On 5th December 1965 16 year-old Rupert Hine, signed to major label Decca, released his first single, a cover of the Sound of Silence, as one half of Rupert & David.
Fast forward to 2015 and Rupert has released Unshy On The Skyline, a Best Of album featuring his favourite tracks from the highly regarded solo trilogy comprising “Immunity”, “Waving Not Drowning” and “The Wildest Wish To Fly”.
So what happened in the intervening half century that makes a 50th anniversary Rupert Hine retrospective worth listening to? Well, quite a lot, as it happens.
Commercially speaking, he's best known as the producer behind some of the 1980s' biggest albums: Tina Turner's Private Dancer and Break Every Rule, Chris de Burgh's Man On The Line and High On The Emotion, Stevie Nicks' The Other Side of the Mirror and Howard Jones' Human's Lib and Dream Into Action.
And, that was around the time he famously turned down the chance to produce Def Leppard. Hine knew how much money he was saying “No” to, but still wasn't interested; preferring instead to work with more experimental artists such as Underworld, Bob Geldof and The Fixx; the latter for whom he pretty much reinvented rock guitar.
You may not consciously know a whole lot of Rupert's own music - beyond the quirky The Lone Ranger from his Quantum Jump days perhaps - but the very fact that artists ranging from Tina Turner to Rush chose him to help reinvent their sounds, creating sonic landscapes that were as unexpected as they were undeniably popular, tells its own story, and makes this eclectic Best Of an essential listen. Unshy On The Skyline, the Best Of Rupert Hine is out now on Esoteric Recordings.