Few remix artists are as celebrated as Shep Pettibone, who was one of the pioneering forces behind the 12-inch single revolution of the 1980s.
Having made his name at New York’s WRKS 98.7 Kiss FM for his ‘master mixes’, Pettibone would go on to remix artists such as Madonna, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, New Order, Phil Collins and many others – always with the dancefloor in mind.
Such was his prolificness, that if you were a top pop act in the 1980s and early 90s, chances are at some stage you had a sprinkle of Pettibone magic on one or more of your productions at some point.
Interviews with the legendary producer are hard to come by these days – Billboard caught up with him back in 2014, to discuss his work on Madonna’s Vogue, but other than that, he’s been keeping a relatively low profile.
Speaking about his exit from the music industry in the mid-90s (and into hotel and nightclub ownership), he told the music paper, “Everything really at that point… dance music was really pretty much taboo. Everything had gone hip-hop. And I really… I don’t know. I’m not a hip-hop person. I didn’t have it in me to write it or produce it, and I’d kind of had enough of music at that point. I’d been doing it for 15 years. It was like, ‘There’s gotta be something else’.”
You can check out some of his most famous cuts on a playlist we put together, by clicking here.
Now, Demon Records, owned by BBC Studios, has collected seven of his essential reworks for a forthcoming collection, Arthur Baker Presents Dance Masters – The Shep Pettibone Master-Mixes, which is set to be released on clear vinyl this coming September.
Featuring artists such as Pointer Sisters, Lionel Richie, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Five Star, George Benson, Instant Funk, Gloria Gaynor, and his sublime remix of First Choice’s Let No Man Put Asunder, it’s certain to be essential listening, not just for Pettibone aficionados, but anyone that appreciates the art of the remix.
The fact that it’s being headed up by the equally legendary Arthur Baker can’t be a bad thing either.
More information can be found here.