United Kingdom (June 8, 2020) — Rupert Hine, best-known for his work producing a vast array of rock and pop acts during the 1980s and 90s, died at home June 4, 2020 of undisclosed causes. The announcement was made on Twitter by The Ivors Academy, where he was a board member. Hine was 72.
Born in Wimbleton in 1947, Hine started in the music business while still in his teens as part of the folk duo Rupert & David. Recording for Decca Records, the pair’s sole output was a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” in 1965, featuring a pre-Led Zeppelin Jimmy Page on guitar, Herbie Flowers on bass and a 26-piece orchestra. Issued in the UK at virtually the same time as the original, both duos’ singles tanked upon release.
Undaunted, Hine would go on to record six albums of his own and another three as Thinkman over the course of his career, but he first moved behind the glass as a producer in 1972, creating the novelty single, “Who Is The Doctor,” for Jon Pertwee—the actor who played the third incarnation of “The Doctor” on the BBC sci-fi series, Doctor Who. As the decade wore on, Hine recorded acts like Camel, Murray Head and Kevin Ayers, as well as bands he was a part of, like Quantum Jump.
It was the 1980s’ emergence of synth-drenched new wave and pop, however, that cemented his reputation as a go-to producer, as Hine helmed a seemingly endless string of hit albums and singles for acts like Howard Jones, The Fixx, Thompson Twins, Bob Geldof, Saga, The Members, The Waterboys, Stevie Nicks, Chris de Burgh and Underworld. Prolifically writing as well throughout the period, he scored the cult John Cusack comedy Better Off Dead (1985) and additionally saw some of his co-writes recorded by Nicks (“Alice”) and most noticeably, Tina Turner.
Working on Turner’s massive 1984 comeback album, Private Dancer, Hine co-wrote the track “I Might Have Been Queen” and produced one of the biggest hits of her career, “Better Be Good to Me.” It was the start of a long and fruitful collaboration, with the artist and producer working together on subsequent albums like 1986’s Break Every Rule (the title track of which he also co-wrote) and 1989’s Foreign Affair.
The Nineties didn’t see Hine slow down either, as he produced Rush (1989’s Presto and 1991’s Roll The Bones), Duncan Shiek, actresses Katey Sagal and Milla Jovovich and Stroke 9, while the 2000s saw him produce the likes of Amanda Ghost, Boy George, Suzanne Vega and others.
During this time, Hine additionally began working on sprawling passion projects, first with the 1990 multimedia effort, One World, One Voice, which brought together 300 musicians around the world for a “musical chain-letter” that was both released on record and aired on television to a worldwide audience of 200 million. Other projects included the compilation Songs for Tibet: The Art of Peace (2008) and Songs for Tibet II (2015).
In addition to his work with The Ivors Academy, Hine was a founding member of the UK’s Music Producers Guild and the International MIDI Association, and was also a member of the Recording Academy. In 2011, he was awarded an APRS Fellowship Award from Sir George Martin. Hine was additionally a board member and chair of the Songwriters Committee of BASCA, where he was also on the board, and The Ivor Novello Awards Committee.
Hine is survived by his wife, Fay; son, Kingsley; step-children Amy and Sam; former wife Natasha Barrault; and sister Julie Juniper.
Rupert Hine • www.ruperthine.com