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The Art of Recording 

Looks at how the record producer realizes an artist's vision and captures it for posterity. Explores the styles of some of the biggest producers in the business including Sam Phillips, George Martin, Phil Spector, Dr. Dre, and Rick Rubin.

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dermot Mulroney ... Narrator (voice)
Don Was ... Himself
Dave Harries Dave Harries ... Himself
George Martin ... Himself
Daniel Lanois ... Himself
Quincy Jones ... Himself
Jimmy Jam ... Himself
Paul Epworth ... Himself
Tom Petty ... Himself
Elton John ... Himself
St. Vincent ... Herself
Jason King Jason King ... Himself
Peter Guralnick Peter Guralnick ... Himself
Marty Stuart ... Himself
Jeff Beck ... Himself


Soundbreaking begins where a recording does--at the intersection of inspiration and execution. There stands the enigmatic figure of the record producer, the person charged with the critical task of both realizing an artist's vision and capturing it for posterity. Profiling some of the most accomplished and revered producers in the recording industry, Episode One offers a study in contrasting styles and approaches: between the inspired guidance of George Martin in his work with The Beatles and Phil Spector's dictatorial insistence on his signature sound; between the gentle coaxing with which Rick Rubin brought Johnny Cash back to greatness, and the fierce creative independence of artist-producers such as Joni Mitchell and Sly Stone. In the process, The Recording Artist underscores the way in which any music recording is the product of a delicate and infinitely variable balance between man and machine.

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Release Date:

14 November 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Show of Force See more »
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Did You Know?


The documentary mentions Sly Stone as an artist who was also his own record producer. Actually he was a producer before he was an artist; in 1964, under his original name Sylvester Stewart, he was producer for the Beau Brummels, a five-piece white American band who were (like many other groups at the time) trying to be "the American Beatles." See more »

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User Reviews

The Guys Who Run the Show
25 November 2016 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

With the huge numbers of stars and bands, it's hard to encapsulate things. This truly intellectual series focuses in, for the first episode, on the record producers. Most visible is George Martin, who definitely put his footprint on the Beatles. As a matter of fact, can we say that while the Beatles would have been great, would they have been anywhere near what they were without this man? We see the fragile egos of some of our greatest performers. We see how people who have had tremendous success start to fade and must retool themselves, moving from their comfort zones. This provides us with rare footage and contemporary interviews from the masters. I'm going to love this.

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