successful Tears For Fears albums The Hurting and Songs
From The Big Chair. Chris has an impressive CV which includes work with
Paul McCartney (tracks on the number one album Flowers In The Dirt), Ric
Ocasek (This Side of Paradise), Wang Chung (Dancehall Days, top 20
single), Red Box (Lean On Me, top 3 single), Robert Plant (Fate Of Nations
) and various Howard Jones and Propaganda releases.
While all this has made Chris Hughes one of the most respected and sought-after
producers on the block, his own attitude to the art of production has remained coolly
"The role of the modern day producer is fair loathsome," he explains. "On the
one hand there are great records where the greatness lies in the production, and
on the other hand there are great songs or great performances that produce themselves.
'Production' seems to spend too much time pissing about in the middle."