My Life Recording the Music of THE BEATLES, by Geoff Emerick and Howard Massey
There is a book called Recording the Beatles, The Studio Equipment and Techniques Used to Create Their Classic Albums. I heard a renowned audio recording engineer refer to the book as “engineer porn.” The book doesn’t find its way into too many Beatles fans’ libraries, however, due primary to two factors: 1.) The book is filled with arcane references to such details as passive vs. active equalization, microphone placement and reverberation characteristics, and 2.) The book costs $100.
Much more appropriate to the non-technical Beatles enthusiast who wants a “fly on the wall” perspective of the Beatles working at Abbey Road is Here, There and Everywhere. It’s written from a truly human perspective and so we share the excitement of hearing Lennon play Strawberry Fields for the first time, the frustration of the consequences of the Beatles moving apart artistically and personally, beginning in 1968, the eye-widening stories of Lennon coming in late one evening shouting, “I am more stoned than you have ever been. In fact, I am more stoned than you will ever be!”
Still, it is written by a recording engineer–the Beatles’ recording engineer–so there are wonderful glimpses at the extraordinary experimentation that the Beatles encouraged as they came to embrace the recording studio as another instrument. Paul McCartney seemed the Prime Mover in these efforts, and inevitably came to work–often late into the night–alone with Mr. Emerick to find and refine these new sounds. The two became so close that Emerick continued to work with McCartney during his solo career, and the book takes us for magical tour of that relationship as well.