From Publishers Weekly
Emerick was a fresh-faced young engineer in April 1966 when producer George Martin offered him the chance to work with the Beatles on what would become Revolver
. He lasted until 1968, when tensions within the group, along with the band members' eccentricities and the demands of the job, forced him to quit after The White Album
, exhausted and burned out. In this entertaining if uneven memoir, Emerick offers some priceless bits of firsthand knowledge. Amid the strict, sterile confines of EMI's Abbey Road studio, where technicians wore lab coats, the Beatles' success allowed them to challenge every rule. From their use of tape loops and their labor-intensive fascination with rolling tape backwards, the Beatles—and Emerick—reveled in shaking things up. Less remarkable are Emerick's personal recollections of the band members. He concedes the group never really fraternized with him—and he seems to have taken it personally. The gregarious McCartney is recalled fondly, while Lennon is "caustic," Ringo "bland" and Harrison "sarcastic" and "furtive." Still, the book packs its share of surprises and will delight Beatle fans curious about how the band's groundbreaking records were made. (Mar.)
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Emerick was only 15 when he began working with the Beatles as an assistant engineer at Abbey Road Studios. Later, as a 19-year-old full engineer, he was on board for the seminal Revolver
and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Always aiming for perfection, the Beatles never took no for an answer, and he did his best to oblige by developing innovative recording techniques, some simple (e.g., using a loudspeaker as a microphone), others more sophisticated. Being the Beatles' engineer wasn't entirely pleasant. Eventually, during the tense and uncomfortable White Album
sessions, the Beatles barely spoke to one another without anger, and Emerick quit before recording was finished. But he returned to work on Abbey Road
and several McCartney solo records, including Band on the Run.
Anyone interested in the Beatles and their music ought to love Emerick's as-told-to insider's account of working with the world's most famous band when they made their most famous music. June SawyersCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved