John Farrar

John Farrar
John Farrar (b. 1945)

John Farrar kept himself out of the limelight, but produced some arresting pop songs in the 1970s and 80s. Born in Australia, he is a fine electric guitarist and was a member of the 60s’/70s’ guitar group: The Shadows. Starting guitar aged 12 and working in a live group, with an ear for harmony and balance, Farrar developed an elaborate and special sense of musical ensemble and mixing.

He wrote and produced the songs You’re the One That I Want (1978) for Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta; but it’s certain other songs he made for Olivia Newton-John that captivated me: A Little More Love (1978) weaves voice and catchy guitar riffs in glistening ways. Magic (1980) mixes guitars and delays spell-bindingly. Make a Move on Me (1982) is heartfelt and perfectly produced. Landslide (1982) is dramatic and cutting, with powerful chords arranged captivatingly. (1980s’ drum beats can sometimes date music but this doesn’t detract from what’s there.)

I envy the fret-induced chord chemistry Farrar has in his head. He is a very, very skilled producer.

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