Michael Beinhorn is one of a handful of record producers whose work has had an indelible imprint on popular music. Respected beyond the genre of rock, his production has played a primary role in creating career-defining records for a diverse list of legendary artists including Herbie Hancock, Marilyn Manson, Soundgarden, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Hole among many others.
Beinhorn began his music career playing synthesizer in the seminal New York band Material which he founded with Bill Laswell in 1979. After co-producing Material’s first 4 records, the team produced a series of hip hop records for the legendary Celluloid Records label- one of which was the classic “Change The Beat” by Fab Five Freddy. This recording featured the infamous “Fresh Scratch” which Beinhorn created and subsequently became the most used sound in hip hop music.
Over the next few years, Beinhorn and Laswell built an impressive resume, working with such artists as Nona Hendryx, Brian Eno, David Byrne, Bernie Worrell, Sly Dunbar, Laurie Anderson, John Zorn, Nile Rodgers and Yellowman.
This culminated in the production of Herbie Hancock’s world-wide multiplatinum hit album “Future Shock” which contained the song “Rockit”. “Rockit” which was co-written by Beinhorn and Laswell with Hancock became Sony Music’s most successful 12” single, selling over 3 million copies. The song went on to win numerous awards, including Best R&B Instrumental at the 26th Grammy Awards Telecast in 1984. “Rockit” simultaneously redefined the genres of hip hop, R&B as well as helping bring hip hop music to a world-wide audience.
Beinhorn left Material in 1984 to establish his own career as a record producer. The opportunity came in 1987 when he met with a struggling Los Angeles band called The Red Hot Chili Peppers. This collaboration produced 2 records- 1987’s “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan” and 1989’s “Mother’s Milk”.
Over the course of the 1990’s, Beinhorn helped establish the blue-print for a new style of aggressive, melodic and highly emotional music while building his reputation as a “Super-Producer” with an uncompromising ear for detail and originality. His approach to pushing creative boundaries, creating unique sounds and getting the absolute best out of performers became legendary.
Continuing to pursue innovation, Beinhorn commissioned John French of JRF Magnetics to develop the “Ultra-Analog” recording format in 1994. This format featured the first 2” 8 track tape machine with unequalled bass and transient response.
Beinhorn developed a reputation for producing artists’ “career records”, which was exemplified by his work on such records as “Grave Dancer’s Union” by Soul Asylum, “Superunknown” by Soundgarden, “Celebrity Skin” by Hole and “Mechanical Animals” by Marilyn Manson. Each of these projects was either the most successful and/or well-received recording by its artist. In the week of September 15, 1998, Beinhorn achieved the distinction of being the first record producer to have two records simultaneously debut in the Billboard Top Ten- “Celebrity Skin” at Number 9 and “Mechanical Animals” at Number 1 respectively.
The following years were spent producing and developing artists for Atlantic Records who contracted Beinhorn as a Vice-President of A&R. While in this position, he helped develop an artist named Brent Smith. Brent eventually formed the band Shinedown which became one of Atlantic’s most successful rock bands. Beinhorn also had the opportunity to work with other artists such as Pharrell Williams and Outkast on the soundtrack to Oliver Stone’s film, “Any Given Sunday”.
Since then, Beinhorn has produced records from “Untouchables” by Korn and “…And The Glass-Handed Kites” by Mew to “Nobody’s Daughter” by Courtney Love
A producer, programmer, performer, songwriter, arranger, mixer, and an engineer, Beinhorn is also an accomplished fine artist and a writer. He continues to pursue his obsession with free creative expression in as many modes as possible