Legendary Producer Says There’s No Point in Making ‘World-Class Records’ Anymore, Says Future Is in Live Music. tt

“It doesn’t matter how good the record is.”

Legendary Producer Says There's No Point in Making 'World-Class Records' Anymore, Says Future Is in Live Music

Famous producer and engineer Max Norman pointed out that, with the current state of the music industry, there’s no real point in making “world-class records.”

During his career, Norman has worked with some of the biggest names in rock music. Most notably, he co-produced Ozzy Osbourne’s debut album “Blizzard of Ozz” with the band members after initially being hired to work as an engineer under Chris Tsangarides. His other works also include Y&T, Armoured Saint, Lizzy Borden, Loudness, and many others.

“Nobody’s making world-class records because…”

But as he said during a recent appearance on the “Talk Louder” podcast, he feels like there’s really no point in making great records. And it’s simply because no one will care anymore.

“The problem now is people can’t make world-class records because there’s 10,000 records a day coming out or whatever,” Norman said (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar). “So nobody’s making world-class records because nobody gives a shit.”

“Because it doesn’t matter how good the record is. Only fucking two people are gonna listen to it anyway.”

“And they’re both related to you,” Max added with a laugh.

The Future is Live

But despite this, he isn’t all that pessimistic about the future of music as a whole. Although, in his opinion, making albums isn’t worth it anymore, the live music offers a lot of opportunities in many forms. As he continued:

“I’m trying to think where the industry is going and where it’s happening. To me, there’s a lot more activity of live stuff. And to me, it shows that there’s a lot of longevity in live performance. Whether it be a cover band, whether it be a tribute band, or an original band.”

“And I think tribute and cover bands are huge now,” he added. “Fucking huge. They’re so huge that Kiss now can become a cover band of itself and keep going. They don’t want to pay anybody, so they’re gonna use computers. Whether that’ll work out or not, I don’t know. Maybe AI can help them.”

But Kiss and their post-retirement ideas aside, Norman said that live shows have a special kind of magic which comes with huge potential in many forms.

“Maybe the future, or some of the future of music, is live performance,” he argued. “And I was thinking — maybe I should just put a whole rig together in a little van or truck and just go out and just punch, just kept performances from these clubs.”

“Just go out and get all these and just keep pumping them out. Just fucking live mix them, don’t fuck with them too much, fix the shit that needs fixing a little bit.”

“On the record, it’s all kind of sterilized”

“But then bang them out because intrinsically, those things can’t be reproduced. I remember — years ago, I used to love the live albums because you can really hear the guys play, and you can really hear how good everybody was. On the record, it’s all kind of sterilized and in the right place. And you knew what the song was. You didn’t necessarily get the real character of these players until you go to see them live.

In conclusion, Norman said:

“So these actually are now becoming very special events because everybody’s trying to computerize everything. So I see, maybe there’s a good opportunity there to actually just start going out — fucking mic it up, press record, just record the whole fucking evening, have a few beers, quick mix a next day. Bang — put it out.”

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