During the eighties, one of the people who pushed the buttons for Master Horn was Steve Lipson. Being a well know producer on his own nowadays, he started his producing career while still with Horn, in succeeding Thomas Dolby as the producer of Prefab Sprout and later as the executive producer of the second FGTH album Liverpool. He was also responsible for much of Trevor Horn's Propaganda stuff. His latest works include the Annie Lennox Medusa CD and the last Sophie B. Hawkins album.
But as most people in Trevor's team he also featured on some of their artist's records as a musician. He not only co-wrote Slave to the Rhythm but also played the lead guitar, bass guitar and keyboards on it.
While working on the first FGTH LP, Lipson, according to an interview, told Horn, that he could play guitar
- Mr. Modest said,
'I can play some guitar ...well a little bit.'
- So Mr. Horn thought something like:
'Oh great! A bit is not enough for my productions, I can't use him'.
On another day, while walking through the dungeons of Sarm West studios, Horn heard an "awesome guitar part" playing behind a closed door. Upon opening the door he saw Steve Lipson was playing on his guitar. Almost angry he asked him: "Why didn't you tell me you could play that good?", and Lipson just answered "But I did!" Later Trevor Horn explained, that "most people who say they could play guitar are talking a lot of bullsh*t and I also wasn't sure about Lipson's personality(!), but he was really great."
After this episode they both recorded "Relax" together, without the Frankies, because, as Horn dryly put, "they were back in Liverpool, when we wanted to record the song..." (use the link to Antal's FGTH site on the 'links' page, to learn about the legal consequences of this statement). Since then, Stephen Lipson has been one of the key guitar players on almost all Horn productions. Asked later why "Relax" is so full of sexual innuendoes he said that his wife was away on a business trip and therefore he was so horny that he
just had to do it that way. Their cooperation reached it's climax on the work for Slave To The Rhythm, "maybe our last really exiting project", as Horn asserts. "When we recorded 'Slave' I was almost like the artist while he was the producer. - I had all the crazy ideas, while he said in the control room or behind his guitar and translated them into action." Steve Lipson also pioneered in the technique of tape less
sequencing. Nowadays used by almost everyone with a keyboard and a computer, back in 1983 this procedure was much more complicated. After Lipson taught Horn how to do it, they both began working on it, which in the beginning led to horrendous crashes, especially during the work on Propaganda's 'Dr.Mabuse'