Tony Visconti on producing with Bowie: Intuition, mind-reading and 48 years of experience

"It's hard to say who did what."
"It's hard to say who did what." (Image credit: Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock)

At the end of a year that saw so many musical giants pass, Tony Visconti has been shedding some light on the nuts and bolts of his working relationship with perhaps the brightest star to leave the stage, David Bowie.

After being unveiled as joint winner with Bowie of MusicRadar's producer of the year vote for his work on the latter's Blackstar album, Visconti spoke to the official Bowie website.

"We were always a very intuitive team," said Visconti. "We almost read each other's minds. A big part of production is pre-production and each album always started with meetings, phone calls and more recently with Facetime, David's preferred method of remote communication.

We were always a very intuitive team. We almost read each other's minds

"Many meetings took place at least six months before Blackstar was recorded. There were several demo sessions where my original bass parts were used for the final recordings of Blackstar and the Lazarus musical.

"It's hard to say who did what, except that I play the more traditional role as in hands on recording, arranging, playing, singing backing vocals and mixing. David was, of course, a truly great ideas man. He was a great coach when I was playing or singing. He was a great coach to Donny McCaslin and the band."

For more of this fascinating insight into the making of Blackstar, and other co-productions, head over to the official Bowie website now.

Bowie and Visconti on stage in London, March 1970 (Ray Stevenson/REX/Shutterstock)

MusicRadar Team

MusicRadar is the number 1 website for music makers of all kinds, be they guitarists, drummers, keyboard players, djs or producers...

  • GEAR: We help musicians find the best gear with top-ranking gear round-ups and high- quality, authoritative reviews by a wide team of highly experienced experts.
  • TIPS: We also provide tuition, from bite-sized tips to advanced work-outs and guidance from recognised musicians and stars.
  • STARS: We talk to musicians and stars about their creative processes, and the nuts and bolts of their gear and technique. We give fans an insight into the actual craft of music making that no other music website can.