Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Beatles: Clueless about technology

The Beatles' longtime Geoff Emerick says that during the recording of their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album the group was pretty clueless as to the magic that he was performing. Emerick has just published his memoirs, Here, There And Everywhere: My Life Recording The Music Of The Beatles. In 1967 he won the first Grammy for Best Engineered Rock Album, for his work on Sgt. Pepper, and explained in the book that he frequently dealt with requests from the group to make their guitars sound like pianos, or to make their vocals sound as if they were being sung underwater.Emerick told us that beyond the band requesting these ground-breaking techniques, they were clueless as to how he and producer George Martin achieved them: "They never realized what we were doing. As you know most of the tracks were constructed down in that studio, 'Cause while they were doing that, it gave me the time -- the luxury of time -- to think up ideas and how to record different instruments in a different way and get different sounds. But, they were never really aware of what we were doing, I don't think." Emerick who had worked on most of the Beatles' albums prior to 1966, became their chief engineer at the start of the group's work on their Revolver album in the spring of that year. He engineered many of the group's biggest hits, including "Paperback Writer," "Eleanor Rigby," "Yellow Submarine," "Penny Lane," "Strawberry Fields Forever," "All You Need Is Love," "Lady Madonna," "Come Together," "Something" and many more. After the group split in 1970, Emerick continued to work for Paul McCartney throughout the years, earning the Grammy for Best Engineered Rock Album for his work on McCartney's 1973 Band On The Run album.


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