Glyn Johns Describes The Recording Of The Seminal “Who’s Next”

Glyn Johns on Bobby Owsinski's Production BlogI’ve always been a huge Who fan and just as big a fan of producer/engineer Glyn Johns’ work. This video is from an interview at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, November 19, 2012, and focuses on the recording of the seminal Who’s Next.

What’s especially interesting is how many of the main parts in several songs were actually lifted from Pete Townshend’s demos, and the band played to the parts when tracking. Also, some interesting tidbits about Keith Moon’s drum tuning.

Glyn is a great mixer as well. The remixed version of Who’s Next never got close to the power of the original despite our modern tools. I remember a story from Jack Joseph Puig (Glyn’s former assistant) where a client asked Glyn to turn the bass a little louder in the mix. Glyn pulled all the faders down and started from scratch and had the mix in 5 minutes. He claimed it was just easier for him to start from the beginning rather than doing tweaks.

Glyn was also one of the 5 original Beatles engineers, famously working on the Let It Be album, which wasn’t released until years later (the Phil Spector version is the one that everyone remembers). But even though he worked on Eric Clapton’s Slowhand and the first two Eagles albums as well as well as with modern artists like Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, and Kings of Leon, it’s Who’s Next that he’ll be remembered for.

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