Arthur Baker Biography
Baker began working as a DJ in Boston in the mid 1970s, where he played early disco and soul for the early Boston club scene alongside famed local DJs including John Luongo and Jimmy Stuard. He had little patience for DJing, saying in an interview: "[If] I didn't get a good reaction on a record, I'd just rip it off, break it up and throw it on the dancefloor." In 1977 he turned to production with the Hearts Of Stone project, released on the Canadian Disco 1 label. He also was part of the group North End in Boston, releasing two well-regarded 12"s, respectively on West End and Emergency Records.
In 1981, Baker moved to New York, where he continued as a producer, working with Michael Jonzun and Maurice Starr on several releases for the Posse Records label. He also worked with Joe Bataan, Larry Wu, Tom Moulton, Jo Bisso, and his then wife Tina B by the start of the 1980s, which would be his most prolific and influential decade of work. He was especially well known for his association with The Latin Rascals who did edits on many of Baker's productions through the 1980s, including Hall and Oates and The Rolling Stones.
He went on to produce for Tommy Boy Records, where he produced Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force's "Planet Rock" single, which was a hit in the summer of 1982. The record combined elements from two Kraftwerk recordings, "Trans Europe Express" and "Numbers," which were interpolated by studio musicians, rather than sampled. From the groundbreaking electro recorded at the same session, he produced Planet Patrol's "Play at Your Own Risk" single in 1982, another Tommy Boy group that hit big in 1983, establishing a major precursor to freestyle and "urban contemporary" music that was to come.
Also during 1982, he produced the single "Walking on Sunshine" by Rockers Revenge featuring Donnie Calvin which hit number one on the U.S. Dance chart on September 18 that year. Baker launched his first record label Streetwise in the same year. Later labels including Criminal Records and Pow Wow, as well as Baker's Shakedown Studios, would soon follow.
In 1983, Baker found work doing dance remixes of pop and rock hits, first with Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," and Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark," "Cover Me," and "Born in the U.S.A." from his Born in the U.S.A. album. In 1984, Baker contributed his "Breakers' Revenge" to the Beat Street score and movie soundtrack, which he also helped produce. The infamous and much sought after Remixes for Pet Shop Boys´ "Suburbia" followed in 1986 which happens to be the birth year of Hurts lead singer Theo Hutchcraft with a notable collaboration in 2011 ("Wonderful Life").
Following these successes, Baker came to the attention of British alternative dance group New Order, which asked him to produce its songs "Confusion" and "Thieves Like Us" (and Baker can be seen prominently in the music video of the former). The 12-inch single "Confusion" was a crossover hit on the U.S. dance charts, and established a relationship between Baker and the band that has continued for more than 20 yea .... Click here to read the full bio on DISCOGS.