Robin McBride came to Mercury Records in 1968, rising to the position of Head of Midwest and International A&R. As a producer, McBride’s credits are both extensive and versatile, having produced and/or co-produced over 50 major label LP’s.
McBride’s projects include serving as Executive Producer for David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World,” Producer for several tracks by the Ohio Players, Co-Producer for Chuck Mangione’s “Land Of Make Believe” and Producer for the Buddy Miles smash “Them Changes,” which re-entered the Billboard top 100 seven different times.
In 1977, Robin McBride was quite powerful in the music industry at the time that Skafish was attracting tremendous attention in Chicago. McBride, who had met Skafish at a party thrown by Barbie Goodrich and her three sisters in 1974, now focused his attention on Skafish as an artist. Offering to produce 4 tracks, McBride told Skafish and his band to “just perform,” saying that he would handle the rest. The sessions yielded 4 recordings: “You Invited Me,” “Tattle Tale,” “Sign of the Cross,” and “No Liberation Here.”
When McBride excitedly took the tape to a Mercury Records A&R meeting shortly after it was completed in October, 1977, he asked for everyone’s attention. He informed the company that the tape they were about to hear was by a very unique artist, and that when he finds a record company to believe in him, he could have great impact on the music world. He then turned the tape on. Some executives fidgeted, others shook their heads in disbelief, while others gazed dumbfounded around the room.
Finally someone asked McBride, “Why are we listening to this?” There was total silence. McBride sheepishly turned the tape off. It wasn’t until 1999 that the tape surfaced in Los Angeles in former Skafish manager Scott Cameron’s warehouse.
Even though this experience was not a critical turning point for Robin in his relationship with Mercury records, he ended up leaving the company within in a year in 1978 to pursue work as an independent producer. He eventually took a complete break from the music business, and became a top-level stockbroker, a position he still holds. Several years later, Robin donated his priceless vinyl record collection to a college library to encourage and facilitate student awareness of various musical forms.