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Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust: Off-the-record with The Beatles, Bowie, Elton, and so much more. Hardcover – June 6, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 414 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred Music (June 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739078585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739078587
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Ken became a part of the team latterly, which over the years recorded the band to such a high standard - a standard that remains a benchmark today. I was lucky to have Ken to assist me during that period of extraordinary creativity. --George Martin, producer (The Beatles)

I credit Ken for probably one of the most thrilling recording experiences I have ever had. And all of us would agree that was probably one of the high spots of our recording achievements. --Roger Hodgson, Supertramp

I learned to stay calm under pressure from Ken. He was always unflappable, which is a trait that he passed on to me. --Alan Parsons, The Alan Parsons Project

I credit Ken for probably one of the most thrilling recording experiences I have ever had. And all of us would agree that was probably one of the high spots of our recording achievements. --Roger Hodgson, Supertramp

I learned to stay calm under pressure from Ken. He was always unflappable, which is a trait that he passed on to me. --Alan Parsons, The Alan Parsons Project

I credit Ken for probably one of the most thrilling recording experiences I have ever had. And all of us would agree that was probably one of the high spots of our recording achievements. --Roger Hodgson, Supertramp

I learned to stay calm under pressure from Ken. He was always unflappable, which is a trait that he passed on to me. --Alan Parsons, The Alan Parsons Project

About the Author

There's no question that producer/engineer Ken Scott holds a unique place in music history. As one of only five engineers on The Beatles records, Ken s work has left an indelible mark on hundreds of millions of fans with his skilled contributions to Magical Mystery Tour and The White Album. As producer of four David Bowie albums (including the seminal Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars) and two of the biggest-selling Supertramp albums (Crime of the Century and Crisis, What Crisis), the sound Ken crafted has influenced several generations of music makers. Those credits alone would be enough to set his name in the annals of music, but that's only a brief slice of what Ken has done. He has literally worked with a who's-who of classic rock acts, including Elton John, Pink Floyd, Procul Harum, Jeff Beck, Duran Duran, Harry Nilsson, the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, America, Devo, Kansas, The Tubes and Missing Persons, among many others. Ken has also played a big part in the world of jazz, being the first to integrate a more powerful rock sound into the genre via albums by Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, Dixie Dregs, Jeff Beck and Stanley Clarke. Not only an innovator in the studio, Ken has proved to be one in the music library world as well, having recently developed EpiK DrumS, a new library based on his past work with such world-class drummers as Terry Bozzio (Missing Persons), Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs), Bob Siebenberg (Supertramp), and Woody Woodmansey (David Bowie's Spiders From Mars). The product is unique not only because it's based around these drummers most popular albums with Ken, but also because it features odd time signatures and superior MIDI feels making it an excellent tool for drummers, engineers, and producers alike. As a counterpart to this Alfred Music Publishing has released EpiK DrumS EDU, an educational tool which contains instructional videos on how Ken records and mixes drums as well as multitrack drum grooves from each of the 5 drummers enabling the user to practice and learn, hands on, about mixing live drums. Over the years Ken has received multiple Grammy nominations as well as dozens of gold and platinum records from around the world for the acts he's engineered and produced, but no honor stands as large as his recent election to the Sound Fellowship of the United Kingdom's Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS), a lifetime achievement award recognizing his contribution to music. Considering his body of work and its subsequent influence on today's music, it's easy to see why so many see Ken Scott as one of the best of the best.

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Customer Reviews

Ken gives it up in this book and it's a great read for anyone who know who he is!
G. Skardina
This memoir by Ken Scott of working with various artists will be interesting to those (like me) who like to know something behind all the great music we hear.
Stuart Jefferson
Mr. Owsinski's balance between the personal and the technical made the book very enjoyable to me.
ANDREW J AMEDEN

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Hardcover-4 page Prologue, 393 pages of text, 4 page Glossary, 4 page Discography, and an Index. Also included are 14 pages of good quality b & w photos (several taken by the author and never previously seen), with many more sprinkled throughout the book. There's also recording data sheets and other documents from the period when pertinent.

This memoir by Ken Scott of working with various artists will be interesting to those (like me) who like to know something behind all the great music we hear. The author, with the help of Bobby Owsinski, has written about his time "behind the glass" recording many great artists.

His first job was engineering THE BEATLES' "Magical Mystery Tour" album. From there he worked extensively with David Bowie, including the "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust..." album. PINK FLOYD, PROCOL HARUM, Elton John, Duran Duran, Jeff Beck, THE ROLLING STONES, AMERICA, Lou Reed, and a number of other well known artists have all used Scott's talents. Also included are MOTT THE HOOPLE, Al Kooper, HAPPY THE MAN, the DIXIE DREGS, and a few others that crossed paths with Scott.

Scott talks about a single track he recorded with Rick Wakeman for example, about Wakeman's American car being so big, he took up two parking spaces. And when the parking meter had expired, the traffic warden gave Wakeman two tickets-one for each parking space. Or how touched he was when George Martin took Scott aside, and in a fatherly way, told him not to expect "The White Album" to win a Grammy because the album was such a departure for the group-hopefully not hurting Scott's feelings. Or working with Nilsson, and the heavy drug use he witnessed.
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Format: Hardcover
Ken Scott should be a name that most people who care about music from the 1960's on should know. If you don't you've at least heard his work and know him indirectly. Scott worked as an engineer, producer, etc. with The Beatles (he engineered much of The White Album for example when Geoff Emerick grew uncomfortable working with the band for these sessions), David Bowie (he worked on Bowie's seminal early albums), George Harrison (he engineered "All Things Must Pass"), Supertramp (he produced Crime of the Century and Crisis? What Crisis?)and went on to manage Missing Persons in the 1980's.

Scott's book is a combination of memoir and technical review of his career as he sprinkles his book with plenty of stories of working with the various artists and producers throughout his career as well as HOW he achieved the sounds he did for various albums (including notes about the engineering, mixing and production of each album with info on the equipment he used). This makes "From Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust" (the book goes far beyond that period as noted--the title was probably chosen to appeal to Beatles and Bowie fans and sell the book)essential reading particularly for those interested in the engineering side of things.

That doesn't mean that you HAVE to be a musician or engineer to enjoy the book.
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Format: Hardcover
While recounting his early tenure in the tape library at EMI, Ken Scott laments the fact that the older technicians who lived through the "first generation" of music recording were veritable musical repositories, having witnessed some of the greatest artists and recordings of the early twentieth century, whose stories would be lost to the world, since they went undocumented. Fortunately for us, Mr. Scott has ensured that the "Second Generation's" stories will be heard, in this engaging, warm and articulate book.
With a career spanning the "Golden Age" of Rock music, Ken Scott has been at the eye of the storm as an engineer and producer for many of the most acclaimed and loved albums ever made, and has worked with artists which include The Beatles and David Bowie (as could be surmised from the title), but also Mahavishnu Orchestra, Elton John, Supertramp, proggers Happy the Man, Missing Persons, and Duran Duran, among many others. A humble man, he asserts that this was due to a combination of luck and being a keen observer of his predecessors; anyone familiar with the sonic architecture of these albums, however, knows that it was also due in no small part to his talent and skill, as well as his ability to bring out the best in the musicians he's worked with.
Mr. Scott (and co-writer Mr. Oswinski, who does an excellent job of combining scholarly research and lucid prose while never creating a "second voice" in the text) mentions the word "nurturing" several times in regard to his studio approach. Unlike the dictatorial approach of a Rundgren, or the "Oblique Strategies" Eno experiments, Ken favored an organic approach which showcased an artist's natural strengths.
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