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The Hitmaker

Over the course of five decades, recording engineer and music producer Phil Ramone worked with pretty much every legend in the biz. He passed away at age 79 on March 30 after an aortic aneurysm, but leaves behind an indelible mark on pop history. Here, a playlist appreciation.

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Lesley Gore, ”It’s My Party” (1963)

Ramone transitioned from jazz to pop with this classic teen anthem.

Dusty Springfield, ”The Look of Love” (1967)
A low-key lounge vibe penned by frequent collaborator Burt Bacharach.

Harry Nilsson, ”Everybody’s Talkin”’ (1969)
The country-kissed gem (featured in the seminal drama Midnight Cowboy) showed off Ramone’s skill at weaving music into films.

Paul Simon, ”Kodachrome” (1973)
Simon became a regular client after Ramone engineered this bright, bouncy construction for There Goes Rhymin’ Simon.

Barbra Streisand, ”Evergreen” (1977)
Yet another of his great soundtrack tunes, this one for A Star Is Born.

Billy Joel, ”Only the Good Die Young” (1977)
A breakthrough for Ramone, who became Joel’s go-to producer.

Michael Sembello, ”Maniac” (1983)
Ramone supervised the music for Flashdance, including this No. 1 hit.

Madonna, ”Crazy for You” (1985)
His team-up with the Material Girl gave him another chart-topper.

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, ”The Lady Is a Tramp” (2011)
Bennett and Ramone worked together for decades, and this duet connected past and future.