This is just another alter ego of Bobby Zimmerman. Dylan used the name for the first time on “Under the Red Sky” in 1990, then on “Time Out Of Mind” in 1997, which he co-produced with Daniel Lanois (see below). Since then his studio albums, “Love & Theft”, “Modern Times” and “Together Through Life” credited Dylan a.k.a. Jack Frost as the producer. Alias names have a long tradition in Dylan’s biography, like a camouflage he always slipped into different roles and characters, the first one of course being “Bob Dylan” after leaving his Hibbing home. He also recorded under the name “Blind Boy Grunt” and “Lucky Wilbury”. When he played a small part in “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid”, the name of his character was “Alias”. Nomen est omen.
French-Canadian producer, composer and solo artist Daniel Lanois collaborated with Dylan on 1989′s “Oh Mercy” and 1997′s “Time Out Of Mind”, two albums celebrated by both critics and audience. The two Lanois productions stand among the best pieces of studio work Dylan has recorded during the past 20 years, and the latter one earned him two Grammy awards in 1997.
Lanois was born in 1951 and started his career in music production during the early 1980s with Brian Eno. Besides his work for Bob Dylan, Lanois’ most impressive collaboration were those with U2 (“The Unforgettable Fire”, “The Joshua Tree”, “Achtung Baby”, “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”) and Peter Gabriel (“Birdy”, “So”, “Us”). He also produced great albums for Robbie Robertson, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson and Joe Henry.
Around the time of recording “Oh Mercy” Lanois released his solo-debut “Acadie”. Between 1989 and 2005 he released 5 albums.
Of all the producers who worked with Dylan, Bob Johnston produced the most albums for “his client”. From 1966 to 1973 they did 6 albums together including the classics “Blonde On Blonde”, “John Wesley Harding” and “Nashville Skyline”, as well as “Self Portrait”, “Dylan” and the so-called “comeback album” after his motorcycle accident, “New Morning”. His very first work for Dylan however was one of the best albums Dylan ever recorded, “Highway 61 Revisited”. Johnston produced all songs except “Like A Rolling Stone”, which was produced by Tom Wilson.
Bob Johnston was born in 1932 and worked as a staff producer for Columbia records, where he also produced several hit albums and singles for Simon & Garfunkel, Willie Nelson and Leonard Cohen. Unlike other producers Johnston never really created his own distinct style, he saw his own role in music production more in supporting the artist in doing whatever that artist wanted to do. Concerning his collaboration with Bob Dylan he was quoted saying: “”I don’t really ‘produce’ his albums, but just do my best to make him smile when he leaves the studio”.
Don DeVito was Dylan’s most important producer during the 1970s. Together they did 4 albums, starting with the absolute classic “Desire” in 1976, the two live albums “Hard Rain” (Rolling Thunder Revue Tour) and “At Budokan”, as well as 1978′s “Street Legal” including the hits “Señor” and “Changing Of The Guards”. In the 1990s DeVito returned as a compilation producer for the “Bootleg Series, Vol.1-3″ box set in 1991, the “30th Anniversary Concert Celebration” in 1993, “Greatest Hits, Vol.3″ in 1994 and “The Best Of Bob Dylan” in 1997. In 2000 he produced the single “Things Have Changed”, which won the Oscar in 2001 for “Best Song”. Lately he was Recording Supervisor of the “Bootleg Series, Vol. 5″ and producer of the Hybrid SACD set.
DeVito has also produced albums for Aerosmith and Billy Joel. Today he is Senior VP of A&R at Columbia Records.
Jerry Wexler & Barry Beckett
Wexler and Beckett produced some of the greatest R&B and Soul songs during the 1960s up to the 1980s. In 1979 and 1980 they collaborated with Dylan on “Slow Train Coming” and “Saved”.
Jerry Wexler was born in New York City 1918. He worked for Billboard magazine, co-wrote classic songs such as “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” and became Record Executive of the Year 1967. He produced many major acts from Aretha Franklin to the Dire Straits.
Barry Beckett was born in England 1944. He worked as a keyboardist in the early 1970s, e.g. on Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome” in 1972. In 1985 he got an A&R position for Warner in Nashville and produced country music for Hank Williams Jr., Glenn Frey and Bob Seger.