Richard James Burgess

Richard James Burgess (actually Richard Burgess ) is a British music producer, music manager, drummer, synthesizer programmer, composer, writer and inventor. He produced the first two albums of the New Romantic band Spandau Ballet and the New Wave band King and the first album of the House musician Colonel Abrams. He coined the term New Romantic and played in the British bands and Easy Street Landscape and numerous studio recordings drums. He is among the pioneers in the use of samples and was one of the first users of Hardwaresequenzern in popular music. He wrote the industry-standard The Art of Record Production, which is now used in many music colleges. He developed along with Dave Simmons electronic drums in his well-known form today.


Burgess was born in London and spent his childhood and youth in Christchurch, after his family emigrated to New Zealand in the 1960s. He was thrilled at the age of 2 years of all kinds of percussive music produced and got from a fellow musician with the family at the age of 6 years, given a ukulele. At 14, he made ​​the decision to become a drummer and bought his first drum set. Already about a week later he graduated first live appearances and practiced like a man possessed, sometimes 8 to 12 hours a day. His first band experience was gained in the local bands Fred Henry, Orange, The Lordships and Barry Saunders. He was influenced at this time mainly by Mitch Mitchell and Ginger Baker. After about a year's stay in Australia he joined in 1971 the New Zealand jazz - rock band Quincy Conserve and worked on his first compositions. In addition, he worked as a studio musician for local New Zealand artists. In order to expand his musical horizons, he left in April 1972 New Zealand again to study with Alan Dawson at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.


He studied there in 1972 for two semesters arrangement and composition, finishing 1973 at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London a course for percussion instruments and timpani, xylophone and vibraphone. Burgess is Ph.D. the University of Glamorgan. Self-taught, the music he worked with drummers Alan Dawson, Peter Ind, Tony Oxley and James Blades and David Arnold. Side knowledge of the music industry, he acquired mainly at Berklee as a student of Alan Dawson.


After his time in Boston he moved in 1973 to Britain, where he played alongside his studies, first at Bernie Egan Trio, in the soft rock band Easy Street and briefly in the nucleus. About Bernie Egan, he met his son, Rusty Egan, know the future drummer of the band Rich Kids and Visage, who learned to play the drums at Burgess. He also belonged to the British National Jazz Orchestra. In 1973, he meets John Walters know and founded in 1975 with his British Synthie-Pop/Jazz-Formation Landscape. Landscape established themselves as avant-garde musicians through many live performances and two published under its own label Event Horizon Enterprises EPs in several years a fan base before Burgess and Walters computer discovered for himself and in 1980 RCA debut album Landscape was published without commercial success. Burgess co-produced, co-wrote, programmed, sang and played drums on the second album From the Tea-rooms of Mars ... to the Hell Holes of Uranus, in 1981 the hits Einstein A Go Go and Norman Bates contained. In 1982, after a pause, the required Burgess for the production of the first two albums by Spandau Ballet, published album Manhattan Boogie -woogie marked the last album the band broke up in 1984.

In his career as a studio musician, he played for Barbara Dickson and on the albums The Age of Plastic by Buggles and Strip by Adam Ant drums. As a solo artist under contract with Capitol Records in 1984, he brought with Breathless a single in the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play charts. He also took the British National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz musicians Neil Ardley and Ian Carr on plates and played with Graham Collier. He also plays with jazz pianist Mickey Basil.

In 2002 he founded with guitarist Tony Fazio Blue Band Electrofied. He composed and produced for the band and plays drums there.


In the early 1980s he became known on the New Romantic movement as a producer, because he was involved in the first two albums, the first six singles and numerous maxi-singles and remixes of the band Spandau Ballet and thus helped them to several gold records. The British performance troupe Shock, the first single Angel Eyes produced for the Burgess along with Rusty Egan, also is counting on to this fashion movement and members of this group (including Barbie Wilde, Richard Pereno ) occur in the first music videos of the early New Romantic bands.

In addition he produced for Spandau Ballet, Adam Ant, King before he moved to the U.S. and there New Edition, Melba Moore, Colonel Abrams and produced America. Burgess has also produced for Kim Wilde, Five Star, Tony Banks of Genesis, and Fish of Marillion, Living in a Box, Princess, Virginia Astley, Errol Brown of Hot Chocolate, Heroes ( a side project of Wang Chung ), When in Rome and Shriekback ( Barry Andrew's band after he left XTC ). His production of the debut album for the British group Praise is one of the pioneering works of the New Age / Ambient.

He produced and remixed under the pseudonym Caleb Kadesh also bands from the gothic scene. As a producer, engineer and mixer, he worked at the albums of the bands Rubicon and CNN or XC -NN (1992 by Tim Bricheno, ex- The Sisters of Mercy, founded ) with. Under the pseudonym of Cadillac Jack, he appeared only as a remixer.

The Billboard Magazine honored him and founded with Waters of Burgess Production Company Heisenberg International in its issue of August 16, 1986 a multi-page article, written by John Tobler.

Burgess won as a producer a selling price of the magazine Music Week. He has created twenty-four chart singles and fourteen hit albums.

Burgess mixed and remixed parts of the soundtracks for the movies 9 ½ Weeks and About Last Night. He also worked for artists such as Thomas Dolby, Lou Reed, Youssou N'Dour and Lura.


He defined the roles of programmer and sampler in modern music through his work in the 1970s, by composing the first computer- driven hit, Landscape Einstein A Go-Go 's, with the Roland MC-8 Micro Composer. He was also one of the first musicians who used the Fairlight CMI samples from commercial recordings. First samples have been programmed on the album Never Forever Kate Bush or the single Fade to Grey Visage of the band in 1980 by Burgess.

He konzeptuierte and co - designed with Dave Simmons, the first independent electronic drums, the hexagonal Simmons SDS -V. Simmons developed the layout for the electronics and Burgess the drum pads. This drum is heard for the first time on the Landscape single Einstein A Go Go, and shortly thereafter on the Spandau Ballet Chant No.1 single.

He entered three times in the television series Tomorrow's World BBC and demonstrated there the prototype of the electronic drum set, the use of the Roland MC-8 Micro Composer in pop music and the use of the first digital sampling engine, the Fairlight CMI.

Burgess has defined the term New Romantic fashion movement of the early 1980s, which was previously referred to in the press as a flash -Kids or cult with no name.

His productions for Colonel Abrams in New York and awarded gold discs Singles Trapped and I'm Not Gonna Let commonly referred to as precursor of House Music.

Awards and achievements

With the electronic avant-garde formation Accord he performed on radio broadcasts Music In Our Time and improvisation workshop at BBC Radio 3. He was selected to play in the British National Youth Jazz Orchestra, won the prize of the Greater London Arts Association 's Young Jazz Musicians, the Vitavox Live Sound Award and was nominated for the Park Lane Group Purcell Room Concert Series of the British Arts Council. He has an entry in The A to Z of Rock Drummers.

Music manager and author

In 1978 he founded the company in London Heisenberg Ltd.. , Which in 1981 extended to Heisenberg International, based in London with John Waters and in 1984 was followed by an American branch in Los Angeles. Burgess was to 1986 president of this company. Among the employed by Heisenberg International engineers included Phill Brown ( Spirit of Eden by Talk Talk, Trail of Stars by The Walkabouts ), Andrew Jackson ( The Wall by Pink Floyd, I Do not Like Mondays by The Boomtown Rats ), Adam Moseley ( look Sharp Roxette, Animal Magic and Digging Your Scene by the Blow Monkeys ) and Frank Roszak ( Living in a Box Living in a Box, West End Girls by the Pet Shop Boys, Get Even by Brother Beyond ).

In 1986, he founded the company Burgess World Co. and has been president of the company. The agency initially looked only music producers and engineers and was enlarged in 1990 to an artist's studio with an attached agency, the record label Marva Records and a booking agency and a consulting firm for the music industry. The company is based in Mayo, Maryland.

As a radio journalist, he hosted the show Let There Be Drums of the BBC World Service. He has taught percussion at the Annapolis Music School in Maryland and currently teaches classes in plate production and the music industry at the Omega Studios ' School of Applied Recording Arts And Sciences.

Burgess since 2001, sales and marketing director for the company Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and Smithsonian Global Sound. Since 2009 he is director of staff development at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He is director of the Producers and Engineers Wing and was Governor of the Washington division of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences ( NARAS ), which gives the Grammy Award since 1959.


Discography (selection)

  • Easy Street Easy Street (LP, Capricorn Records, 1976)
  • Under the Glass ( LP, Polydor, 1977)
  • U2XME1X2MUCH (EP, Event Horizon Enterprises, 1977)
  • Workers Playtime (EP, Event Horizon Enterprises, 1978)
  • Landscape (LP, RCA, 1980)
  • From the tea rooms of Mars ... to the Hell Holes of Uranus (LP, RCA, 1981)
  • Manhattan Boogie -woogie (LP, RCA, 1982)
  • Breathless (LP, Capitol Records, 1984)
  • Sunday Morning Blues ( CD, 2006)
  • Live performances (CD, 2007)
  • Bad Case of the Blues ( CD, Marva Records, 2009)
  • Shock - Angel Face / R.E.R.B. ( Maxi - Single, RCA Records, 1980)
  • Shock - Dynamo Beat / Dream Games ( maxi-single, RCA Records, 1981)
  • Spandau Ballet - Journeys to Glory (LP, Chrysalis Records, 1981)
  • Spandau Ballet - Diamond (LP, Chrysalis Records, 1982)
  • Adam Ant - Strip (LP, CBS Records, 1983)
  • New Edition - New Edition (LP, RCA Records, 1984)
  • America - Perspective (LP, Capitol Records, 1984)
  • King - Steps In Time (LP, CBS Records, 1984)
  • King - Bitter Sweet (LP, CBS Records, 1985)
  • Colonel Abrams - Colonel Abrams (LP, MCA Records, 1985)
  • Melba Moore - Read my Lips ( LP, Capitol Records, 1985)
  • Kim Wilde - Another Step (LP, MCA Records, 1986)
  • Five Star - Silk & Steel (LP, RCA Records, 1986)
  • Five Star - Between the Lines (LP, RCA Records, 1987)
  • Living in a Box - Living in a Box ( LP, Chrysalis Records, 1987)
  • Eighth Wonder - Fearless (LP, CBS Records, 1988)
  • Shriekback - Go Bang! (LP, Iceland Records, 1988)
  • When in Rome - When in Rome (LP, Ten Records, 1988)
  • When in Rome - More Than 12 Inch (LP, Ten Records, 1989)
  • Heroes - Here we are (LP, RCA Records, 1990)
  • Praise - Dream On (LP, WEA Records, 1992)
  • Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Soft Vengeance (LP, Virgin Records, 1996)