Through his acclaimed work with David Bowie and T. Rex, among others, Tony Visconti emerged as one of the most influential producers of the glam rock era. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he began playing the ukulele at the age of five, learning to read music before picking up the guitar as a teen. After quitting high school at the age of 15, Visconti played the Catskills circuit in a band called Ricardo & the Latineers, eventually becoming one of the top guitarists on the New York City club scene. Upon joining a lounge act dubbed the Speedy Garfin Band, he toured the Southwest, followed by a stint in the revitalized Crewcuts; while performing in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he met his future wife and performing partner Siegrid, returning with her to New York City. As Tony & Siegrid, the duo debuted in 1967 with the local hit single "Long Hair"; after their second effort, "Up Here," bombed, Visconti was offered the position of house producer with the Richmond Organization label.
As the '80s dawned, Visconti expanded into new musical territory, producing albums for artists ranging from former Yes frontman Jon Anderson (Animation) to the post-punk band the Boomtown Rats (Mondo Bongo and V Deep) to new wavers Altered Images (Bite). As the decade progressed, he helmed the Moody Blues' 1986 comeback record The Other Side of Life, launching the hit "Your Wildest Dreams"; several other albums with the venerable group followed, and the Moodies remained his primary focus for the remainder of the decade. Although Visconti's visibility and influence were diminished by the '90s, his past triumphs remained a formative inspiration behind any number of contemporary artists, a legacy acknowledged when ex-Stone Roses guitarist John Squire tapped him to produce 1997's Do It Yourself, the debut from Squire's new band the Seahorses. That year, he also worked with Sparks on Plagiarism.