Bearded guru of the recording studio, Rick Rubin has been one of music’s top producers since making his bones as staff producer and creative head of Def Jam Records in the early ‘80s. While his seminal work with Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J and The Beastie Boys cemented his status early on, starting with 1990’s American Recordings by country legend Johnny Cash, Rubin has become the go-to guy for artists trying to recapture their mojo and launch a career comeback. Like any truly great producer, Rubin’s greatest asset is his ears and his ability to match artists with great material or bring out the greatness of their own talents. It’s no wonder everyone from Jay-Z, for whom he produced “99 Problems,” to heavy metal hall of famers Black Sabbath have him on speed dial. The following are the greatest comeback albums he has produced.
10. ZZ Top La Futura (2012)
Perhaps the only rock band to successfully merge drum machines with delta blues, Texas longbeads ZZ Top were a Rick Rubin-collab no brainer. They hadn’t seen the charts since their video-fueled 80s heyday but with Rubin at the board the group put together a top 10 album which critics called their best since the career highpoint Eliminator.