Mark's Biography

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Opitz started his career with ABC TV Sydney as part of the studio floor crew. Since then he has worked with many of the Australian recording artists that have graced the international pop charts for the last 20 years, including INXS, the Divinyls, Hoodoo Gurus etc. as well working with other international artists and companies. Australia's pre-eminent production team of late 70's, Vanda and Young (Albert Productions), offered Opitz, who was working for EMI Music as the label manager for Capitol Records and the EMI local artist label, a position as their apprentice record producer.

He immediately set to work with Alberts staple artists AC/DC (Powerage), John Paul Young (Love Is In The Air), Rose Tattoo etc. When Opitz was given the job of producing the Angels , a young hard rock band (Face To Face, No Exit albums), he finally stumbled upon gold in the form of a signature, thick guitar sound that ruled Australia's '80s/90s airwaves. Some of the other artists he produced in this phase were Cold Chisel (3 albums including "East") as well as projects for Australian Crawl ( Reckless etc.), Hoodoo Gurus ( What's My Scene etc.), Richard Clapton (2 albums),The Models (Out of Mind, Out of Sight, Barbados etc.), Noiseworks ( No Lies, Take Me Back etc.) The Reels and many more.

Marks' career has a high international profile

 

An executive switch saw Opitz move to Warner Music Australia as head of A&R. There he signed and produced the Divinyls ( Desperate & What a life albums) as well as produced INXS' album, 1982's Shaboo Shoobah. The 80's saw Opitz win the Australian Grammy Award equivalent of Best Producer (2x Aria's and 5 ABC TV Countdown Awards) 7 times. In the '90s, Opitz was based primarily overseas working with a wide variety of artists. During that time he also produced several more INXS albums, including 'Welcome to Wherever You Are' and 'Full Moon, Dirty Hearts'. He also produced the classic "Live Baby Live" for the band while accompanying them on their yearlong international tour, acting as their music production advisor. This climaxed with the legendary Wembley Stadium show that was released in DVD format in 2003.

Marks' career has a high international profile; he has been included in USA's Billboard Producer Encyclopedia publication, which covers all genres of music. Besides the multitude of Australian acts he has produced, too many to mention here, A personal highlight was working with Bob Dylan on his Academy Award TV Ceremony performance of "Things Have Changed" from the movie The Wonder Boys as well as the more recent US double platinum award winning KISS / Melbourne Symphony Orchestra DVD/CD Kiss Symphony/Alive 4. Other artists Opitz has worked with include Lenny Kravitz, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys and many other US, European and Asian artists.

 

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In the late 90's Michael Gudinski (Mushroom Group) invited Opitz to join his executive team his task being to oversee his Australian artists music projects in readiness for the sale to News Limited. As well as production duties with the like of Paul Kelly, Hunters & Collectors and Deadstar, this period also saw Mark working in many facets of the business culminating in the production of the highly successful "Mushroom 25th Anniversary" concert, albums and DVD/TV/Radio specials etc.

In recent history, as well consulting with Satellite Music Australia and Don Hagens on a digital music business model, Mark's company "The Best Seat In The House" produced the INXS DVD/TV special "I'm Only Looking" for international release through Warner Music in the USA and Universal Music for the rest of the world. This project included many interviews, mini- documentaries as well as all the music videos and lives performance footage.

 

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As well as the Kiss & The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra project "Alive 4" Opitz also produced the music for the Kiss high definition US TV special/DVD release "Rock The Nation" in 06 and Paul Stanley's solo project in 07. Since then he has produced albums for Rose Tattoo, Jeff Lang, and Monique Brumby among other projects. Currently Mark is a full voting member in all categories of both The Aria Awards in Australia and The Grammy Awards in the USA

Article

by Steve Kurutz

Mark Opitz is to Australia what Don Was is to the US -- namely, the go-to guy for mainstream rock and pop production. Opitz has worked with nearly every Aussie band that has graced the pop charts in the last 15 years, including INXS, the Divinyls, and Hoodoo Gurus. Though he first began his production career as an engineer with Australian TV, it wasn't long before he realized that he wanted to be on the inside of a recording studio. In 1975, he landed a gig with EMI studios in the tape-dubbing department and after graduating to the mastering suite, he eventually took a label job at Capitol's Australian subsidiary where he was able to use his considerable influence to become EMI's staff producer. The position was short-lived however, as Opitz was eventually forced to resign when it was learned he'd been producing non-label artists on weekends to practice his production technique. Australia's preeminent production team at the time (and friends of Opitz'), Vanda and Young, offered him a position as engineer and he immediately set to work with their staple artists AC/DC. When Opitz was given the job of producing the Angels, a young hard rock band, he finally stumbled upon gold in the form of a signature, thick guitar sound that ruled Australia's early '80s airwaves. Another switch to A&R saw Opitz sign the Divinyls (later to have a U.S. hit with "I Touch Myself"), as well as produce INXS' first classic, 1982's Shaboo Shaboo. In the '90s, Opitz produced several more INXS albums, including Welcome to Wherever You Are and Full Moon, Dirty Hearts. He now works for Australia's Mushroom Records.