Behind every great record is a great artist – but invariably a great engineer, who doubles as producer or co-producer.

That’s what struck me watching the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ documentary last night on BBC4.

The man in question with Bowie’s albums during that 70s period, including Ziggy, was Ken Scott.

He learned his craft at Abbey Road, notably with the Beatles, and then was resident engineer at Trident Studios, also in London.

Ken didn’t feature much in the programme – such people rarely do.

But though not a household name, his skills and those of engineer/producers from that era were key to helping recording  artists achieve their sound and vision.

A few days ago, I tweeted an obituary link for another key figure in the world of sound recording, who departed this week.

Keith Grant was synonomous with Olympic Studios in Barnes, West London.

From the mid-60s to its closure in 2009, Olympic was the venue for some of the great recordings of popular music.

Without such men and their expertise, we wouldn’t be listening to albums like ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardustand the Spiders From Mars’ in quite the same way all these years later.

If you’re interested in this unique breed of musical magicians, Ken Scott has a new book out about his life in the recording industry.

Ken Scott – Abbey Road To Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie – Moonage Daydream

Ken Scott – Ziggy Stardust interview

Keith Grant – obituary

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