Paul Buckmaster

Arranger Paul Buckmaster, whose talents graced the work of such seminal artists as David Bowie, Elton John, and the Rolling Stones, has died. He was 71.

Buckmaster contributed orchestral arrangements for many of John’s early albums – including Elton JohnTumbleweed Connection, and Madman Across the Water. Other highlights of his work include arrangements for Harry Nilsson’s “Without You,” Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain,” Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” and the Stones’ “Moonlight Mile” and “Sway.”

While many associate Buckmaster with his early ‘70s work, he remained active and prolific through the years, eventually earning a Grammy in 2002 for his arrangement of Train’s “Drops of Jupiter.” Most recently he lent his skills to Heart’s 2016 album, Beautiful Broken.

In 2009, Buckmaster reminisced about his collaborations with John, telling Xecutives.net, “The principle was: The song comes first! That was our approach to the art of recording music back then. We treated each song as an individual personality and character.”