George Marino, Legendary Mastering Engineer, Dies

He worked at New York’s Sterling Sound for almost 40 years and on albums from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Metallica, Whitney Houston and Arcade Fire.

George Marino, an engineer who mastered such classic albums as Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions, John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy and Guns N’ Roses' Appetite for Destruction, died Monday after a yearlong bout with lung cancer. His age was not immediately available.

A three-time Grammy winner, Marino joined Sterling Sound in 1973 and worked at the New York mastering facility ever since.

“Sterling Sound and the music industry as a whole has suffered a tremendous loss,” the company said in a statement. “Words cannot express the sorrow we feel. George was family to us all, and we will miss him dearly.”

Marino mastered an untold number of albums — AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet, Metallica’s 1991 eponymous release, Coldplay’s A Rush of Blood to the Head, Whitney Houston’s Whitney and Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, which won the 2011 Grammy for album of the year, were among the highlights. He also mastered some of the annual Grammy nominee CDs for the Recording Academy.

A guitar player, Marino landed his first job in the industry as a librarian and assistant at Capitol Studios in 1967, then apprenticed in the mastering department, helping cut rock, pop, jazz and classical albums. When Capitol closed its New York studio, he joined the fledgling Record Plant, eventually becoming a partner in the recording-mastering studio, before heading to Sterling Sound.

“R.I.P. George Marino, we will miss you,” guitarist Joe Satriani tweeted.