In Memoriam: Jerry Finn

Written by Music

I’m stunned and saddened to hear the news that producer / mixer Jerry Finn passed away yesterday as a result of the effects of a brain hemorrhage which occurred last month. Given how important Finn’s work has been to the legacy of the genre referred to as punk-pop, I’m anticipating that there will be many tributes forthcoming on various websites, but I wanted to make sure that Popdose would be counted among that number.

I’ve gotta be honest with you: the name “Jerry Finn” didn’t really mean a whole lot to me until he was announced as the man who would be producing Morrissey’s You Are The Quarry album. I’m a Mozzer apologist from way back, but as much as I came to love 1997’s Maladjusted, I also knew that it was far from his best work. If the man was ever going to get off the greatest-hits circuit and earn back his status as a college-rock god who still had something to say that was worth hearing, he was going to need to step up his game. Enter Finn, who added a much needed crunch to Mozzer’s sound.

From the moment I heard the first single from You Are The Quarry“Irish Blood, English Heart” – it was obvious that Morrissey was back in a big way…and that if this album was to be a commercial success, then he would owe much of that success to Jerry Finn. And when the time came to write my review of You Are The Quarry, I took a step back, did my research on Finn’s background, and was flabbergasted to find that I had no less than a dozen albums in my collection which featured Finn’s name within their credits. (It was actually a little embarrassing. I’m usually much better at noticing production info.)

Is it overstating things to suggest that Jerry Finn is to punk-pop what Butch Vig was to grunge? Perhaps, but not by much. The guy had his fingers in a lot of pies over the course of his career, and a lot of those pies proved to be…well, okay, I’m going to abandon this pie metaphor, but suffice it to say that many, many millions of albums have been sold in the last decade or so that feature the name “Jerry Finn” as producer, mixer, or engineer. Green Day, Blink-182, Morrissey, AFI, and Alkaline Trio might be the most prominent names with which he’s been associated, but there’s much more to his resume than those folks. I guess it’s somehow appropriate that Finn’s last work was with the man who brought him to my attention in the first place: Morrissey, whose next record, tentatively titled Years of Refusal, is due to emerge in early 2009.

Here’s a collection of MP3s to pay tribute to the work of Jerry Finn. Frankly, it was a little spooky the way the titles of some of these songs lent themselves so perfectly to a farewell, but may he rest in peace, and may he not be forgotten.

“Disconnected,” Goo Goo Dolls, A Boy Named Goo (engineer)
“Basket Case,” Green Day, Dookie (mixed)
“Sad Tomorrow,” The Muffs, Blonder and Blonder (engineered and mixed)
“Are You Ready for the Fallout?,” Fastball, Make Your Mama Proud (producer)
“Capital Cristine,” The Smoking Popes, Destination Failure (producer)
“Cliche,” Coward, Coward (producer)
“Soap Disco,” Kara’s Flowers, The Fourth World (engineered and mixed)
“Do the Vampire,” Superdrag, Head Trip In Every Key (producer)
“Roll On,” The Living End, Roll On (mixed)
“All the Small Things,” Blink-182, Enema of the State (producer)
“Get Over,” Marvelous 3, ReadySexGo (producer)
“In Too Deep,” Sum 41, All Killer No Filler (producer)
“The Rock Show,” Blink-182, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (producer)
“Sorrow,” Bad Religion, The Process of Belief (producer)
“I Miss You,” Blink-182, Blink-182 (producer)
“First of the Gang to Die,” Morrissey, You Are The Quarry (producer)
“Love Like Winter,” AFI, Decemberunderground (producer)
“When Your Heart Stops Beating,” +44, When Your Heart Stops Beating (producer)
“Ghosts of Memory,” Tiger Army, Music from Regions Beyond (producer)