Over five-plus decades, album producer, engineering whiz, and recording innovator Phil Ramone won 14 Grammys and collaborated with some of the biggest lights in pop and rock: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Lesley Gore, Dusty Springfield, Tony Bennett, Madonna, and Lady Gaga, just to name some of the bigger stars.
One of his most notable partnerships was with Billy Joel, whose sound Ramone helped hone on his mainstream pop crossover hit with 1977’s The Stranger. Over the course of Joel’s career, he became one of his most trusted collaborators. “I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band,” Joel said in a statement on Ramone’s passing. “He was the guy that no one ever, ever saw on stage. He was with me as long as any of the musicians I ever played with—longer than most. So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him.”
Ramone passed away at age 79 on Saturday, but his epic recorded legacy will live on. Check out our definitive Spotify playlist below, which includes hits from all points of his resume.