Skip to main content

Fleetwood Mac, Ozzy Osbourne and Scorpions producer Keith Olsen dead

Keith Olsen
Keith Olsen (Image credit: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage for NARAS - Getty)

Acclaimed music producer Keith Olsen has died.

The news was confirmed by Scorpions (opens in new tab), who worked with Olsen on their Crazy World album in 1990.

The band say: “We just learned about the passing of our dear friend and producer Keith Olsen. Keith produced many iconic albums, including our album Crazy World

“Keith was a wonderful guy, and the making of Crazy World was such an inspiring journey, containing outstanding songs like Wind Of Change and Send Me An Angel, which had the Keith Olsen touch on every single note.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to his family. RIP Keith. You live on in the music."

Olsen was behind the desk for the 1973 Buckingham Nicks album which led to Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joining Fleetwood Mac (opens in new tab). Olsen would go on to produce Fleetwood Mac’s second eponymous album in 1975.

He also worked with a range of other artists in the rock and metal world, including Ozzy Osbourne (opens in new tab) on No Rest For The Wicked, Whitesnake (opens in new tab)’s 1987 and Slip Of The Tongue, Heart (opens in new tab)’s Passionworks, Foreigner (opens in new tab)’s Double Vision, Magnum (opens in new tab)’s Goodnight LA, Emerson, Lake & Palmer (opens in new tab)'s In The Hot Seat, and Sammy Hagar (opens in new tab) on his 1982 album Standing Hampton and its follow-up Three Lock Box.

Whitesnake’s David Coverdale paid tribute to Olsen on Twitter, saying simply: “Keith Olsen. RIP dear friend.”

Rick Springfield, who worked with Olsen on the hit single Jessie’s Girl in 1981, said: “My amazing and talented friend Keith Olsen has passed away. Such a gifted producer. And later on a wonderful guy. Ha, ha!

“He could be a bit of a pistol in the studio but that was part of his talent. Sticking to his guns when some whiny artist – me – would say, ‘I don’t think that works.’

“He didn't produce all those hits for all those musicians for no reason. He had a golden ear and helped so many people reach their potential. I remember playing him my demos and he picked Jessie’s Girl out of a batch of 15 songs and said, ‘This is a hit.’

“I doubted him and thought there were better songs in my demo reel. Proof right there of his gift. May God give your spirit the peace and joy and the rest it deserves. You were a star maker in so many ways. God bless your memory my friend.”

No cause of death has been revealed.

See more
See more
See more
See more

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.