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Mark S Berry

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Name  Mark Berry
Role  Music Producer
Education  University of Toronto

Mark S. Berry httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

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Mark S. Berry is a music producer who has 36 international gold and platinum record awards. He is chairman of Attack Media Group (a Toronto-based privately owned media and entertainment company). The Grammy and Juno nominated artists he has worked with include David Bowie, Duran Duran, Billy Idol, Boy George, Yes, Joan Jett, Cameo and Kool & The Gang.

Contents

His Canadian productions have included I Mother Earth, two platinum albums for The Headstones, The Killjoys, Nothing In Particular, Fence, Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) platinum solo effort, and Up Close & Alone.

† Paris Black † Breathe Words †


The beginning

Originally from Brooklyn, Berry began his music career at the Institute of Audio Research (IAR) in New York City in 1972. At age 17, he was commuting into Manhattan at night, learning about making records and recording up and coming basement bands.

After graduating from IAR, Berry was drawn to the Brit sound and flew to London, England, where he arrived on the doorsteps of AIR Studios, one of the world's most popular recording facilities co-owned by Sir George Martin. "I just flew over and started walking the streets of London looking for a job, stopping in every studio that I took off the back of my favorite albums," he remembers. Berry soon met Nigel Walker, who was working as an assistant to producer John Punter on an Allan Clarke (lead singer of The Hollies) solo project at AIR. "That ended up being my first job in the business, working with John Punter. Getting cigarettes and coffee for the guys and just watching and listening in the background, absorbing everything."

Berry gained expertise in engineering and mixing records and in classic rock production and orchestral techniques, working as an assistant to Sir George Martin. Martin was responsible for producing arguably the most influential band in the history of rock 'n' roll, The Beatles. Working with Martin started out as recording classical records in cathedrals around London for the chamber choir group The Kings Singers. Berry soon began setting up and assisting on Martin and Paul McCartney's sessions.

Berry's experience led to his first major assignment; Carly Simon's No Secrets album, which included the worldwide smash, "You're So Vain", and would be his first engineering credit. Hanging out with Mick Jagger for the background vocals on "You're So Vain" and then going over to Olympic studios for the mixing of their live '72 tour tapes was certainly the highlight of his early years, and all before the age of 19.

However, this was only the beginning for Berry. "I'd say the most amazing session had to be 'Live and Let Die'", performed by Paul McCartney and Wings.

Berry worked on several projects such as "Roll Over Beethoven" for Electric Light Orchestra, "Grand Hotel" for Procal Harum, Climax Blues Band and Live - Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple. During his tenure at AIR studios, Berry worked under the tutelage of British rock engineers/producers such as Bill Price (Sex Pistols), John Punter (Japan, Reflex, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music), Steve Nye (Roxy Music), Alan Harris (T-Rex, Marc Bolan, Mott The Hoople), Geoff Emerick (The Beatles), Chris Thomas (Elton John, The Pretenders, Pink Floyd, INXS), Jeff Lynne (ELO, Tom Petty, Traveling Wilburys), Martin Birch (Iron Maiden, Deep Purple) and Tony Visconti (David Bowie).

Return to New York: The birth of hip hop to independent producer

Berry returned to the states in the mid-1970s. He began freelancing around New York at some of the top recording studios like Electric Lady, Record Plant and the Hit Factory. In 1977, he was offered the position of Staff Engineer and in-house A&R/producer for Vanguard Records (Joan Baez, Buffy Saint-Marie, Country Joe & the Fish) where he worked for over nine years.

While at Vanguard Studios, Berry continued to engineer and mix projects for several of New York's top dance/pop producers. He became heavily involved in the early 80s New York hip-hop movement, working with artists and producers such as Soul Sonic Force (Looking For The Perfect Beat), Planet Patrol (Play At Your Own Risk), Awesome Foursome (Funky Soul Makosa), New Edition (Candy Girl), Jellybean, Arthur Baker, Freeze (AEIOU), Eddie O’Loughlin (Next Plateau), John Robie, C-Bank (One More Shot), Tommy Silverman (Tommy Boy Records), Importe 12 Records, and Man Parrish (the groundbreaking Hip Hop Be Bop).

During this time Berry discovered and producing up and coming dance acts such as Alisha, who, after enormous success with Vanguard Records, went on to sign with multi-national labels RCA and MCA/Universal. Berry's hit productions for Alisha included the #1 dance singles "All Night Passion" and "Too Turned On" along with the international pop smash "Baby Talk," which went on to become a worldwide chart-topping hit, remaining on the Billboard pop charts for over four months.

The 80s: Dance re-mixes and rock productions

Berry moved into the area of 7" & 12" dance and rock mixing and re-mixing for major multi-platinum artists such as David Bowie, Duran Duran, Talk Talk, Toto, Yes, Billy Idol, Boy George, Kool & The Gang, Stephanie Mills, Jimmy Barnes, Animotion, and Joan Jett.

Berry's New York entertainment attorney and longtime friend, Paul Schindler of Grubman, Indursky & Schindler, put a meeting together with Michael Gudinski. At that time Gudinski was president of Australia's largest independent record company, Mushroom Records. Berry went on to produce and mix multi-platinum records for some of Australia's biggest acts, including Kids In The Kitchen, Pseudo Echo, Jimmy Barnes, Indecent Obsession, Eurogliders, Machinations, and The Chantoozies.

New horizons: the 1990s

In 1991, Berry moved further towards rock production, signed with Steve Scharf for producer management in New York city, and relocated to Toronto. In that same year, Berry re-mixed Glass Tiger (EMI) and produced the hit album Get Off for multi-platinum Canadian act Haywire (Attic Records).

Berry also discovered and produced I Mother Earth (EMI) and was the man behind their instant signing buzz that brought 11 international A&R people to Toronto in the fall of 1991 in a bid to sign the emerging band, all based upon a little five-song master that Berry produced at Metalwork's Studios. IME went on to become one of the biggest alternative bands in Canadian rock history. This rock production brought him to a chance meeting with Hugh Dillon, lead singer for Canadian rock outfit, The Headstones. Berry went on to produce two platinum albums, Picture of Health and Teeth & Tissue for the band through MCA/Universal. Burton Cummings, lead singer for the Guess Who, then tapped Berry to produce and mix his live solo unplugged effort for Universal, Up Close & Alone, another multi-platinum awarded production.

Canadian rock manager Pierre Paradis from Montreal tapped Berry to produce and engineer Outer Limits (MCA/Universal) for Voivod, recorded in Los Angeles. This was arguably one of Berry's most compelling productions, with the 17-minute opus "Jack Luminous".

With startup capital from a small publishing company controlled by Canadian media giant Alliance Atlantis, he went on to release, via Attack, some of the very records he was hired to produce, along with securing them insertions in some of the biggest TV shows and feature-length films in the entertainment business. Berry put together international licensing and insertion deals for masters that he was involved with either as a producer, co-publisher or master owner.

Present day

Berry is presently at the helm of the Attack Group of companies, an independent media company.

Attack Filmworks has completed post-production of its first 80-minute feature-length film, Road To Nowhere, co-starring Colin Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway). Attack Filmworks has signed Canada's producer/director team, the Butler Brothers, to a two-picture deal. Slacker classics Alive & Lubricated and Bums came to DVD in the summer of 2004. Both films have soundtracks from Attack artists and Attackin Tunes co-publishing clients.

Attack owns and controls the international audio, video and merchandising rights to 144 audio CD masters through its children's division, KidzAttack Entertainment LLC, of The Ellery Mysteries, featuring the goofy dog character named Ellery and his sidekicks. Also included is a coloring book with crayons. This series is the in-flight children's entertainment for some of the world's largest airlines. An animation series is in development.

Attack Group controls the worldwide master rights to the first Frank Sinatra single called "Our Love", recorded in 1939 when Sinatra was 19. With broad ancillary rights associated with the master, Attack Filmworks has a feature length MOW in development.

Attackin Tunes, Attack Group music publishing division, has a co-publishing agreement with one of the world's largest independent music publishers, Cherry Lane Music Publishing.

Attack's music can be heard in network and cable TV programs such as Dawson's Creek, Roswell, MTV, ESPN, and Fox, along with the feature films Gang Tapes (Lions Gate) featuring Coolio, Harvard Man (Lions Gate) with Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Poolhall Junkies (Gold Circle) featuring Christopher Walken. Attackin Tunes does the theme music along with "bumpers" and "stingers" for Girlz TV, Bang TV, Teens Dating and Health & Beauty TV, internationally. They have done music insertions in the extreme sports programming area for cable and television networks, like ESPN. Attackin Tune's client MDM can be heard in The Making of The Matrix Reloaded in the DVD and the accompanying TV special in the freeway chase scene.

Berry is the executive producer of GTV (Graffiti Television) and controls a ten-volume DVD/VHS series on the worldwide phenomenon of graffiti. Attack TV has partnered with a television production network in Canada to produce this international urban lifestyle cable series.

Berry's latest venture is AttackTrax.com, an interactive website for worldwide music supervisors and filmmakers. The entire Attackin Tunes music publishing catalog (along with joining subscribers) is available on the internet and all insertions can be handled and licensed online, including the first Frank Sinatra single ever recorded, the first Biohazard album, and the entire Eddy Grant (Electric Avenue) Caribbean music publishing catalog. AttackTrax inserts hundreds of songs into feature-length films, short films, documentaries, television/cable programs, extreme sports DVDs, exercise DVDs and many more that require music behind a client's visual content. Some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry come to AttackTrax, including ESPN, MTV, Sony, Tri-Star, Disney, FOX, Warner Brothers, WB, and Alliance Atlantis.

A few days a month, Berry hits the road with his lecture and workshop series to speak at universities and colleges about his position as producer, engineer, and A&R scout, combined with his role as president and CEO of a fledgling media company. He has also spoken as a panelist and moderator at music conferences like NXNE (North by Northeast), CMW (Canadian Music Week), Music West and Millennium Music Conference.

Since the fall of 1998, Berry has attended the University of Toronto, Innis College, undergraduate program and is specializing in Cinema Studies to further assist him in his move towards feature-length film production.

Discography

" * " = Top Ten Billboard Dance

Theme from Dune - TOTO (Polygram) Mixed the title theme from this David Lynch film; performed by the pop-rock band TOTO and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Mannequin - "Do You Dream About Me" -ALISHA (BMG), produced and mixed this Dianne Warren song for the main dance sequence in this blockbuster film. Knights of the City (New World) - Musical Supervisor and soundtrack producer for this feature-length film. Soundtrack included artists such as Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder. Gotcha - JOAN JETT (Sony). Mixed the title theme for this feature-length film. Co-mixed with song producers Jimmy Iovine (Interscope Records - CEO) and Kenny Laguna.

References

Mark S. Berry Wikipedia


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