There are more than just musicians behind a great-sounding album. No matter how well they play, or how good the songs are, it doesn’t mean much if the recording doesn’t capture them the right way.
And, when it came to many of Billy Joel’s most iconic albums, the person responsible for shaping much of their sound was Jim.
Billy Joel, along with the Lords of 52nd Street and others put some great performances down on tape working with producer Phil Ramone and his crew. And, a crucial member of that team was Jim Boyer.
As an engineer, Jim was responsible for capturing the performances, which were often played by the full band live in the studio. Then, as mixer, he blended all those elements into the great-sounding records we all know today.
After years in the studio with Billy, Paul Simon, and many others, Jim moved into a different part of the music business when he co-founded Double Helix, a CD pressing plant. Then, he returned to mixing – first by doing sound at live music events, and then back to studio recordings.
Jim passed away on June 15, 2022, at the age of 71. But, along with the legacy he left on countless hit records, his legend lives on through the stories his friends remember and the impact he had on their lives.
For this episode, we spoke with Larry Franke and Bradshaw Leigh, two members of Phil Ramone’s production team that worked on several Billy Joel albums, as well as working with many other artists.
They’ll share their memories of Jim as a friend, his work in the studio, his impact on the music industry, and what it was like recording dozens of records in the 1970s and 80s.
Join us as we dig deep into the life and work of Jim Boyer.
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Produced by Michael Grosvenor & Jack Firneno for Groove Music Marketing