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Rush producer Rupert Hine dead at 72

Rupert Hine
(Image credit: Cherry Red)

Rush producer Rupert Hine has died, aged 72. A noted songwriter and musician in his own right, Hine produced the Canadian prog rockers' Presto and Roll The Bones albums in 1989 and 1991.

Rush engineer Stephen W. Tayler, who worked with Hine on Presto and Roll The Bones, paid tribute on Facebook, saying: "So sorry to have to say goodbye to my dearest and oldest friend - and partner in crime - Rupert Hine. We shared so many wonderful journeys and adventures in the process of working with so many great artists and projects. It has been a true privilege to have been so close to this charming, kind and creative soul with the most wicked sense of humour."

Hine had his own biggest commercial success with Quantum Jump, with whom he had a Top Ten UK hit in 1979 with The Lone Ranger, a song made famous by Kenny Everett using the song's opening in his TV show.

But it was as a producer that he was best known, working with a string of artists such as Martin Grech, Camel, Kevin Ayers, Anthony Phillips, Saga, Underworld, Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, The Thompson Twins, Chris De Burgh, Suzanne Vega, Howard Jones, The Fixx and more.

Hine's musical path began in the 60s as one half of the acoustic folk duo Rupert & David, who once shared a stage with Paul Simon and whose sole single, a cover of Simon's The Sound Of Silence, featured Jimmy Page on guitar.

Hine's solo career began in the early 70s with Pick Up The Bones (1971) and Unfinished Picture (1973). He formed prog rock outfit Quantum Jump with Caravan bassist John G. Perry and released Quantum Jump (1976) and Barracuda (1977). The band had all but split by the time The Lone Ranger was a hit but reconvened  to perform on Top Of The Pops.

Hine's trio of 80s albums, Immunity (1981), Waving Not Drowning (1982) and The Wildest Fish To Fly were critically acclaimed. He produced the One World One Voice album to heighten environmental awareness with contributions from Peter Gabriel, Clannad, Kevin Godley, Lou Reed and Sting, and he also produced two Songs For Tibet albums at the request of the Dalai Lama.

A cause of death has not been announced.