In 1985 Thomas played a critical part in achieving a worldwide breakthrough for Australian band INXS. He has also had a large involvement in the success of Pulp, Razor light (although their actual success is debatable!) and Elton John.

Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre really came to prominence through his work with Eminem and is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and a former co-owner and artist of Death Row Records.

It is through those labels that he found himself working on records for high-profile rappers Snoop Dogg and Slim Shady; as he is credited as a key figure in the popularisation of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats.

He began his music career in a few gangster rap bands before releasing a solo album, The Chronic, on Death Row Records which resulted in him being one of the best-selling American performing artists of 1993. From there he left Death Row to found his own label Aftermath Entertainment, producing a compilation album, Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath, in 1996, and releasing a solo album titled 2001, in 1999, for which he won the Grammy producer's award the next year.

However, in recent year Dre has focused his attention on other artists, and it’s a well known fact that if you get in with Dr Dre, you’re guaranteed to get noticed in the rap industry.

It's impossible to cram the list of his recent successes into such a short space; but the most prominent ones have to be Family Affair by R&B singer Mary J. Blige, the debut 50 Cent album; Get Rich or Die Tryin', and L.A.X for The Game. He is also behind hits from Jay-Z, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Eve, as well as the duet between Eve and Gwen Stefani - Let Me Blow Ya Mind.

John Hammond

Proving just how incredible his sense of talent was; in 1933 he heard a 17-year-old Billie Holiday perform in Harlem and immediately arranged for her recording debut; on a Benny Goodman session. Four years later, he heard the Count Basie orchestra broadcasting from Kansas City and brought it to New York, where it began to receive national attention.

After he returned from serving in the military during World War II, Hammond felt unmoved by the bebop jazz scene of the mid-1940s and rejoined Columbia Records in the late 1950s where he discovered the incredible Aretha Franklin, who, at the time, was an eighteen year-old gospel singer.

In 1961, he heard folk singer Bob Dylan playing harmonica on a session for Carolyn Hester and signed him to Columbia, much to the annoyance of the executives, who clearly didn't see the star quality shining as brightly as Hammond. He produced Dylan's early recordings, "Blowin' in the Wind" and "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall."

Although he retired from Columbia in 1975, he continued to scout for talent and signed Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen and guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan to their attention. Thank goodness for that!

FemaleFirst - Ruth Harrison



  1. by Harry Leckstein, Freeport 18th Dec 2008 18:40

    What a great list - hard to narrow it down to the top 5 with so many greats out there but that lot would have to be in my top 10.

  2. by Sammy 22nd Dec 2008 00:02

    WTF! Does the name Phil Spector sound at all familiar?

  3. by Jack Jackson 22nd Dec 2008 01:22

    Phil Spector?
    George Martin?

    Both easily belong in the Top 5. Perhaps the Top 2. Your list is bogus.

  4. by Jack Gander 22nd Dec 2008 04:37

    I won't fault your choice as such, given that these lists are always subjective, but I'm curious about your criteria. John Hammond, for example, is undoubtedly a pivotal figure in popul... Read More

  5. by Tom 22nd Dec 2008 05:17

    the music mutt lange has produced is best used to torture detainees at Guantánamo. brian eno, daniel lanois, george martin, jimmy miller, kenneth gamble & leon huff, curtis mayfield, n... Read More