Max Martin

Max Martin – The greatest pop music producer ever(?)

I’ve been meaning to work on this project for quite some time now. Even back in 2008, when I was working at AOL, I felt like pushing this feature out for the portal I worked at – but I felt other than me, nobody else would care. Last week I said: “Screw it, I’m doing it… even if it gets taken down on copyright violation claims!”

As a kid growing up in the ’90s in Bahrain, I was quite literally raised on radio. I couldn’t think of a day I didn’t switch on to listen to Radio Bahrain, which played a lot of UK chart music back then. I also began reading pop magazines like Smash Hits and buying cassettes of albums I liked.

By the mid-to-late 90s, Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync were very much a part of the pop music business. Whenever I went through the inlay cards of the albums I bought, I kept seeing some common names when reading the song credits, and Max Martin was one of them. The others were (his mentor) Dennis Pop, Kristian Lundin, Rami Yacoub, Andreas Carlsson and Per Magnusson – to name a few. Mind you, there are other co-writers and co-producers who deserve a mention, but I can’t list them all!

I won’t get into his whole bio – you have Wikipedia for that – but consider this: chances are you haven’t heard of Max Martin, but you have heard his music!

Max Martin
He’s quite media shy, despite the ubiquitous nature of his musical productions.

So here’s my video tribute to Swedish producer and songwriter Martin Samberg – or Max Martin as he likes to call himself. Why? Here’s why:

Now, I know some of you maybe thinking “Man, you got the chronology all wrong”. But I didn’t. I just went with the years I first heard the songs. In particular Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync – both of whom debuted in Europe and Asia long before they struck gold (and multi-platinum) back in their home country. For example, ‘Backstreet’s Back‘ (the 2nd album) was never released in America because by the time “Quit Playing With My Heart” (the last single from the first album) gained airplay in the US, Backstreet Boys were already superstars in Europe and Asia. So when it came time to release a first album in America, they merged both their debut album and the second album into one.

‘N Sync debuted in Europe with “Here We Go” all the way back in 1996, but it wasn’t until 1998 “I Want You Back” got a music video makeover and was released as the first single for ‘N Sync’s American debut.

Also, in case people were wondering where I stood: ‘N Sync > Backstreet Boys.

Sorry, I still like them, believe in ‘KTBSPA‘and look forward to their new album next year (in which I hope to see a Max Martin contribution)… but somehow ‘N Sync had the ‘it’ factor. Kind of like with One Direction over The Wanted now.

Oh yeah, about the quality of the video. Sorry, I know it’s 2012 and 480p is so 2006, but I had to download all the videos off of YouTube, convert them from .flv to .m4v just so iMovie ’09 would open them. And some of these videos are pretty old (heck, most weren’t even in widescreen format). I’m no pro editor, I created the whole thing in a few days using a hand-me-down Macbook Pro I just got recently. So pardon the amateur cuts. I tried my best.

I know there were other hits I missed but I could only cram as much in under 15 minutes. I left out Celine Dion’s ‘One Heart,’’s “This Is Love” and Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want From Me” just to make space for the others. Again, if you want Max Martin’s entire discography, check Wiki or (Max Martin’s own studio).

If you guys have any other feedback, or would just love to chat about the good ‘ole late ’90s, gladly leave a comment below! 🙂

P.S: Here’s that last image I used, in case you didn’t get to read it all:

Swedish pop music producers
I only listed a few songs done by these guys. There’s LOTS more!

P.P.S: Ha ha, a viewer of my video just shared this video of Max Martin’s old band ‘It’s Alive’:

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    He’s the best

  • Lucy


    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! …I discovered it via your youtube video when I typed in Max Martin. For my Popular Music Studies class at University I have been working on an assignment discussing the impact of Swedish music producers on UK chart music. I find the impact they have had absolutely fascinating, to me they have really shaped the music we listen to in the UK, even if popular music isn’t to everyone’s taste, almost everyone inevitably hears music produced (or written) by Swedes when they turn on the radio, the TV etc. We owe them big time I think, and Max Martin in particular, I probably owe him my taste in music! Anyway, watching your video really helped to get my chronological brain in order in terms of when music by Max Martin appeared in the charts which is a big help for my assignment so, yet again, thank you!!!! X

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    As some who grew up on UK chart music and reading Smash Hits, Max Martin’s productions were unavoidable! 🙂

    All the best for your assignment. The Swedes really know their pop: ABBA > Roxette > Max Martin/Rami Yacoub/Per Magnusson/Andreas Carlsson!

    Lucy Reply:

    Very true! Completely unavoidable and so talented! Thank you, I love writing about it 🙂 The Swedes rule pop haha!

  • Henri Galvão


    Man, I really liked your video, as well as the way you contextualized the songs! As for me, I honestly haven’t really been following the charts for the last 5 years or so, so I can’t say much about many songs, but I remember very well this period between 1997-2002 when those boy bands were huge.

    Even then it was pretty obvious how melodically beautiful those songs were, although, as a teenage boy, I could never admit to like them – not even to myself! Fortunately times have changed a little, and I can now look back on it with a different perspective and, as a songwriter myself, see if I can learn something from them (even though my style is not very similar to it). Peace,

  • Hans Björkman


    Hi Mithun.
    I am fr.o.m. Sweden but right now sitting under the stars on top of a mumbai hotel watching your nice video of my favorite artis Martin Sandberg. Max Martin. I get a lot of foreign visitors to my home in Stockholm being a Couchsurfing host and I force almost everyone to visit the home of Max in a very nice part of stockholm.
    Thanks for the music Max and Mithun.

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    And thank you for your comment. I hope to see the ‘house of Max’ one day 🙂

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