John Leckie is an English record producer and recording engineer. His production credits include Magazine’s Real Life (1978), XTC’s White Music (1978) and Dukes of Stratosphear’s 25 O’Clock (1985), the Stone Roses’ The Stone Roses (1989), Radiohead’s The Bends (1995), Cast’s All Change (1995), Muse’s Origin of Symmetry (2001) and the Levellers’ We the Collective (2018).
Leckie began work at Abbey Road Studios on 15 February 1970 as a tape operator, later graduating to balance engineer and record producer. During his early career he worked as a tape operator with artists such as George Harrison (All Things Must Pass), John Lennon (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band) and Syd Barrett (Barrett). He moved up to the desk to be balance engineer for Pink Floyd (Meddle and Wish You Were Here), for Mott The Hoople’s album Mott and Paul McCartney and Wings’ Red Rose Speedway and the single “Hi, Hi, Hi”. Other engineering sessions at Abbey Road at this time were with Roy Harper, Soft Machine, Sammy Hagar, Jack Rieley’s Western Justice album and the last recordings with Syd Barrett.
His first job as producer was Be-Bop Deluxe’s third album Sunburst Finish, a collaboration which continued with Modern Music, Live! In The Air Age and Drastic Plastic. In 1977 Leckie produced The Adverts’ Crossing the Red Sea with The Adverts, Magazine’s Real Life, and Doctors of Madness’ Figments of Emancipation.
Leckie left Abbey Road in 1978 and produced albums for Simple Minds (Life in a Day, Real to Real Cacophony and Empires and Dance). For Be-Bop Deluxe founder Bill Nelson, he produced the Red Noise album Sound on Sound and Nelson’s subsequent solo album Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam (the latter unreleased until 1981). Leckie recorded the début single, Public Image for Public Image Ltd and produced The Human League’s Holiday 80 EP. Leckie’s work with XTC included producing their debut 3D single and EP, and first two studio albums, White Music and Go 2. He went on to produce 25 O’Clock and Psonic Psunspot, which XTC issued under the pseudonym The Dukes of Stratosphear in the mid 1980s.
In 1989 Leckie produced The Stone Roses’ debut album The Stone Roses. The album was voted the best record of all time on a music poll taken by BBC Radio 6 Music and features as Number 1 on the Observer Music Monthly’s June 2004 “100 Greatest British Albums”. Some months later he produced and mixed their single “Fools Gold”, which charted at No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart, and in early 1990 he produced and mixed the single “One Love” which also charted at no. 4 in UK. Leckie also worked on much of the recording the Stone Roses’ album Second Coming.
In 1994, Leckie produced and engineered Radiohead’s album, The Bends, and in 1995, he produced All Change by the Liverpool band Cast. It became the highest selling album in the history of the Polydor Label.
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