Best known as the keyboard player and occasional guitarist of Talking Heads during the 1980s, Harrison had begun his career ten years before, playing with Jonathan Richman's seminal Modern Lovers during the early '70s. He recorded several solo albums while on occasional hiatus from Talking Heads in the '80s, but when the band disintegrated in the late '80s, Harrison resumed his busy schedule.
Harrison had already begun producing in 1986, with the Bodeans and Violent Femmes. During the '90s and early 2000s, Harrison became an important and respected producer, working on popular albums by Live, Crash Test Dummies, the Verve Pipe, No Doubt, and the Von Bondies. He also helped launch garageband.com, an Internet resource for independent musicians.