For years now, Bob Ezrin’s overwrought initial work with Kiss — in particular, the career-killing 1981 concept-album dud (Music from) The Elder, was thought to have been his worst idea ever.
Not even close.
Turns out, Ezrin had become so enamored with hip hop by the time he was tabbed to producer Pink Floyd’s 1987 release Momentary Lapse of Reason that he actually suggested David Gilmour try rapping.
Thank heavens, Gilmour demurred.
Instead, Ezrin would simply oversee the addition of some modern rhythmic elements to Pink Floyd’s eventual hit “Learning to Fly,” helping the group reestablish itself after the departure of Roger Waters. Ezrin would later helm the band’s well-received 1994 studio finale, Division Bell, as well. Of course, Ezrin earlier played a key role in a series of triumphs for Alice Cooper — including Billion Dollars Babies and Welcome to My Nightmare — and he later helped rebuild Kiss’ reputation with 1992′s Revenge. He’s also producing Deep Purple’s forthcoming Now What?!, an album that’s getting good early notices.
That said, when Ezrin has a bad idea, it’s just awful. He most assuredly hastened the end of Kiss’ spectacular late-1970s’ run by contributing all manner of unneeded studio trickery on 1976′s Destroyer, then finished them off with Elder — which became the first Kiss release ever to fail to at least go gold.
And he most assuredly would have done the same to Pink Floyd.
“I became fascinated with rap – I’m an early adopter,” Ezrin tells ZME Music. “I brought some in when we were doing A Momentary Lapse Of Reason. I brought some to David Gilmour, going, ‘Boy, I think this stuff with a rock beat would be awesome.’ He said, ‘Oh my God, that would be terrible!’ He couldn’t believe it. He hated the idea.”