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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Oct 2019 > Chris Kimsey

Chris Kimsey

The renowned engineer has worked in the music industry for 45 years, forging a close relationship with The Rolling Stones. He shares his highlights with Teri Saccone


Engineer and producer Chris Kimsey never set out to capture the sounds of the classic-rock era, yet he shaped more than 360 albums for acts including The Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton, Duran Duran, Led Zeppelin, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Ten Years After and The Psychedelic Furs. Kimsey engenders respect and camaraderie with the artists he works with, due to his expertise and genuine warmth.

When he started out, aged 17, popular music dominated the landscape, but film scores were his passion. “I wasn’t interested in the music of the day, Hendrix and the like, I was into film music,” he remembers. “In school, I did music for plays, played piano and timpani.”

The Londoner became intrigued with the fabled Olympic Studios, stopping in often and “Hassling them until they hired me”. Once on board, Kimsey progressed from tea boy to tape operator. “Olympic was a fantastic training ground, as you’d have a jingle session in the morning, a film orchestral session in the afternoon, then bands at night.” Some of the young producer’s earliest sessions were assisting in film soundtracks for seminal 60s films such as Get Carter and The Italian Job, working alongside Quincy Jones and Michel Legrand. “I started on orchestra sessions, then the rock thing happened,” he says.

Kimsey’s early rock sessions were mainly with the Stones, alongside mentor and lifelong friend Glyn Johns, and he remembers fondly how ”Rock music became fascinating to me.” One of the main hallmarks of Kimsey’s developing sound was the way he created a live vibe, “capturing the best performance the artist is capable of. It’s about creating a good atmosphere for the artist,” he explains.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Issue 31 of Long Live Vinyl is now on sale! It was The Beatles' last stand and remains one of the greatest albums ever made. Issue 31 of Long Live Vinyl brings you the inside story of Abbey Road, including interviews with some of the key figures who were in the studio with the Fab Four back in 1969. You'll also find an in-depth look at the making of the amazing new 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition and an expert collector's guide. Elsewhere, our packed interviews section features chats with Ezra Furman, Metronomy, Hiss Golden Messenger and Fionn Regan about their new albums. We round up 40 Essential Southern Soul records you need to own, tell the story of the legendary Decca label on its 90th birthday and dig deep into the making of R.E.M.’s ninth album, Monster. If that's not enough, Long Live Vinyl has the most comprehensive range of album and hi-fi reviews anywhere on the newsstand, as we run the rule over new releases from Pixies, Bon Iver, Wilco, Blur and Liam Gallagher, as well as the awesome new AVID Ingenium P&P turntable. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers. Pick up your copy today…