Years ago, on East Village Radio, Mark Ronson‘s Authentic Sh** radio show, he featured a guest who had just gotten tatted up and said she was quite lightheaded from blood-loss. Ronson asked her to sing anyway, so she grabbed the mic and proceeded to belt out an acoustic marvel. She may not have been in her own top form, but no one listening would have noticed, as she left those in the studio, as well as the many who listened to the archive of the show, floored. Her name was Amy Winehouse, and at that point, the only song that was circulating was “Rehab,” which was more than enough to garner attention. Years later, Winehouse may be just as recognizable for her off-stage antics as her undeniable talent, but her album was enough to force the industry to take notice of Ronson, who won two Grammy Awards in 2008 for his work on the Winehouse album, which was a retro masterpiece.
The rolling basslines, blaring Dap Kings horns, and trumped-up snares that became synonymous with Ronson’s production repertoire aided a newfangled interest in neo-soul. He was not the first to reinterpret soul music, but his work on his second studio album, Version, and on the albums he produced for Brit-Pop stars Winehouse and Lily Allen certified his ability to make hits with a throwback sensibility.