It used to be Rick Rubin. Music geeks across the world would play the party game “Who would you like to see Rick Rubin produce?” After the Johnny Cash revival, it seemed the bearded guru could do no wrong. That, of course, was bullshit even at the time. Immediately after the success of the first American Recordings album, Rubin attempted to recreate the magic with Donovan on Sutras. And failed.
Since Cash’s death in 2003, Rubin has attempted “comeback” albums with Weezer, Metallica, and, um…Linkin Park. Mixed results would be putting it mildly. His two albums with Neil Diamond (2005’s 12 Songs and 2008’s Home Before Dark) have come the closest to the spark that was lit with Johnny Cash.
Meanwhile, a new kid on the block took the torch and ran with it. Loretta Lynn‘s 2004 album Van Lear Rose proved that there was more to Jack White‘s production abilities than Detroit garage rock. And now it looks like he’ll be producing rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson.
Jackson described white as “One of the biggest stars on the planet I guess right now” but differentiated her upcoming project from the work White did on Van Lear Rose:
“They had a super album, but he didn’t have her do anything different, you know,” Jackson said. “She just did her little Loretta Lynn songs. But he told me he’s gonna stretch me some, so we’ll see. We’ll talk later.”
This could be good. We’ll see. If it turns out, Rick Rubin will be yesterday’s news. The new party game is “Who would you like to see Jack White produce?” Answer: Bob Fuckin’ Seger.
Video: Wanda Jackson -- “Rock Your Baby” (Town Hall Party, 1958)
That was fifty-one years ago. Just sayin’.
Previously: Wanda Jackson -- Live & Still Kickin’ (2003).