Joe Boyd

Joe Boyd (born August 5, 1942) is an American record producer and writer. He formerly owned the production company Witchseason Productions and Hannibal Records. Boyd has worked on recordings of Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, Nick Drake, The Incredible String Band, R.E.M., Vashti Bunyan, John and Beverley Martyn, Maria Muldaur, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Billy Bragg, 10,000 Maniacs, and Muzsikás.[1]

Joe Boyd
Joe Boyd in Brussels – May 2008
Background information
Born (1942-08-05) August 5, 1942 (age 78)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Years active1960s–present
LabelsHannibal Records

Life and career

Boyd was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised in Princeton, New Jersey.[2] He attended Pomfret School in Pomfret, Connecticut. He first became involved in music promoting blues artists while a student at Harvard University. After graduating, Boyd worked as a production and tour manager for music impresario George Wein, which took Boyd to Europe to organise concerts with Muddy Waters, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.[3] Boyd was responsible for the sound at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, when Bob Dylan played a controversial set backed by electric musicians.[4]

In 1964, Boyd paid his first visit to Britain, returning the following year to establish an overseas office of Elektra Records.[5] In 1966, Boyd and John "Hoppy" Hopkins opened the UFO Club, a famous but short-lived UK Underground club in London's Tottenham Court Road. He worked with UFO regulars Pink Floyd, and produced their first single, "Arnold Layne" and recordings by Soft Machine.[6] Boyd worked extensively with audio engineer John Wood at Sound Techniques studio in Chelsea. In this studio, Boyd and Wood made a succession of celebrated albums with British folk and folk rock artists, including the Incredible String Band, Martin Carthy, Nick Drake,[7] John Martyn, Fairport Convention and Richard Thompson.[8] Some of these were produced by Boyd's production company, Witchseason.

Boyd returned to the United States at the end of 1970 to work as a music producer for Warner Bros. with special input into films, where he collaborated with Stanley Kubrick on the sound track release of A Clockwork Orange.[9] Boyd also contributed to the soundtrack of Deliverance, directed by John Boorman, where he supervised the recording of "Dueling Banjos", which became a hit single for Eric Weissberg.[10] Boyd also produced and co-directed the film documentary Jimi Hendrix (1973). In the States, Boyd produced albums by Maria Muldaur and Kate & Anna McGarrigle. Boyd subsequently founded the Hannibal Records label in 1980 (later absorbed into Rykodisc), which released albums by Richard Thompson and many recordings of world music, including Hungarian band Muzsikás. Boyd also produced R.E.M.'s third album Fables of the Reconstruction (1985) and records by Billy Bragg and 10,000 Maniacs.

Boyd was executive producer for the 1989 feature film Scandal, starring John Hurt and Bridget Fonda about the Profumo affair in UK politics in 1963. Boyd left Hannibal/Ryko in 2001 and his autobiography, White Bicycles - Making Music in the 1960s, was published in 2006 by Serpent's Tail in the UK.

In 2008, Boyd was a judge for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists.[11]

Boyd was a producer on the long-delayed Aretha Franklin concert film "Amazing Grace."

Records produced or co-produced

Date Artist Album Label Notes
1966The Incredible String BandThe Incredible String Band
1966Sydney CarterLord of the Dance
1966Alasdair ClayreAlasdair Clayre
1966various artists, 3 tracks by Eric Clapton and the PowerhouseWhat's Shakin'
1966various artists: Cyril Tawney, Matt McGinn, Johnny Handle and Alasdair Clayre[12]A Cold Wind BlowsElektra
1967Shirley CollinsThe Power of the True Love Knot
1967The Incredible String BandThe 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion
1967Dave Swarbrick, Martin Carthy & Diz DisleyRags Reels and Airs
1967Pink Floyd"Arnold Layne" / "Candy and a Currant Bun"
1967The Purple Gang"Granny Takes a Trip"see 'Further reading' section
1967Soft Machine"She's Gone", "I Should've Known"recordings for projected single (Sound Techniques, London), released 1977 on Triple Echo, CD rel.: Turns On Volume 1, Voiceprint 2001
1968Pink Floyd tracks of compilationTonite Let's All Make Love in London
1968Chris McGregorVery Urgent
1968Fairport Convention"If I Had a Ribbon Bow" / "If (Stomp)"
1968Fairport Convention"If (Stomp)" / "Chelsea Morning"
1968Fairport ConventionFairport Convention
1968The Incredible String BandThe Hangman's Beautiful Daughter
1968The Incredible String BandWee Tam and the Big Huge
1968various Indian artistsKalpanacompilation of instrumental and dance music from India
1969Fairport ConventionWhat We Did on Our Holidays
1969Fairport Convention"Si Tu Dois Partir" / "Genesis Hall"
1969Fairport ConventionUnhalfbricking
1969Nick DrakeFive Leaves Left
1969Fairport ConventionLiege & Lief
1969Dr. Strangely StrangeKip of the Serenes
1969The Incredible String Band"Big Ted" / "All Writ Down"
1969The Incredible String BandChanging Horses
1970Vashti BunyanJust Another Diamond Day
1970John and Beverley MartynStormbringer!
1970The Incredible String BandU
1970Fairport ConventionFull House
1970The Incredible String BandI Looked Up
1970The Incredible String BandBe Glad for the Song Has No Ending
1970Geoff and Maria MuldaurPottery Pie
1970Brotherhood of BreathBrotherhood of Breath
1971Nick DrakeBryter Layter
1971Mike HeronSmiling Men with Bad Reputations
1971Mike Heron"Call Me Diamond" / "Lady Wonder"
1971John and Beverley MartynThe Road to Ruin
1971Dr. Strangely StrangeHeavy Petting
1973Maria MuldaurMaria Muldaur
1973Maria Muldaur"Midnight at the Oasis" b/w "Any Old Time"
1973Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandel"Dueling Banjos" b/w "Reuben's Train"
1973Jimi HendrixJimi Hendrixsoundtrack[13]
1974Maria MuldaurWaitress in a Donut Shop
1975Kate and Anna McGarrigleKate & Anna McGarrigle
1975Geoff MuldaurGeoff Muldaur Is Having a Wonderful Time
1976James BookerJunco Partner
1976Fairport ConventionLive at the L.A. Troubadour
1976Maria MuldaurSweet Harmony
1976Toots & the MaytalsReggae Got Soul
1977Kate & Anna McGarrigleDancer with Bruised Knees
1978The Albion BandRise Up Like the Sun
1978Julie CovingtonJulie Covington
1981The Act (a band fronted by Nick Laird-Clowes)Too Late at Twenty
1981Joe "King" Carrasco and The CrownsParty Safari
1981Geoff MuldaurI Ain't Drunk
1982Richard and Linda ThompsonShoot Out the Lights
1982Richard and Linda Thompson"Don't Renege on Our Love" / "Living in Luxury"
1982DefunktThermonuclear Sweat
1982Cool It RebaMoney Fall Out the Sky
1983Richard ThompsonHand of Kindness
1983original cast recordingPoppie Nongena
1984Richard ThompsonSmall Town Romance
1985Richard ThompsonAcross a Crowded Room
1985R.E.M.Fables of the Reconstruction
198510,000 ManiacsThe Wishing Chair
1986Fairport ConventionHouse Full – Live at the LA Troubador
1986Dagmar KrauseSupply and Demand, German version: Angebot und Nachfrage
1987BalkanaThe Music of Bulgaria
1987John HarleHabanera
1987Danny ThompsonWhatever
1988Nazakat & Salamat AliNazakat & Salamat Ali
1988Billy BraggWorker's Playtime
1988The Trio BulgarkaThe Forest Is Crying
1988Toumani DiabatéKaira
1988Ketama, Toumani Diabaté and Danny ThompsonSonghai
1988The Dinner LadiesThese Knees Have Seen the World
1988Brotherhood of BreathCountry Cooking
1988Mary Margaret O'HaraMiss AmericaBoyd uncredited[14]
1989Ivo Papasov and His Bulgarian Wedding BandOrpheus Ascending
1989June TaborSome Other Time
1990The BlackgirlsProcedure
1991The BlackgirlsHappy
1991Ivo Papasov and His Bulgarian Wedding BandBalkanology
1991The WatchmanThe Watchman
1992OrbestraTrans-Danubian Swineherd's Music
1994Ketama, Toumani Diabaté and Danny ThompsonSonghai 2
1996Toumani DiabatéDjelika
1997Alfredo RodriguezCuba Linda
1998The Hank DogsBareback
1998Jazz JamaicaDouble Barrel
1998Dana and Karen KletterDear Enemy
1998Kate & Anna McGarrigleThe McGarrigle Hour
1998Philip PickettThe Bones of All Men
1998The Yockamo All-StarsDew Drop Out
1999¡Cubanismo!Mardi Gras Mambo
1999Taj Mahal and Toumani DiabatéKulanjan
1999Loudon Wainwright IIISocial Studies
2002The Hank DogsHalf Smile
2004Geoff Muldaur's Futuristic EnsemblePrivate Astronomy
2004Virginia RodriguesMares Profundos
2005Pink FloydLondon '66-'67
2007AthenaBreathe with Me
2014Robyn HitchcockThe Man Upstairs
2017Maya YoussefSyrian DreamsExecutive Producer
2020Damir ImamovićSinger of TalesWrasse Recordsco-production Andrea Goertler


  1. Boyd, Joe, White Bicycles – Making Music in the 1960s, Serpent's Tail, 2006. ISBN 1-85242-910-0
  2. Richie Unterberger. "Joe Boyd Interview". Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  3. Boyd, 2006, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, pp. 21–27.
  4. Boyd, 2006, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, pp. 96–107.
  5. Boyd, 2006, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, pp. 109–117.
  6. Boyd, 2006, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, pp. 143–166.
  7. Boyd, 2006, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, pp. 191–202.
  8. Boyd, 2006, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, pp. 166–170.
  9. Boyd, 2006, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, pp. 235–238.
  10. Boyd, 2006, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, p. 238.
  11. "7th Annual IMA Judges". Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  12. "A Cold Wind Blows". informatik.uni-hamburg. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  13. Jimi Hendrix at IMDb
  14. Larry Crane, "Interview with Joe Boyd", Tape Op, July/Aug 2007

Further reading