Today is Butch Vig's 55th birthday. The acclaimed record producer and sometime musician has been at the helm of some of the best grunge and indie records of the past 25 years, and his production style has made him one of the most sought-after sound architects in the industry.
From his earliest works behind the boards for bands like Killdozer and Die Kreuzen to recent jobs with Muse and Never Shout Never, Vig has been one of music's most adventurous producers when he wasn't helping build sounds that would move mountains.
Vig produced Nirvana's Nevermind, which to many is more than enough of a calling card, convincing Kurt Cobain to take production chances that would ultimately improve the songs and turn Nirvana into Nirvana.
He also helped make the first two Smashing Pumpkins albums, Gish and Siamese Dream, and Sonic Youth's Dirty and Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.
With his band Garbage, fronted by Shirley Manson, Vig played drums all four of their albums from 1995 until the group went on hiatus in 2006. Garbage has sold nearly 17 million albums worldwide, and is currently working on new material for a 2012 return.
Let's not forget his stellar job on this year's Foo Fighters album, Wasting Light, which saw, Vig, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl in the studio together for the first time since the Nevermind sessions on the track "I Should Have Known."
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We collected just a few of the best albums that Mr. Vig has produced, from the crunchy goodness of L7 and Helmet, tweaking Green Day's ongoing sojourn into rock-opera territory, to breathing new life into younger bands like AFI and Against Me!