Last week marked the final edition of Tom Werman’s run on our Producers column and, in the course of his finale, he mentioned a special mixtape disc he made for his family and friends. Many readers replied wanting to know which songs he chose as his most indicative productions, the work he was most proud of. We’re hoping maybe to get Tom’s input for a future Friday Mixtape based on those requests.

But overall, it’s not a bad idea, is it? A mix themed not so much on a topic, artist or concept, but on the producer involved in the project gives insight to that producer’s choices, inclinations and “sound” and there hasn’t been a producer of recent time as prodigious as Brendan O’Brien.

His first high-profile job came with Stone Temple Pilots’ debut disc Core. After that he became Pearl Jam’s de-facto producer for life, starting with Vs., their second offering. He also mixed The Jayhawks’ Hollywood Town Hall and Soundgarden’s Superunknown. Recently he has found himself behind the boards for Mastodon and Bruce Springsteen. Music fans are mixed on O’Brien, some believing he’s the quintessential producer of the ’90s into today, while others are put off by his signature ‘dry’ sound, lacking reverb and sparkle. This miniature capsule of a very small part of his output serves as an opportunity to decide for yourself.

AC/DC – Anything Goes from Black Ice (2008)

Ben Folds Five – Air from Godzilla: The Album (1998)

Bruce Springsteen – Worlds Apart from The Rising (2002)

Incubus – Talk Shows On Mute from A Crow Left of the Murder (2004)

King’s X – Cigarettes from Dogman (1994)

Mastodon – Oblivion from Crack the Skye (2009)

Matthew Sweet – We’re The Same from 100% Fun (1995)

Michael Penn – All That That Implies from Resigned (1997)

Neil Young – Scenery from Mirror Ball (1995)

Pearl Jam – Rearviewmirror from Vs. (1993)

Stone Temple Pilots – Wonderful from Shangri-La Dee Da (2001)

About the Author

Dw. Dunphy

Dw. Dunphy is a writer, artist, and musician. For Popdose he has contributed many articles that can be found in the site's archives. He also writes for New Jersey Stage,, Ultimate Classic Rock, and Diffuser FM. His music can be found at

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