Gary Langan
Gary Michael Langan was born on 19th April 1956 in London. From the age of seven he studied piano and sat through his Royal College exams. When he was around fourteen he started to go to sessions with his musician father, who used to play on programmes such as the BBC’s Music While You Work. It was at this time that he realised that he didn’t enjoy the performing side of things, but was far more interested in the way that records were constructed, although he continued to play the trumpet in dance and jazz bands until he left school at the age of seventeen.

Gary got his first job at Trident Studios in the Soho district of London before the bosses there realised that he was too young to be working there. Disappointed by that, he went to college for a year and got a degree in sound engineering before being offered a job at Sarm Studios by the owners after they met his father at a reception at the Dorchester Hotel. Accepting the job of tape op, Gary worked closely with the likes of Gary Lyons, Mike Stone and Roy Thomas Baker. The first album he worked on was for Duane Eddy before going onto Queen’s classic album A Night At The Opera where he worked on the infamous Bohemian Rhapsody and continued to work with the group on their two follow-up albums. Now moving up in the ranks to become an assistant engineer, Gary first worked with Lynsey de Paul, before going onto work with the Boomtown Rats fronted by Bob Geldof.
After that Gary met Trevor Horn of the Buggles and engineered their first album, where he won the NME Engineer Of The Year Award for the track Video Killed The Radio Star. He continued to work with Horn, got involved with the Yes album Drama as well as with Dollar and ABC's The Lexicon Of Love. By this time he had became Horn's right hand man in Horn’s production team which also included Anne Dudley and JJ Jeczalik. It was around this time that Gary became a freelance engineer before getting introduced to the late Malcolm McLaren to work on an album called Duck Rock that Horn was producing. This saw them to travel to South Africa and the United States to recording everything they could to use on the the completed record. After that came the Yes album 90125 which saw the engineer “seeing little green men crawling up the wall” due to boredom until one day the group scrapped a drum riff. Impressed with the track he had the idea of sampling it on a Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument (Fairlight C.M.I. or Fairlight for short). With the help of Jeczalik they came up with a demo track, and thus the Art of Noise were created in early 1983. Due to the poor quality of the Fairlight it was Gary who boosted the sound using his engineering skills and brought the sound up to a high standard. The techniques used by both men created sounds that had never been heard on a record before and managed to baffle experienced sound engineers as to how their records were being made.

Because the Art of Noise was a part time project, Gary was able to co-produced ABC’s second album Beauty Stab. He also worked with numerous other artists either as a producer, engineer or remixer including Paul McCartney, Spandau Ballet, Billy Idol, Nik Kershaw, Scritti Politti, Jody Watley, Divinyls, The Dream Academy, Drum Theatre and The The.
In addition to his duties as and engineer/producer, he co-founded One Management with Carey Taylor & Karin Clayton in 1983 to look after engineers, producers and programmers before co-founding Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, London some six years later.
In 1987 Art of Noise and Duane Eddy won a Grammy Award for their 1986 smash hit Peter Gunn, but by this time Gary had moved on from the group but remained connected to them as a silent partner. For the remainder of the 1980s and throughout the 1990s, he continued to produce, engineer and remix for the likes of Public Image Ltd., Pepsi & Shirley, Then Jerico, Sigue Sigue Sputnkik, Jimmy Somerville, Belouis Some, Spear of Destiny, T’Pau, Yen, Propaganda, Voice of The Beehive, Pele, My Life Story, The Aloof, Hugh Cornwell (formerly of The Stranglers), Chris Hughes (a.k.a. Merrick, ex-Adam and The Ants), Big Country, Flowered Up, Jon Carin, Gay Dad and Hannah Jones to name but a few before going on to work with more diverse artists in the new millennium including James.

The 2000s saw the engineer working with Lisa Stansfield on her album The Moment before reaching new heights working with American-born producer and orchestra leader Jeff Wayne. Wayne asked Gary to remix and restore the 1978 classic masterpiece Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds into new 5.1 surround sound mixes for the SACD reissue. The release of the boxset for the album contains a documentary DVD of the story of the making of the album that features Gary talking about various aspects of the album. In addition to that version of the album, he was also involved in the making an alternative version entitled, Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds – ULLAdubULLA II: The Remix Album. For the live tour he was appointed senior sound advisor, senior front of house engineer & head of sound which involved him designing the sound systems for each venue of the sold out shows over the next three years. The show's cast featured Justin Hayward, Tara Blaise, Chris Thompson, Alexis James, Anna-Marie Wayne and Russell Watson with Wayne’s orchestra. A DVD of the Wembley Arena show was released including a behind the scenes documentary of the tour including sound checks for each member of the cast.

That same year saw Gary and the other four original Art of Noise members involved with making of the archive boxset, And What Have You Done With My Body, God? He also took part in some of the promotion work for it including contributing to the book that came with the set as well as radio interviews. Next up was yet another a new remastered version of Highlights From Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds in 2007 before going on tour again with the show that played to sold out venues in China, Australia, New Zealand and ending at the O2 Arena at the end of that year.

In 2008 he produced ABC's album Traffic, leading him to take on the FoH duties for their The Lexicon Of Love concert at the Royal Albert Hall featuring Trevor Horn and Anne Dudley in April 2009. before teaming up once again with Horn to record Escala's debut album before going onto work on Robbie William's comeback album Reality Killed The Video Star released in November of that year. Gary was also involved with the soundtrack for the Magic Roundabout, the debut album for The Roosters and involved with the research & development for the PSII game Play Mix.
Throughout the summer of 2010 Gary did a series of press and radio interviews, some with JJ Jeczalik to promote the Art of Noise compilation Influence before going onto the lecture circuit. At present he is still involved with engineering live gigs for the likes of The Producers and Monsta.

After working in the music industry for the past forty years, Gary has become on the most sort after engineers and producers. To date he is the only member of the Art of Noise not to release a solo album or become part of a member of another band. Whatever upcoming projects he has in the pipeline, one thing is for sure, it will sound fantastic.
© Copyright K.M. Whitehouse 2008, 2010

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