Just last year, the Offspring celebrated the 20th anniversary of their breakout album Smash, and sadly a key player in the creation of that disc has died. Thom Wilson, who produced the disc, passed away on Feb. 8, according to a press release from Epitaph Records. Wilson can be seen at the right in the photo above.

Epitaph Records CEO Brett Gurewitz issued a statement, saying, "In '82 when I was just getting started, Thom Wilson was a guy all the bands in the scene looked up to. He was the pro in our midst who loved punk and was willing to take kids under his wing to help them sound great. His work with TSOL and the Adolescents set the bar for everything that came after, including The Offspring's multi-platinum LP Smash, which was the best-selling independent release of all time. Thom was a friend, a teacher and a great producer. He will be missed." Gurewitz got a first hand look at Wilson's work when the producer oversaw Bad Religion's 1983 disc, Into the Unknown.

As stated, most of Wilson's production and engineering work came in the punk scene. After starting by working on discs from '70s soft rock radio favorites Burton Cummings and Seals and Crofts, he dove head into his love of punk, first teaming with Stiv Bators on his Disconnected album in 1981. He also worked on four TSOL releases, the Adolescents' self-titled 1981 effort, and discs from Dead Kennedys, the Vandals, Bad Religion, Social Distortion, Face to Face, Iggy Pop, the Bouncing Souls and the Aquabats, among others.

In addition to producing Smash for The Offspring, he also worked with the band on their 1989 self-titled disc, 1991's Baghdad EP and 1992's Ignition album.

Our condolences to Wilson and eternal thanks for the great punk albums he worked on.

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