Tag Archives: The Smithereens

TunesDay: what is, what was and what almost was – the S&R interview with Don Dixon

I’ve been a very big Don Dixon fan since the late ’70s, so when his new CD, The Nu-Look, dropped I was bouncing around the living room like Snoopy doing a happy dance. Sadly, a lot of people don’t know Don’s music – although many know his work as the producer of Murmur and Reckoning by REM and multiple records from The Smithereens and Guadalcanal Diary (as well as stuff from Chris Stamey, Beat Rodeo, Kim Carnes, The Connells, Marshall Crenshaw, Hootie & the Blowfish, Tommy Keene, Let’s Active, James McMurtry, The Pinetops, The Reivers, Matthew Sweet and X-Teens).

The new disc marks something of a departure. Read more

22 Questions with Don Dixon

In my not-so-humble estimation, Don Dixon is one of the four or five best producers alive. He’s twiddled the knobs for Kim Carnes, The Connells, Marshall Crenshaw, Pat DiNizio, Emmet Swimming, Guadalcanal Diary, The Pinetops, James McMurtry, The Windbreakers, Moxy Früvous, Marti Jones, Let’s Active, The Spongetones, Chris Stamey and Matthew Sweet, to name a few. He co-produced Tommy Keene’s Songs From the Film. He produced four Smithereens records, including their amazing debut, Especially for You. And he co-produced, along with Mitch Easter, R.E.M.’s Murmur, which many critics (myself included) rate as one of the best albums in history.

As the All-Music Guide notes, “Dixon also enjoyed a cult following as a solo performer.” Sigh.

It’s sad that he’s never enjoyed a lot of commercial success as a performer in his own right, despite the fact that most of his own work is substantially better than almost anything he has produced for other artists. Read more