Richie Zito

Richie Zito (born August 21, 1952) is an American songwriter, composer and record producer from Los Angeles. In a career spanning more than 50 years, Zito has experienced success as a prolific session musician, being featured on a wide array of other artists' recordings, including work with Joe Cocker, White Lion, Poison, Mr. Big, Neil Sedaka, Yvonne Elliman, Eric Carmen, Art Garfunkel, Leo Sayer, Diana Ross, Marc Tanner, Elton John, Cher, The Motels, as well as The Cult, Eddie Money, Heart, Juliet Simms, Bad English and Prism.

Richie Zito
Birth nameRichard Zito
Born (1952-08-21) August 21, 1952 (age 68)
Brooklyn, New York
OriginLos Angeles, California
  • Record producer
  • musician
InstrumentsElectric guitar, acoustic guitar
Years active1970s–present
Associated acts

In addition to this, Zito has produced 38 singles that have been featured in the charts. He was named Billboard's Producer of the Year in 1990.[citation needed] Zito also co-composed the score for the 1986 Japanese anime film Project A-Ko with Joey Carbone. Zito's production style was described as "panoramic and cosmic" by Doug Stone of AllMusic regarding his work with Cheap Trick on their 1988 album Lap of Luxury.[1]

Musical careerEdit


Zito was born in Brooklyn, NY, but moved to California for better opportunities in his music career. In 1973, he recorded and toured with Bobby Hatfield of The Righteous Brothers. Later that year, Zito formed a band with Rick James, releasing the single "My Mama", a big hit in Europe. In 1974, Zito began working with Neil Sedaka, who had signed with Elton John's Rocket Records. Zito recorded, toured and made numerous TV appearances with Sedaka during the biggest comeback of the decade. The 1970s continued with Zito becoming one of the most in-demand session guitarists in Los Angeles, playing on songs such as Blondie's Call Me.[2][3]


In 1980, Zito joined Elton John's backing band, playing on the albums 21 at 33, The Fox, and Jump Up!. He also toured extensively with John, highlighted by performing with him in front of 450,000 People at a Concert in Central Park. Zito then began working closely with producer Giorgio Moroder, playing on some of the most successful movie soundtracks of the era. Zito worked extensively on the soundtrack for Scarface, which saw him play all the guitars, besides arranging and co-writing a number of the songs. He also played guitar on songs for other artists' albums including Berlin's Take My Breath Away, Irene Cara's Flashdance... What a Feeling, and Glenn Frey's The Heat Is On during this period.[4]

Notable studio albums produced or co-produced by ZitoEdit

Year Artist Album
1983 Toni Basil Toni Basil
1985 The Motels Shock
1986 Animotion Strange Behavior
1986 Joe Cocker Cocker
1986 Eddie Money Can't Hold Back
1988 Cheap Trick Lap of Luxury
1989 Bad English Bad English
1990 Cheap Trick Busted
1990 Heart Brigade
1991 Tyketto Don't Come Easy
1991 White Lion Mane Attraction
1991 Cher Love Hurts
1991 The Cult Ceremony
1993 Poison Native Tongue
1994 Richie Kotzen Mother Head's Family Reunion
1999 Ratt Ratt
2001 Mr. Big Actual Size

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Doug Stone. "Richie Zito | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  2. ^ bio, retrieved January 4, 2015
  3. ^ Richie Zito, retrieved January 4, 2015
  4. ^ Credits, retrieved January 4, 2015

External linksEdit