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This man’s The Hit Man
He may be a control freak, but so what, says producer David Foster
by Christopher Toh – 04:45 AM Nov 20, 2012 – http://www.todayonline.com
SINGAPORE – Greatness is something that musician-producer David Foster is familiar with. After all, his nickname is The Hit Man, derived because he has scored so many hits, as well as helped some artistes get their big break (think Michael Buble, Jackie Evancho, Celine Dion). Or, as was the case with rock group, Chicago, rejuvenated their career. But the 16-time Grammy winner said the moniker isn’t entirely accurate.
“My track record is terrible. You can’t have a hit every time,” he said. “There have been many artistes who I’ve missed with. It’s very hard on the psyche, because you make a record, it becomes a hit; you make another one, it’s a hit and (so on), and then you do it again and it doesn’t become a hit, and you have to go, ‘Why?'”
His Midas Touch didn’t work on Bruce Hornsby, for instance. “He’s a fantastic artiste (but) I tried for a year to get him a record deal and nobody would sign him,” he recalled. “And I told him, ‘I’m sorry Bruce, I can’t help you, take my demos and see what you can do’. And then boom, (his career) took off.”
Foster doesn’t mind taking the blame when things don’t work out, if only “because I take a lot of the credit when it does become a hit”, he stated, matter-of-factly.
Just don’t interfere while he works. “It always works best that way. When an artiste starts looking under the hood, and they start to get in my way, then it doesn’t work,” he shared. “Yes, that makes me a control freak. But that’s fine. I’ll own that. Some say, ‘Hey man, this is my album, and I’m the boss …’ Well, if you’re going to be the boss, then don’t hire me, because I want to be the boss.”
That sometimes rubs people the wrong way. “Chicago (is) still annoyed with me, because I took control. But they forget that when I came into their lives, they were selling no records.”
Foster produced their 1982 album, Chicago 16, which spawned the hit, Hard To Say I’m Sorry, as well as the hits that followed immediately after – You’re The Inspiration, Hard Habit To Break and Will You Still Love Me.
“And boom, they were on top again. They’re just annoyed that I took over and I was a control freak. But what are you doing to do?” Foster shrugged.
Although Foster’s musical experience and portfolio is large – he’s also the chairman of the Verve Music Group – the 63-year-old said he preferred to “to stay in my own lane” when it comes to producing music.
“I think the love song is still what I do best,” he elaborated. “Some people think that’s annoying and some people think it is elevator music, but I don’t care.
“I’m very commercially driven. I’m interested in the masses; I’m not interested in making music for 5,000 people. I don’t care what critics say. I’d rather make a record that everybody buys but the critics hate.”
Foster’s latest projects, The Best Of Celine Dion & David Foster, and Rod Stewart’s Merry Christmas, Baby, are available in stores now. For the full interview, visit Poparazzi (http://blogs.todayonline.com/poparazzi)