United Kingdom (January 8, 2018)—Grammy-nominated producer/engineer Chris Tsangarides died Sunday, January 7, of pneumonia and heart failure. He was 61. While best known for his extensive work with hard rock and metal acts like Judas Priest, Anvil, Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy and Yngwie Malmsteen, among many others, the British producer had a varied career, working with acts ranging from Tom Jones to The Tragically Hip, producing Concrete Blonde’s breakout hit, “Joey,” and mixing Depeche Mode’s “Never Let Me Down Again” single.
Some of the acts he worked with over the course of his career included Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Jan Hammer, Exodus, Samantha Fox, Overkill, The Sisters of Mercy, Joan Armatrading, Bruce Dickinson, Ian Gillan, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Killing Joke, King Diamond, Helloween, Y&T, Lords of the New Church, Loudness, Therapy? and The Strawbs, to name only a few.
As a child, he studied trumpet at the Royal Academy of Music, and eventually began his studio career in 1974 as an apprentice at London’s Morgan Studios, where his long association with Judas Priest began with the band’s second album, 1976’s Sad Wings of Destiny, on which he worked as a tape op.
Going on to engineer acts like Japan and Brand X, it was his work with Colosseum II that led that band’s guitarist, Gary Moore, to appoint Tsangarides as producer for his first solo album, Back on the Streets, which included the hit, “Parisienne Walkways.” From there, his career took off.
In the early 2000s, Tsangarides founded his own studios, Rainmaker Music in South London, and The Dump in Kenley, Surrey, closing the latter in 2006 to open a new facility, Ecology Room Studios, in Kent that same year. In 2012, he co-founded Dark Lord Records with Dave Cousins of The Strawbs. An occasionally performing guitarist, Tsangarides was a member of techno/metal act Monocrom in the late 1990s and later Exmore, a 2012 revival of NWOBHM act More.
Upon Tsangarides’ passing, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi tweeted, “I'm so saddened to hear of the passing of the Producer Chris Tsangarides - he has been a part of my life since the 70s when he worked as tape operator on the Sabbath album Sabotage and he's worked with me on lots of other albums and stuff. He'll be sadly missed. RIP my friend.”
Likewise, Judas Priest posted, “We are saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Chris Tsangarides - his contributions to our metal and so many others will forever remain - Love and condolences to his family.”