The Producers, the Atlanta pop quartet formed 20 years ago this past New Year's Eve, released three energetic albums and earned some national exposure in the early '80s via a newly born MTV. Finally, 19 years after the release of the group's debut LP, the first two Producers albums have been reissued on CD.
"Our stuff was all over Napster and people had been burning CD-Rs, but the sound wasn't that great," says Producers' drummer Brian Holmes, who remastered the project.
Containing their biggest hits, "She Shelia" and "What's He Got," the Producers' self-titled debut and the '82 follow-up album, You Make the Heat, had been sitting on the shelf at CBS for years until One Way, a New York label specializing in reissues, licensed them. The company has reissued both albums on a single CD.
The Producers' giddy new-wave froth — inspired by the band's appreciation of the Police and the Beatles, and filtered through the copy-cat sensiblities of a bar band — might be seen as the Marvelous 3 of its time. Today, Producers songs continue to endure as charming period pieces. Parents and older relatives are even turning on kids to the recent reissues, Holmes says.
To celebrate the reissue, the band plans to tour later this year. Holmes, singer/guitarist Van Temple and flamboyant keyboardist Wayne Famous still live in the Atlanta area, while original bassist Kyle Henderson, who left in the late '80s, lives in Florida. Though Henderson was replaced by Tim Smith of Umajets and Jellyfish fame, Henderson agreed to Produce again because Smith, who tours with Sheryl Crow, is unavailable.
Unlike the group's heyday, this time out the Producers plan to enjoy the ride. "During the '80s, we were so busy trying for record deals and working hard, it wasn't fun," says Holmes, who stays busy these days producing local bands including Ultraphonic. "Now we're playing better than ever and just having a blast."
The Producers/You Make the Heat is available from One Way Records. For more information, see www.theproducers.org.