Influential British musician and record producer Martin Rushent — who helmed The Human League’s genre-defining 1981 album Dare, as well as beloved post-punk/New Wave-era records and singles by The Stranglers, Buzzcocks, XTC, The Go-Go’s and more — died Saturday. He was 63.
Rushent’s son Tim announced his father’s passing on Facebook (“Sleep tight Dad. x”), while another son, James, set up a Martin Rushent Memories group on Facebook for friends and fans to talk about the man that one friend called “a larger than life character that would always help me out if I was stuck, he had a great heart and would always be just a phone call away if I needed advice.”
Although he started out in the early ’70s engineering records by T. Rex, Fleetwood Mac and Yes, Rushent made his name with post-punk and synthpop groups — and most notably with The Human League’s synthpop landmark Dare and its remix companion Love and Dancing. As Tim Rushent wrote in posting a video of “Love Action” on his Facebook page, “When he produced this (in a dodgy old asbestos bungalow in Berkshire) Virgin were releasing it the moment the masters arrived back from The Town House. The music was that hot. Enjoy it .. because he did!”
Former Stranglers frontman Hugh Cornwell chimed in today, too, offering his memories of the man who produced his band’s first three albums: “It is with great sadness that I hear of Martin Rushent’s passing. He was a vibrant and gifted individual who was able to extract the essence of what The Stranglers began with, and translate it into something that could be played on radios across the UK. It was obviously no one-off success, as he was later to show with The Human League. I remember him fondly…..”
Below, we’ve collected a pair of videos Rushent posted to his MySpace page about himself and his studio in 2007 and 2008, as well as some of his best-known production work: The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” and “Mirror Man,” The Stranglers’ “Peaches,” Buzzcocks’ “Orgasm Addict” and Pete Shelley’s “Homosapien.”
See videos of Martin Rushent and his work after the jump…