A guide to some of the revered engineer’s best albums

Music producer Steve Albini in his Chicago studio in 2014.
Albini in his Chicago studio in 2014. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

You might not know the name Steve Albini. But you’ve almost certainly heard his work.

Albini, a musician, producer and revered audio engineer who worked with countless alternative rock bands and artists, including Nirvana, Pixies and PJ Harvey, died Tuesday of a heart attack. He was 61.

The Chicago-based Albini was also the frontman for the underground rock groups Big Black and Shellac, which was preparing to release its first new album in nearly a decade on May 17.

Albini was perhaps best known as the engineer behind Nirvana’s third studio album, 1993’s In Utero. But he produced or recorded literally hundreds of others.

Here are just some of the best from Albini’s extensive discography.

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The Pixies’ seminal debut record is arguably Albini’s greatest album, and was later cited as an influence by rock icons including Billy Corgan, PJ Harvey and Kurt Cobain.

Cobain said the debut studio album by the Breeders, fronted by Pixies bassist Kim Deal, was one of his favorite records — and the reason he tapped Albini for In Utero.

Like Cobain, Harvey was a big fan of Albini’s work with the Breeders and Pixies, and it culminated in the raw immediacy of this critically acclaimed album.

Tweez, recorded by Albini in Evanston, Ill., was Slint’s first album and the only one released before their disbandment.

The ubiquitous Australian backing band for indie stalwarts Cat Power and Smog was captured by Albini as a formidable post-rock trio of its own.

This slow burning alt-country rock album would be the last led by Jason Molina as Songs: Ohia, and a launchpad for Molina’s next band, Magnolia Electric Co.

The eponymous debut LP from the garage rock musician Ty Segall has all the hallmarks of an Albini classic: crackling distortion, lo-fi production and raw energy.

The sophomore album by the harpist-vocalist features orchestral folk arrangements unlike anything in Albini’s catalog.

The debut album by Albini’s long-running indie trio Shellac is still revered by fans as one of his best.

The second and final studio album by Albini-fronted punk rockers Big Black features covers of Kraftwerk and Cheap Trick alongside 12 originals.

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