Tony Visconti

born on 24/4/1944 in New York City, NY, United States

Tony Visconti

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Anthony Edward Visconti (born April 24, 1944) is an American record producer, musician and singer. Since the late 1960s, he has worked with an array of performers. His lengthiest involvement was with David Bowie: intermittently from Bowie's second album in 1969 to the 2016 release Blackstar, Visconti produced and occasionally performed on many of Bowie's albums. Visconti's work on Blackstar was cited in its Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical and his production of Angelique Kidjo's Djin Djin was cited in its Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album.

Early life

Visconti was born in Brooklyn, New York. He started to play the ukulele when he was five years old, and then learned guitar. He attended New Utrecht High School.[3] Throughout his teenage years Visconti was involved with both a classical brass band (playing tuba) and a traditional orchestra (playing double bass), as well as playing rock 'n' roll-oriented guitar, valuable experience which served him well in later years. By the age of 15 he focused his efforts playing in local Brooklyn bands.[4]

After leaving school he played guitar in a band called Ricardo & the Latineers in the Catskills; the band also included Artie Butler, later a leading arranger.[4] In 1960 he played his first recording session, and over the next few years became one of the leading guitarists in New York nightclubs. He played in lounge acts including the Ned Harvey band, and the Speedy Garfin Band, before joining a touring version of The Crew-Cuts, where he met his future wife. As Tony and Siegrid, the pair released two singles; the first, "Long Hair", was a regional hit in New York in 1966, but they could not maintain its success.[2]


Visconti then became in-house producer for his publisher, the Richmond Organization. Through this, he met British producer Denny Cordell in 1968 while he was working as Richmond's in-house music producer. Cordell asked him to assist in recordings for successful jazz vocalist Georgie Fame. Visconti moved to London—in a move that would soon become career-defining.[2]

One of his first production projects in England was with the Welsh group The Iveys (later known as Badfinger). He produced several tracks for the band's first LP Maybe Tomorrow, released on The Beatles' Apple label. The title track from this album was released as a single. More early production work on the album My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows for the British outfit Tyrannosaurus Rex (later to become T. Rex) began a relationship with T. Rex that would last for their next seven albums. One of Visconti's greatest successes was Electric Warrior, the album that made T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan a superstar and cemented Visconti's producing prowess. He produced the first two albums by influential progressive rock band Gentle Giant. Shortly afterwards, Visconti began to work with David Bowie and, along with guitarist Mick Ronson and drummer John Cambridge, formed and toured with the band The Hype in which he played bass. Although the band name would be very short-lived, the line-up persisted and would go on to record the seminal album and single The Man Who Sold the World in 1970. He would further go on to work on the albums Diamond Dogs (1974), Young Americans (1975), Low (1977), "Heroes" (1977), Lodger (1979), Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (1980), Heathen (2002), Reality (2003), The Next Day (2013) and Blackstar (2016).

Visconti scored the orchestral arrangements for Paul McCartney and Wings' 1973 album Band on the Run. He later produced two albums for the Moody Blues, The Other Side of Life (1986), and Sur La Mer (1988).

In 1990, he produced several tracks on the Moody Blues' Keys of the Kingdom album (1991), Luscious Jackson's Electric Honey, Leisure Noise by Gay Dad, Soul Caddy for Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Dawn of Ananda for Annie Haslam. In 1997, Visconti produced the debut album of The Stone Roses member John Squire's new band, The Seahorses entitled Do It Yourself. In the 2000s (decade), Visconti renewed his association with David Bowie, producing the albums Heathen in 2002, and Reality in 2003. These two albums hark back to his Berlin production work with Bowie.

He produced and played bass on a handful of tracks from The Dandy Warhols 2003 album Welcome to the Monkey House. In 2003 he teamed up with the Finn Brothers (Neil and Tim of Crowded House and Split Enz fame) to record and produce their second collaborative album, eventually released in 2004. In 2004, he produced three songs on the Manic Street Preachers album Lifeblood. In 2005, he collaborated with Copenhagen band Kashmir, whose fifth album, No Balance Palace, featured David Bowie. He has also collaborated as co-writer and producer on the album project by Richard Barone. He worked in Rome and produced the #1 UK album by Morrissey, Ringleader of the Tormentors.

His autobiography, Bowie, Bolan and The Brooklyn Boy, was published in February 2007 by Harper Collins UK. The imported soft cover version is now available in the United States. The book has been translated into French by Jérôme Soligny as Tony Visconti Bowie, Bolan et le Gamin de Brooklyn, published by Tournon.

In 2007 and 2008, Visconti was very active in the studio with Benin singer Angélique Kidjo, producing her Grammy-winning album Djin Djin (Razor & Tie). Guests artists include Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, Joss Stone, Josh Groban and Carlos Santana. He has also produced two albums at Saint Claire Recording Studio in Lexington, Kentucky: The Bright Lights of America (RCA) by Pittsburgh punk band Anti-Flag and an album by Alejandro Escovedo called Real Animal (Manhattan Records) released in June 2008. He produced the new No. 1 album (in France) by French artist Raphael in Paris and New York. He produced and mixed Kristeen Young album Music for Strippers, Hookers, and the Odd On-Looker, released in 2009 and arranged Fall Out Boy album Folie à Deux. 2010 marked the release of Richard Barone's Visconti-produced Glow album,[5] which includes five songs co-written with Barone and a remake of T. Rex's Girl. He also played bass, guitar, synth, and Stylophone on the album and performed live in concert with Barone on numerous occasions.

Visconti produced the David Bowie album, The Next Day, and remixed and remastered both The Slider anniversary box set (Demon UK) and Electric Warrior 40th anniversary boxed set (Universal UK) by T. Rex. In 2013, he produced Solar Secrets by Capsula.

In 2014 Visconti produced and arranged several tracks on Marc Almond's album The Dancing Marquis. Almond has wanted to work with Visconti since hearing some of Visconti's earliest production work with T-Rex and David Bowie, stating "It was a dream to work with Tony".[6]

In 2016 and 2017 Tony Visconti was a Jury member of the ANCHOR-Award linked to the Reeperbahnfestival.

Visconti produced Bowie's final album, Blackstar, released on January 8, 2016.[7]

In 2018 Visconti produced Evil Spirits, which was released on April 13, 2018, for the legendary punk band The Damned which was their first album in 10 years.

Personal life

After divorcing his first wife Siegrid, Visconti married the Welsh folk singer Mary Hopkin in 1971 before divorcing in 1981. The pair have two children, musicians Jessica Lee Morgan and Morgan Visconti.[8] He married for a third time, in 1989, to May Pang, with whom he had two children before divorcing in 2000.[9]


Visconti played bass on David Bowie's 1970 album The Man Who Sold the World. Since 2015 he has toured the UK, Japan and the USA with the Bowie supergroup Holy Holy, playing the album in its entirety and other early Bowie classics, along with the album's original drummer Mick Woodmansey and other well known musicians. The band have followed this up with later shows in which they perform The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album.

Visconti Studio

In September 2016, Kingston University opened Visconti Studio, a tape-based recording studio in partnership with Visconti, the British Library and the Science Museum.


Albums produced

With T. Rex
  • 1968: My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their BrowsTyrannosaurus Rex
  • 1968: Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels of the Ages – Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • 1969: Unicorn – Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • 1970: A Beard of Stars – Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • 1970: T. Rex
  • 1971: Electric Warrior
  • 1972: Bolan Boogie
  • 1972: The Slider
  • 1973: Tanx
  • 1974: Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow
  • 1981: In Concert – (1971/72 recordings)
With David Bowie
  • 1969: David Bowie
  • 1970: The Man Who Sold the World
  • 1974: David Live
  • 1975: Young Americans
  • 1977: Low
  • 1977: "Heroes"
  • 1978: Stage
  • 1979: Lodger
  • 1980: Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
  • 2002: Heathen
  • 2003: Reality
  • 2013: The Next Day
  • 2016: Blackstar
  • 2018: Welcome To The Blackout (Live London ’78)
With other artists
  • 1969: Battersea Power Station – Junior's Eyes
  • 1969: Maybe Tomorrow – The Iveys
  • 1970: Dragonfly – Strawbs
  • 1970: Gentle Giant – Gentle Giant
  • 1970: Magic Christian Music – Badfinger
  • 1970: Seasons – Magna Carta
  • 1970: Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios (live) – Strawbs
  • 1971: Acquiring the Taste – Gentle Giant
  • 1971: Woman Child – Marsha Hunt
  • 1971: Earth Song, Ocean Song – Mary Hopkin
  • 1971: OsibisaOsibisa
  • 1971: From the Witchwood – Strawbs
  • 1971: Woyaya – Osibisa
  • 1972: Not till Tomorrow - Ralph McTell
  • 1972: Peace Will Come – Tom Paxton
  • 1972: Grave New World – Strawbs
  • 1972: Not Till TomorrowRalph McTell
  • 1973: EasyRalph McTell
  • 1973: Gas Works – Gas Works
  • 1973: Fandangos in Space – Carmen
  • 1973: New Songs For Old Friends (live) – Tom Paxton
  • 1973: World's Apart TogetherThe Sarstedt Brothers
  • 1974: "Easy" - Ralph McTell
  • 1974: Dancing on a Cold Wind – Carmen
  • 1975: Indiscreet – Sparks
  • 1975: Counterpoints – Argent
  • 1977: Better by Far – Caravan
  • 1977: The IdiotIggy Pop
  • 1977: Come Hell or Waters High – Omaha Sheriff
  • 1977: Long Fingers in the Soft Rain – Omaha Sheriff
  • 1977: Bad ReputationThin Lizzy
  • 1978: Down in the Bunker – Steve Gibbons
  • 1978: Live and DangerousThin Lizzy
  • 1979: Black Rose – Thin Lizzy
  • 1979: Rhapsodies – Rick Wakeman
  • 1979: Ghostown – The Radiators
  • 1980: Breaking Glass – Hazel O'Connor
  • 1980: Mondo Bongo – Boomtown Rats
  • 1980: Ashes and Diamonds – Zaine Griff
  • 1981: Afraid of Mice – Afraid of Mice
  • 1981: La folieThe Stranglers
  • 1981: Cover Plus – Hazel O'Connor
  • 1982: V Deep – Boomtown Rats
  • 1982: AnimationJon Anderson
  • 1982: All of a SuddenJohn Hiatt
  • 1983: StagesElaine Paige
  • 1983: Trick of the Light – Modern Romance
  • 1983: Bite – Altered Images
  • 1984: Difford & Tilbrook – Difford & Tilbrook
  • 1984: CinemaElaine Paige
  • 1985: Vive Le Rock – Adam Ant
  • 1985: Love Hurts – Elaine Paige
  • 1985: Burn It! – Modern Romance
  • 1985: Moving MountainsJustin Hayward
  • 1986: Christmas – Elaine Paige
  • 1986: The No Comprendo – Les Rita Mitsouko
  • 1986: The Other Side of LifeThe Moody Blues
  • 1988: Marc & Robert – Rita Mitsouko
  • 1988: Sur la MerThe Moody Blues
  • 1989: Change - The Alarm
  • 1990: Electric Angels – Electric Angels
  • 1993: Elle et LouisLouis Bertignac
  • 1993: Boaphenia – Phillip Boa
  • 1994: God – Phillip Boa
  • 1995: Whatever Makes You Happy – The Dwellers
  • 1997: Do It Yourself – The Seahorses
  • 1997: Plagiarism – Sparks
  • 2001: The Gunman and Other StoriesPrefab Sprout
  • 2001: ¡Viva Nueva! – Rustic Overtones
  • 2003: Stage One – Marizane
  • 2003: Breasticles – Kristeen Young
  • 2003: L'Avventura – Dean & Britta
  • 2004: Beyond Elysian FieldsHugh Cornwell
  • 2004: LifebloodManic Street Preachers
  • 2004: X – Kristeen Young
  • 2005: No Balance PalaceKashmir
  • 2006: Ringleader of the TormentorsMorrissey
  • 2006: The Orphans – Kristeen Young
  • 2007: Djin Djin – Angélique Kidjo
  • 2007: Back Numbers – Dean & Britta
  • 2008: The Bright Lights of AmericaAnti-Flag
  • 2008: Real Animal – Alejandro Escovedo
  • 2009: Music for Strippers, Hookers, and the Odd On-Looker – Kristeen Young
  • 2010: Street Songs of Love – Alejandro Escovedo
  • 2010: You Love YouSemi Precious Weapons
  • 2010: Glow – Richard Barone
  • 2010: Calling All Magicians – Danielle Spencer
  • 2011: The Future Is MedievalKaiser Chiefs
  • 2011: V The Volcanic – Kristeen Young
  • 2012: Manhattanhenge – Debbie Clarke
  • 2012: Big Station – Alejandro Escovedo
  • 2013: Solar Secrets – Capsula
  • 2014: The Knife Shift – Kristeen Young
  • 2014: The Dancing MarquisMarc Almond
  • 2016: Emily's D+EvolutionEsperanza Spalding
  • 2016: Optimist in Black – Daphne Guinness
  • 2018: Evil Spirits - The Damned


  • The Autobiography: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. ISBN 978-0-00-722944-4. With a foreword by Morrissey.


  1. ^ "Bowie producer Tony Visconti claims Adele's voice could have been "manipulated"". Fact. June 8, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Ankeny, Jason (April 24, 1944). "Tony Visconti | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  3. ^ Stars of David: Rock'n'roll's Jewish Stories – Scott R. Benarde – Google Books. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  4. ^ a b Tony Visconti: the Autobiography: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy – Tony Visconti – Google Books. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  5. ^ "Richard Barone – Bar/None Records". Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  6. ^ Jade Wright (31 January 2014). "Say hello again: Mark Almond on how Merseyside roots inspired forthcoming album". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  7. ^ Hiatt, Brian (January 13, 2016). "David Bowie 'Thought He Had a Few More Months,' Says Tony Visconti". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 21, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Bio". Morgan Visconti. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  9. ^ "May Pang is a legend in the Rock n' Roll world". Asiancemagazine. September 1, 2003. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Tony Visconti discography at Discogs
  • Visconti Studio
This page was last modified 12.08.2018 22:04:49

This article uses material from the article Tony Visconti from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.