Ah, the ‘90s! If you were an England football fan it was a decade that started out with so much promise, but how quickly those hopes were dashed when, four years later, they were nowhere to be seen on the world stage.
The same cannot be said for the music, however. The early ‘90s saw an explosion of great albums from Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica. The trend continued with the rise and subsequent fall of Britpop from ‘95, and the rise and rise of hip-hop, with the likes of Eminem smashing it into the late ‘90s.
There was so much more and we could go on, but that’s not why we’re here. No, this is a celebration of those who crafted and coaxed the sounds from these artists, and brought them to the masses in the form of some great albums (remember those?).
So, without further ado, click through our gallery to find out who were the best music producers of the ‘90s, as nominated and voted for by you, our dearest MusicRadar users.
10. Teddy Riley
Teddy Riley is credited with the creation of one of the in sounds of the decade, new jack swing, with his group Guy. It’s perhaps as part of Blackstreet that we’ll remember him best, though.
His other production credits in the ‘90s included Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, on the recommendation of long time collaborator and producer Quincy Jones, plus albums for Nate Dogg, Jay-Z and Wreckx-N-Effect.
9. Bob Rock
Often referred to as the fifth member of Metallica, it was Bob Rock who helped to take the Bay Area thrashers into the stratosphere with one of the biggest albums of the decade and perhaps their whole career, the Black album.
Of course, he didn’t keep his production skills to just one band. During the rest of the decade his work could be heard on albums from the likes of The Cult, David Lee Roth, Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Mötley Crew and even Cher.
8. Brendan O'Brien
Brendan O’Brien’s sonic stamp could be found all over the US alt rock scene in the ‘90s, with production credits for the likes of the Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam. Some of his heavier productions were for the likes of Rage Against the Machine, Kings X and Korn.
7. Mark 'Flood' Ellis
Despite engineering on previous albums, Flood first took the production reigns on U2’s Zooropa alongside Brian Eno, and then on his own on the band’s ‘96 album, Pop.
He also achieved mainstream commercial success in the ‘90s with a string of other bands and artists, including Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Smashing Pumpkins, PJ Harvey and Tom Jones.
6. William Orbit
William Orbit has been responsible for a fair few productions down the years, but perhaps one of his biggest successes came when he helped Madonna take a new creative direction during the making of her 1998 album, Ray of Light.
His work on the album helped to introduce the world of electronica into mainstream pop culture. The record was hugely successful, reaching number one in a number of countries, and won four Grammys, including Best Pop Album.
5. Steve Albini
Nirvana had a big task on their hands when they set about writing the follow-up to the seminal Nevermind. Although it could be argued that the man responsible for producing the album had just as hard a job.
Enter Steve Albini, whose work with the Pixies, The Jesus Lizard and The Wedding Present (among others) stood him in good stead for taking on such a herculean task.
Alas, it was not the band or even the pressure of the situation that proved to be an issue, but wranglings with label bosses. This was recounted by Albini, who went on to say that it was an ugly period that nearly bankrupted him. Still, he lived to tell the tale and even got to remix the album for the remastered version in 2004.
4. Nigel Godrich
Despite production credits for the likes of Beck, Pavement and Travis during the ‘90s, Godrich is probably best remembered for his work with Radiohead.
He’s often referred to as the sixth member of the band, and has produced every studio album since OK Computer, having previously assisted in the production of The Bends and My Iron Lung EP.
3. Butch Vig
Pretty much all of Butch Vig’s work is probably eclipsed by one album. It’s an album that had such an impact on his career that he is often known as the Nevermind man.
The Wisconsin-born drummer and producer brought a slicker approach to Nirvana's second recording by adding overdubs and double-tracked vocals. This, perhaps, went slightly against the punk ethic of grunge and represented a departure from the lo-fi production on the Bleach album.
2. Dr Dre
Andre Romelle Young shot to stardom in N.W.A. and forged a career as a solo artist, producer, label owner and entrepreneur after leaving the group.
Not only has he produced artists such as Snoop Dogg, 2-Pac, Eazy E, Nate Dogg, Eminem, Nas and many more, but he’s also had great influence on other producers, including Daz Dillinger and Warren-G, who just happens to be his step brother.
Dre’s production credits in the ‘90s made him a strong contender for the top spot, but he was just pipped to the post by our eventual winner.
1. Rick Rubin
Big Rick tops the chart as your favourite music producer of the ‘90s - and it’s not hard to see why.
Throughout his career, Rubin has worked with an eclectic range of bands and artists, and that’s precisely what he did during the ‘90s. Everyone from The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Danzig to Mick Jagger, Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash, Slayer and Tom Petty benefited from his golden touch, making him a worthy winner of our poll.