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    Andy Johns, top album producer, engineer

    NEW YORK — Andy Johns, a record producer and engineer who was involved in several canonical albums of 1970s rock, including the Rolling Stones’ ‘‘Exile on Main St.,’’ Television’s ‘‘Marquee Moon,’’ and a string of recordings by Led Zeppelin, died April 7 in Van Nuys, Calif. He was 62.

    The cause was a bleeding ulcer, his wife, Annette, said.

    Early in his career, Mr. Johns was brought in by Jimmy Miller, the Rolling Stones’ producer, for the scattered sessions in the south of France that became one of the band’s most acclaimed albums, ‘‘Exile on Main St.’’


    The bulk of the recording for that album was done in 1971 at Keith Richards’s rented mansion on the Cote d’Azur. Mr. Johns, like some in the band and assorted hangers-on, indulged in drugs, but he was also intimately involved in the sessions.

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    ‘’I think I knew more about what was on the tapes than anybody else,’’ he recalled in an interview with Guitar Player magazine in 2010. (Miller died in 1994.)

    When the band went to Los Angeles to finish the record, Mr. Johns was selected to mix it — a complex process that became a marathon reconstruction project. Fans and critics still debate whether the resulting album is a frayed masterpiece or simply shoddy work.

    Andrew Jeremy Johns was born May 20, 1950, in Leatherhead, a town in Surrey, England. As a teenager he played bass guitar and learned the craft of the recording studio from his older brother, Glyn, who had worked with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and would go on to become an acclaimed producer with The Who, the Eagles, and others.

    The younger Mr. Johns began his career in 1967 at Olympic Studios in London, working as a tape operator or assistant engineer on albums including the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s ‘‘Axis: Bold as Love’’ and the Rolling Stones’ ‘‘Their Satanic Majesties Request.’’


    He had a long association with Led Zeppelin, working on six of the band’s albums, beginning with ‘‘Led Zeppelin II’’ in 1969.

    He achieved the acclaimed drum sound on ‘‘When the Levee Breaks,’’ a song from the group’s untitled fourth album, by recording the instrument at the bottom of a reverberant stairwell.

    By the early 1970s he had also produced albums by the bands Humble Pie, Free, and others, and in 1977 he coproduced Television’s ‘‘Marquee Moon’’ with Tom Verlaine, one of the band’s two guitarists.

    In the 1980s and ’90s Johns worked with hard-rock bands including Van Halen and L.A. Guns.

    Besides his wife and brother, Mr. Johns, who lived in Studio City, Calif., leaves three sons, William, Evan, and Jesse Cole Johns; four grandchildren; and a sister, Susan.


    Of the albums on which Mr. Johns worked, ‘‘Exile on Main St.’’ was perhaps his proudest moment.

    ‘‘So if you could put yourself in my shoes,’’ he told Guitar Player, ‘‘you’re at the center of the universe, you’re working with the Stones in the south of France, you’re working at Keith Richards’s house, you’re getting paid really well, you’re only 21, so you have your youth, and the music is just fabulous. What is there to complain about?’’