Switch on any classic rock radio station and it's likely that within minutes you'll hear the handiwork of producer and engineer Glyn Johns; over the course of a career that had its beginnings during the British Invasion, he assembled an extraordinarily impressive body of work including landmark recordings by such perennials as the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Eagles, Eric Clapton, and the Steve Miller Band. Born in Epsom, England, on February 15, 1942, Johns originally began his career as a performer, issuing a handful of singles on the Pye and Immediate labels during the early '60s. The singles went nowhere, however, and soon he began pursuing a career as an apprentice recording engineer under legendary producer Shel Talmy. By 1965, Johns was engineering sessions by the Rolling Stones, with his credit later appearing on classic LPs including 1967's Their Satanic Majesties Request and the following year's Beggars Banquet. He also engineered material for Led Zeppelin and Spooky Tooth.
Johns' big break as a producer came in 1968, when he was approached to helm the Steve Miller Band's Sailor; their collaboration also yielded several other LPs, including 1969's acclaimed Brave New World. Johns quickly emerged as a sought-after producer, in 1971 alone lending his studio talents to classic records including the Who's Who's Next, the Faces' A Nod Is as Good as a Wink...to a Blind Horse, and the Stones' Sticky Fingers. In 1972, he also began an extended affiliation with the fledgling Eagles, helping the group realize its laid-back West Coast sound over the course of its early recordings. Johns' pace was relentless throughout the 1970s; among his other notable production and engineering jobs of the period were the Stones' Exile on Main St. (1972), the Who's Quadrophenia (1973), Joan Armatrading's self-titled third LP (1976), and Eric Clapton's Slowhand (1977) and Backless (1978). Johns' schedule slowed in the decades to follow, although he continued working with acclaimed younger talents including Midnight Oil, Nanci Griffith, and Belly. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi