Jason Corsaro, Engineer for Soundgarden, Queen + David Bowie, Dies
Jason Corsaro, respected producer and studio engineer with credits including Soundgarden, Queen, David Bowie, Nile Rodgers and many others, has died at the age of 58 after a cancer battle. He’d notched up nearly 400 credits in a career that began in the ’80s and ended last year as his health issues overtook him.
Among the works that were most revered among fellow industry professionals were his collaborations with Duran Duran, the Cars, the Power Station, Chic and the Rolling Stones, SonicScoop reported, adding that he was also well-known for being “outgoing and gregarious” and “fun to be with.”
The Grammy-winner helped generate more than 100 million sales across his career. He spent 10 years as chief engineer at the highly-regarded Barber Shop Studios in Hopatcong, N.J.
Last year Bill Laswell, bassist, producer and label boss who’s worked with Iggy Pop, Public Image Ltd and many others, described Corsaro as “a beast of an engineer and really famous for mixing drums,” telling SFSonic, He pretty much defined the ‘80s with bands like the Power Station and Robert Palmer. He created that sound.”
Corsaro’s first major credit was as assistant engineer on the Cars’ 1980 release Panorama, before he worked as engineer on Chic’s Take It Off the following year. There followed sessions with Debbie Harry, Duran Duran, Stewart Copeland and Paul Simon within the next two years. By the end of the decade he’d also worked with Robert Palmer, Jeff Beck, Cyndi Lauper, Motorhead and Iggy Pop, and he rounded out the ‘80s with mixing credits on David Bowie’s Sound + Vision and the Ramones’ Brain Drain.
He engineered Queen’s We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions, Deep Purple’s The Battle Rages On… and Ron Wood’s Slide on This in the ‘90s before doing the same on Soundgarden’s Superunknown and Corrosion of Conformity’s Deliverance/Wiseblood. in 1994. Later collaborations included Clutch’s The Elephant Riders, Foreigner’s Jukebox Heroes anthology and INXS’s Whine Like It Does retrospective. Many of the artists he worked with invited him back multiple times.
His final projects were two anthologies for the Cars and two ‘80s compilations, completed in a studio he’d built at his home in Blairstown, N.J. as his illness became more serious.
Nile Rodgers, who worked with Corsaro on Madonna’s 1984 album Like a Virgin, said in a statement, “I can’t scratch the surface of the amazing musical experimental journeys we shared. From my 1st solo album: Adventures In the Land of the Good Groove and Madonna’s mega-smash Like a Virgin, to countless others. We’d spoken often lately and I tried to make it out to see him in his remote Jersey enclave, but it didn’t come to pass in time. Jason, on some level we changed the world together! Whatever you’re doing in heaven, I know it’s loud as hell!”
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