|Bruce Fairbairn was one of the most successful producers of the 1980s, helming massive hits for acts including Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and Loverboy. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia on December 30, 1949, Fairbairn learned to play the trumpet at age five, and as a teen appeared in a series of local R&B groups. He built his reputation as a producer while with his band Prism, earning the first of three Canadian Juno "Producer of the Year" awards for his work on their 1980 album Young and Restless; his commercial breakthrough followed that same year with Loverboy, as their self-titled debut LP launched the international hits "Turn Me Loose" and "The Kid Is Hot Tonite." Subsequent efforts for Blue Oyster Cult (1983's Revolution by Night) and Krokus (1984's Blitz) solidified Fairbairn's position as one of the top producers in the hard rock arena, and in 1986 he reached his commerical pinnacle with Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet, which sold over 12 million copies.
Together with protege Bob Rock, Fairbairn established Vancouver's Little Mountain Sound as one of the top recording studios in North America; with his next major production, Aerosmith's 1987 effort Permanent Vacation, he generated a series of hits - including "Dude (Looks Like a Lady), " "Angel, " and "Rag Doll" - which vaulted the venerable group back to the top of the charts. Fairbairn also helmed Aerosmith's follow-up, 1989's Pump, an even bigger hit which reached sales in excess of seven million. AC/DC's The Razor's Edge followed in 1990, as did Poison's Flesh and Blood; from there he went on to work with everyone from the Scorpions to Jackyl, and in 1995 produced Van Halen's Balance. A year later, Fairbairn shifted gears to helm The Cranberries' To the Faithful Departed; Psycho Circus, from the reunited Kiss, followed in 1998. After wrapping up sessions for a forthcoming release from Yes, on May 17, 1999 he was found dead in his Vancouver home; Fairbairn was just 49. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide