Blairstown, NJ (August 16, 2017)—Grammy-winning producer and recording engineer Jason Corsaro—best known for his work with the Cars, Chic/Nile Rodgers, the Power Station/Robert Palmer, the Rolling Stones, Soundgarden, Queen, David Bowie, Foreigner, INXS, Duran Duran, Madonna, among many others—has died following a battle with cancer. He was 58.
With nearly 400 album credits tallying approximately 100 million albums sold across his career, Corsaro became well known for his striking mix work, featuring notably robust, full-frequency mixes and a uniquely impactful drum sound, among other key sonic attributes.
Corsaro first graced the popular music world via the Cars’ 1980 Panorama album, where he served as assistant engineer. After serving as engineer on Chic’s Take It Off in 1981, Corsaro continued on his significant career-based trajectory, building a loyal clientele and multi-decade-defining discography along the way. According to Martin Kielty of Diffuser.fm, Corsaro’s final projects were two anthologies for the Cars alongside two ‘80s compilation albums, all completed his Blairstown, N.J home studio.
Producers, engineers and musicians around the world mourn Corsaro’s passing, noting his significant contribution to the audio engineering craft. “A few days ago we lost one of the most influential recording engineers of all time to cancer,” commented noted engineer Joe Barresi of Jason Corsaro, via Facebook. “He was one of the guys who gave me my start—and he also taught me that there were no boundaries or rules when making records. He always sought after the biggest, wildest, craziest sounds … but when you listen to his records, you hear something unique.”
Barresi continues, “There weren’t any plug-ins back then; he created that Power Station drum sound with outboard gear, manipulating the tape machine and the SSL computer. The low end of [Soundgarden’s] Superunknown blew away anything else around it on the radio (and so did that drum sound). The love of Eventide harmonizers on Sunrise on the Sufferbus [from American rock band Masters of Reality featuring legendary drummer Ginger Baker], the fearless use of daisy-chaining effects and his view of low end was unparalleled.”
“Even after working crazy-long hours at the studio, [Corsaro] still enjoyed listening to music at home on his numerous hi-fi systems, and was a pioneer in having equipment built that could try to recreate what he heard in his head,” noted Barresi. “I learned a lot by watching him, and he never ceased to amaze me when he spoke about music and creating it with such passion. He was an innovator—til’ the very end. RIP Jason. You left us with many great memories and touched a lot of people with your passion and creativity. You still continue to inspire. Thank you.”