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Mark Ronson didn’t mean to make a debut album that reinvented party-friendly hip hop. Nor a follow-up that became one of the defining albums of the second half of the Noughties. He never anticipated that three of the up and coming British singers he produced and wrote with in his scruffy New York studio – Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse and Adele – would become three of the biggest stars in the world. The Brit and three Grammys piled into his little fireplace in his apartment? Still can’t believe those either.
And for sure Ronson didn’t set out to make a third album that featured a kaleidoscope of talents, from Spank Rock to The Drums’ Jonathan Pierce to The View’s Kyle Falconer to Q Tip, Ghostface Killah, a Kaiser Chief, an ex-Pipette, Dave McCabe from The Zutons, Boy George and Simon Le Bon, the touring keyboard player from Yeah Yeah Yeahs and some funky cats from Brooklyn – a collective of talents yoked together by Ronson’s vivid, sparkling songwriting and production talents.
But that’s what he did with 2003’s Here Comes The Fuzz, then 2007’s Version, and now 2010’s Record Collection: a 12 song album that will stand as the most exciting, entertaining hip pop album of the year.
It all happened by accident, and by enthusiasm. Back at the start of the millennium Mark Ronson was a London-born, New York-based writer, producer, DJ and hip hop head. Playing out in NYC clubs he became friends with Mos Def, MOP and Ghostface Killah. With their help he created Here Comes The Fuzz. Then small label BBE asked him if he was interested in contributing to a Radiohead covers album.
‘I was almost like a kid in the classroom when you throw your hand up before you know the answer – me! I’ll do that!’