Sunday, August 02, 2009

Beatle People: Geoff Emerick

Geoffrey Emerick (born 1946 in London) is a recording studio audio engineer, who is best known for his work with the Beatles' albums Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles and Abbey Road.

Emerick first started working at EMI at the age of 15, as a assistant to Norman Smith. However the first album he did with the Beatles working as main recording engineer was Revolver, and "Tomorrow Never Knows" was the first track he worked on, after having taken over the engineering duties from Norman Smith who became a producer.

It was Emerick's innovation to record John Lennon's vocal through a Leslie speaker on that song, to get the ethereal sound Lennon wanted. He received Grammy Awards for the engineering of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road. Emerick, like Beatles producer George Martin, brought an adventurous and experimental attitude to his work.

His post-Beatles career included work with Paul McCartney (including Band On The Run [which netted Emerick another Grammy], London Town, and Flaming Pie), Elvis Costello (for whom he produced Imperial Bedroom and All This Useless Beauty), Art Garfunkel, America, Supertramp, Cheap Trick, Nazareth, Split Enz, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Ultravox, Matthew Fisher's first solo album "Journey's End," and Jeff Beck, as well as Nellie McKay's critically acclaimed 2004 debut CD Get Away from Me. He was the sound engineer on Robin Trower's most popular album Bridge of Sighs, and credited by both Trower and producer Matthew Fisher for that album's acclaimed sound.

In 2003, he received his fourth Grammy, this time for lifetime Technical Achievement.

In 2006, Emerick released his memoir, Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles, co-authored by veteran music journalist Howard Massey.

On the April 3, 2007 it was announced that Emerick would be in charge of a re-recording of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by contemporary artists, including Oasis, The Killers, Travis and Razorlight. Emerick used the original equipment to record the new versions of the songs, and the results were broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on the June 2, marking the album's 40th anniversary.


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