Chart Topper

My radio edit helped a song reach number one in four countries.

Unfortunately, I cannot reveal wh…
My radio edit helped a song reach number one in four countries.

Unfortunately, I cannot reveal which song it is, because I was never credited, and my name does not appear on any single or album sleeve related to that song.

Yet I was instrumental in helping this song to prominent chart positions in multiple countries in the late 90s, and somewhat surprisingly, the song is still in the top 100 of Germany's best-selling singles of all time.

It all happened while I was working at a major record company as a sound engineer: An A&R manager approached me with the words: "The radio stations refuse to play this song because it is a little boring at the beginning and takes half a minute to develop - can you do something about it?"

Of course I could: Less than three hours later, the song went directly into a version of the chorus, and while the average listener would not notice any difference apart from the beginning, the song had a few dozen cuts and its structure was modified heavily - but honouring the original feel.

The A&R manager's reaction to my work was not very positive: "Why isn't it any shorter? I told you to cut the beginning!"

But I only said: "Just listen. The length is perfect for radio, and the song now grabs your attention immediately."

The immediacy took its time: I had almost forgotten about the song, when I suddenly heard it a year later on the radio - they were playing my version, which I recognise in less than 0.5 seconds, because the song start is so distinctive.

In subsequent weeks, the song reached number two in Germany (coincidentally in the week of my birthday), and number one in three other countries. Only in its country of origin, it topped the charts months before, without the need for my version.

In the following weeks, the song was being broadcast over and over; half of the radio stations were playing my version, and the other half the original from the CD single - the radio version was never on sale and was distributed to radio stations only directly from the record company.

This is my claim to being a number one music producer. My name might not appear anywhere, but I can confidently say that my involvement, however minor it was, helped the song break the charts.

In the UK, the song reached #11.