Monday, July 16, 2012
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Ken Scott, who began his career as tape operator and then engineer for the Beatles at EMI Studios, reveals fascinating insights in Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust into the recording process and the history of what is now known as Abbey Road Studios. My first introduction to Scott was his "take 2" announcement on the slow version of "Helter Skelter" on Anthology 3 - not recognizing the voice (having listened to many outtakes, the voices of George Martin and Norman Smith were more familiar to me) and finding the name in Mark Lewisohn's liner notes for the disc, I thought at the time it would be interesting to learn what Scott saw and heard during the making of these classic recordings. Scott, along with his co-author Bobby Owsinski, in this book successfully presents the Beatles from a different angle than most, having worked on many Beatles and solo sessions, including the White Album, Abbey Road, and All Things Must Pass, among others.
Scott's memoir is a fine blend of the personal as well as the technical aspects of recording. In reading through the chapters there is an attention to detail that shows that stories are not simply relayed as remembered but that there was also research done to match them up with the history (as noted in the introduction, facts were independently verified whenever possible). In addition to the Beatles, also included are his remembrances of his work with many other artists, including Elton John, Pink Floyd, Procol Harum, Jeff Beck, Harry Nilsson, the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed and others. A must read for Beatles fans and those interested in music production.