Shook me all night long: best songs produced by Robert “Mutt” Lange

Slade reconfigured by the makers of Schwarzenegger’s Terminator — that’s my description. From the sampled chants and drums at the beginning of one of Billy Ocean’s biggest pop hits (later sampled in “Pour Some Sugar on Me”) to the arena theatrics of his collaborations with former wife Shania Twain, Robert “Mutt” Lange has been loud and proud, fluent in chants and synthesizers, in the calling shade on stupid guys as triumphalist gestures, in orgasm as cybernetic noise. He settled into formula without fuss: AC/DC to Maroon 5 in thirty years and not a single cry of “Dated!” I tend to imagine U2 sending feelers and Mutt being like, “Uh, no, dude, I’d rather work on ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much.'” According to Bono or apocrypha, the band rode in a limo through America (this is U2) during the Rattle and Hum era when “Pour Some Sugar on Me” blasted from the radio, embarrassing the band — this is what they wanted to sound like.

Still, the career has wrinkles. I didn’t know he remixed an early XTC nugget and worked on Graham Parker’s second album, or on Dionne Warwick’s 1985 sleeper. He seems to have retired, but, gad, even with the alimony he had to give to Shania he’s richer than Prince Philip.

1. Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me
2. The Corrs – Breathless
3. Billy Ocean – When The Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going)
4. Shania Twain – Man! I Feel Like a Woman
5. Foreigner – Urgent
6. The Cars – You Might Think
7. Bryan Adams – Can’t Stop This Thing We Started
8. Huey Lewis and the News – It Hit Me Like a Hammer
9. Def Leppard – Dogs of War
10. AC/DC – Back in Black
11. Def Leppard – Hysteria
12. XTC – This Is Pop
13. Graham Parker – Turned Up Too Late
14. Shania Twain – If You’re Not in It for Love) I’m Outta Here!
15. Britney Spears – Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know
16. Maroon 5 – Give a Little More
17. AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long
18. Carrie Underwood – Who Are You
19. Def Leppard – Photograph
20. Dionne Warwick – Without Your Love

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2 Responses to Shook me all night long: best songs produced by Robert “Mutt” Lange

  1. John says:

    Bono – activist and lead singer for Irish superstars U2 – reminisced in the book “U2 At the End of the World” about the time he spent hitchhiking through Tennessee with the band’s bassist Adam Clayton during the gestation period of “Rattle and Hum.”
    The two musicians were picked-up by a kid playing Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” The driver did not immediately recognize his famous passengers, but after he did, he stuck a U2 tape into the car’s stereo.
    The sonic difference left Bono nonplussed.
    “Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me,’ to me is one of the first industrial records,” author Bill Flanagan quotes Bono as saying.
    ……
    A shame you fell so easily for the false version of that story.

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