The

Mick

Sinclair

Archive

Arthur Baker

April

1984

Sounds

feature

 
 
ARTHUR BAKER is a big man with a big reputation and a big dog. The latter beast prowls protectively around his master's studio in midtown Manhattan helping to establish a sense of homeliness and comfortable creativity.

The compact kitchen contains a well stocked fridge and across the corridor is the work-out room, a place sufficiently equipped with the tools of fitness to pass as a small budget gym. Somehow one can't imagine Arthur's substantial frame doing a great deal in there but it's a healthier style than the more common pool table and video games.

Arthur Baker's name was elevated to the ranks of in-demand producers following the success of the twin Bambaataa monsters 'Planet Rock' and 'Looking For The Perfect Beat' plus the phenomenal Rockers Revenge's 'Walking On Sunshine'.

Since then his name's been stamped on a host of projects. Most recently he's concluded the two album soundtrack for the Harry Belafonte film on the hip hop movement, Beat Street. Arthur Baker grew up in sleek. suburban Boston, listened to English pop music and it wasn't until he was holding down a record store job in that town's black area that he became meaningfully acquainted with black music.

"I became aware of Gamble And Huff, the whole Philadelphia sound and the work Norman Whitfield was doing with The Temptations. It wasn't just party music anymore. It had a message. That's how I got into black music while my friends were becoming hippies."

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 

 

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