JIMMY PAGE Pays Tribute To STEVE ALBINI: 'He Was So Passionate And Knowledgeable'

May 10, 2024

Legendary LED ZEPPELIN guitarist Jimmy Page has paid tribute to producer Steve Albini. Steve served as recording engineer and mixer for Page's 1998 collaborative album with Jimmy's ZEPPELIN bandmate Robert Plant, "Walking Into Clarksdale".

Earlier today (Friday, May 10),Page took to his social media to write: "I was very sad to hear of Steve Albini's passing this week. Robert and I worked with him in 1997 on our album 'Walking Into Clarksdale' — a record I'm still really proud of.

"I had a strong connection with Steve, we all did on that album, and he came with such pedigree and experience as one of the world's leading mixers and audio engineers. He loved working with analogue tape, in fact his own band was called SHELLAC. He was so passionate and knowledgeable, really dedicated to the cause during our recording sessions at RAK and EMI Number Two Studio at Abbey Road.

"Steve had worked with NIRVANA on their third album and also with the likes of PIXIES and BUSH. He had an impressive CV and leaves a real legacy. RIP, Steve."

In a 2020 interview, Albini reflected on his work on "Walking Into Clarksdale", saying: "It [was] enormously intimidating to be around people with that kind of pedigree and experience. And it was gratifying to be asked and to realize that I was satisfying them."

He continued: "My admiration for them as musicians and as people grew during that session. Jimmy Page is known as a guitar player and as a producer and as the guy who put LED ZEPPELIN together. But what impressed me the most about him was his ability to listen with incredible detail. He could hear a playback of something and pick out little details that he liked or didn't like with incredible acuity. You could hear two passages that, to you and me, would sound identical. To him, he could hear that there was a missed emphasis on the third note of the second tuplet of the triplet section or whatever. Him being able to listen to the music in precise detail … I described it as him being able to see every bird in the flock."

Albini died earlier this week of a heart attack. He was 61 years old.

In addition to fronting underground rock acts SHELLAC and BIG BLACK, Albini produced albums by PJ Harvey and NEUROSIS, among others. He was an aggressive critic of musicians and others who he felt were in it for the money or popularity rather than the music and he famously refused to take royalties from the recordings he produced for other artists.

In 2004, Albini estimated that he had engineered the recording of around 1,500 albums. According to Mix With The Masters, he continued to work almost entirely in the analog domain, being known for recording "live in the studio" as much as possible. He also placed particular emphasis on the selection and use of microphones in achieving a desired sound, and to best capture the ambience.

SHELLAC's first album in a decade, "To All Trains", is scheduled for release next week.

I was very sad to hear of Steve Albini’s passing this week. Robert and I worked with him in 1997 on our album 'Walking...

Posted by Jimmy Page on Friday, May 10, 2024

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