Influential Brit music producer of Human League, Buzzcocks
Producer Martin Rushent, a major player on the English punk and post-punk scene of the ’70s and ’80s, died of unknown causes June 4. He was 63.Rushent got his start in the early ’70s as an engineer, manning the board on such rock projects as T. Rex’s “Electric Warrior” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Future Games.” As a staff producer at UA, he oversaw Shirley Bassey’s recordings, but soon moved into harder-edged material. He produced the Buzzcocks’ early albums “Another Music in a Different Kitchen,” “Love Bites” and “A Different Kind of Tension” and the quartet’s classic pop-punk singles. He also helmed the Stranglers’ “Rattus Novegicus,” “No More Heroes” and “Black and White” and the group’s first 45s. Rushent’s biggest commercial success came in 1982, when synth-pop act the Human League’s album “Dare” became an international bestseller and spawned the No. 1 U.S. hit “Don’t You Want Me.” Rushent later created one of the first remix albums, “Love and Dancing,” from the album’s basic tracks. He started up his own Berkshire-based studio and like-named label, Genetic, which issued early sides by such ’80s New Romantic acts as Visage and Spandau Ballet. He also worked with such punk and new wave acts as Billy Idol’s Generation X, the Go-Go’s and Altered Images, and produced Buzzcocks vocalist Pete Shelley’s solo album “Homosapien.” In the early ’90s, Rushent explored the rave scene with the establishment of Gush at the Newbury, Berkshire, airfield. Most recently, he produced the second album by the girl group the Pipettes. Survivors include his wife Ceri.