Keith Olsen (died March 2020) was an American record producer and sound engineer, who worked with Rick Springfield, Fleetwood Mac, Ozzy Osbourne, the Grateful Dead, Whitesnake, Pat Benatar, Heart, Santana, Saga, Foreigner, Magnum, Journey, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Joe Walsh, as well as Eric Burdon & the Animals, among others.
Olsen was the producer on over 100 complete albums. His production work has earned him more than 39 Gold, 24 Platinum, and 14 Multi-Platinum album certifications.
Olsen was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States, and went to school in Minneapolis, where he developed an appreciation for classical, pop, and jazz music. He gained production experience working in recording studios in the Minneapolis area, and musical and touring experience playing upright bass in jazz and folk bands. He subsequently played bass as a member of the Music Machine, who had a hit with the single "Talk Talk". During this time he began collaborating with Curt Boettcher, producer of the Association's single "Cherish", and met another early influence, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, who taught him "to envision everything about a production as you hear the song the first time."
After moving to Los Angeles he was instrumental in launching the careers of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. He helped them to secure a record deal, produced their first album, Buckingham Nicks, and let them live in his house, employing Nicks as a housekeeper for a while. After introducing them to Mick Fleetwood, he went on to produce Fleetwood Mac's eponymous 1975 album, which reached No. 1 in the US.
Through the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Olsen built a reputation as a producer. In addition to Fleetwood Mac, some of the artists he has worked with include the Grateful Dead (he produced and engineered their 1977 album Terrapin Station), Bob Weir, Eddie Money, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Rick Springfield (he produced Springfield's No. 1 hit "Jessie's Girl"), REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Heart, Joe Walsh, Starship, Santana, Kim Carnes, Sheila, Jethro Tull, the Babys, Magnum (Goodnight L.A.), Saga, Ozzy Osbourne (No Rest for the Wicked), Scorpions (Crazy World), Bad Company, Europe, 38 Special, Russ Ballard, Sammy Hagar, Whitesnake, Foreigner, Sheena Easton, Steve Perry, Journey, Loverboy, and Lou Gramm. He was also involved in several movie soundtracks, including Footloose, Vision Quest, Tron, Flashdance and Top Gun.
In 1996, Olsen stepped back from artist production to concentrate on developing surround sound music mixes for the Kore Group record label, licensing existing masters, remixing them for surround sound, and re-releasing them. As corporate director of global product development at Mackie Designs, he assembled a team of experts to develop their digital products line.
More recently, Olsen produced several albums per year for Pogologo Productions Group and was a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) Producers and Engineers Wing, the mission of which he strongly believes is necessary in this era of digital revolution. He also served on the A&N Committee, the P&E Steering Committee and the P&E Advisory Council.
On March 9, 2020, it was announced that Olsen had died.
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