Return to Glory: Rick Rubin's 5 Best Comeback Productions

Categories: Retro Active

Jason the Exploder via Wikipedia
Recently, Black Sabbath confirmed that record magnate and production auteur Rick Rubin would be twiddling the knobs on their new record, set to be released next year. It will be their first with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals since 1978, and a lot of their reputation is riding on this.

Not that it will matter in the grand scheme of things whether they launch a successful comeback or not, but nobody wants to end their legacy on a low note; they've still got Never Say Die hanging out there polluting it, after all.

Rubin is a master of orchestrating these sorts of comebacks, so the Sabs probably made the right choice to go to him. He's had some duds, but he's also managed to create some of the best albums in decades by long-established artists who had lost their way. So what might be in store for Sabbath? If these are any indication, one of their best records yet.

5. Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros, Streetcore

Joe Strummer had a difficult career following the break-up of the Clash. After the '80s, he took an extended break from music that lasted until 1999, when he formed the Mescaleros and began releasing albums again.

The first two albums with the Mescaleros received a mixed reception, but Streetcore, which Strummer recorded shortly before he tragically passed away in 2002, was the only one with Rick Rubin handling production and was seen a return to true Strummer form. For many, Streetcore ranks up with the best of the Clash's albums and is generally seen as a very high point to go out on for a legendary musician.

4. Neil Diamond, 12 Songs

neil diamond 12 songs.jpg
Neil Diamond had been long forgotten as a '70s pop star by the time he met Rubin in the early '00s. For whatever reason, Rubin saw something in Diamond and realized he could make this guy famous again if they worked together.

The resulting album, 12 Songs, ended up not only being an artistic achievement for Diamond after years of toiling away on lesser works, but it also hit No. 4 on the Billboard 200, his biggest hit of original songs since 1980's soundtrack to The Jazz Singer.

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