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Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles

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Geoff Emerick became an assistant engineer at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in 1962 at age fifteen, and was present as a new band called the Beatles recorded their first songs. He later worked with the Beatles as they recorded their singles “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the songs that would propel them to international superstardom. In 1964 he would wi Geoff Emerick became an assistant engineer at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in 1962 at age fifteen, and was present as a new band called the Beatles recorded their first songs. He later worked with the Beatles as they recorded their singles “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the songs that would propel them to international superstardom. In 1964 he would witness the transformation of this young and playful group from Liverpool into professional, polished musicians as they put to tape classic songs such as “Eight Days A Week” and “I Feel Fine.” Then, in 1966, at age nineteen, Geoff Emerick became the Beatles’ chief engineer, the man responsible for their distinctive sound as they recorded the classic album Revolver, in which they pioneered innovative recording techniques that changed the course of rock history. Emerick would also engineer the monumental Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road albums, considered by many the greatest rock recordings of all time. In Here, There and Everywhere he reveals the creative process of the band in the studio, and describes how he achieved the sounds on their most famous songs. Emerick also brings to light the personal dynamics of the band, from the relentless (and increasingly mean-spirited) competition between Lennon and McCartney to the infighting and frustration that eventually brought a bitter end to the greatest rock band the world has ever known.


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Geoff Emerick became an assistant engineer at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in 1962 at age fifteen, and was present as a new band called the Beatles recorded their first songs. He later worked with the Beatles as they recorded their singles “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the songs that would propel them to international superstardom. In 1964 he would wi Geoff Emerick became an assistant engineer at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in 1962 at age fifteen, and was present as a new band called the Beatles recorded their first songs. He later worked with the Beatles as they recorded their singles “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the songs that would propel them to international superstardom. In 1964 he would witness the transformation of this young and playful group from Liverpool into professional, polished musicians as they put to tape classic songs such as “Eight Days A Week” and “I Feel Fine.” Then, in 1966, at age nineteen, Geoff Emerick became the Beatles’ chief engineer, the man responsible for their distinctive sound as they recorded the classic album Revolver, in which they pioneered innovative recording techniques that changed the course of rock history. Emerick would also engineer the monumental Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road albums, considered by many the greatest rock recordings of all time. In Here, There and Everywhere he reveals the creative process of the band in the studio, and describes how he achieved the sounds on their most famous songs. Emerick also brings to light the personal dynamics of the band, from the relentless (and increasingly mean-spirited) competition between Lennon and McCartney to the infighting and frustration that eventually brought a bitter end to the greatest rock band the world has ever known.

30 review for Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Like a lot of books about music this is appallingly (ghost)written, with ghastly cliches and corny embarrassing dialogue all over the place which is impossible to believe of course (why do people think they have to invent 40 year old dialogue anyway?) but the fact remains Geoff Emerick was there, he engineered those sessions, he saw, he remembered, and he's still alive. So for a Beatle fan like me, it's a must-read, and there are very few must-read Beatle books. What do we learn? Well, nothing te Like a lot of books about music this is appallingly (ghost)written, with ghastly cliches and corny embarrassing dialogue all over the place which is impossible to believe of course (why do people think they have to invent 40 year old dialogue anyway?) but the fact remains Geoff Emerick was there, he engineered those sessions, he saw, he remembered, and he's still alive. So for a Beatle fan like me, it's a must-read, and there are very few must-read Beatle books. What do we learn? Well, nothing terribly edifying, for sure. Maybe this book exemplifies the mordant old saying nothing bears looking at too closely One thing I wasn't expecting : what comes through strongly is how much Geoff and allegedly J & P thought George Harrison was a second-rate talent, having great trouble nailing guitar solos (whereas Paul could rattle off solos at a moment's notice) and never getting any songwriting help from them. And being a pretty dour person to boot. So the boiling resentment between George and Paul which erupted finally during the Let it Be sessions was a long time coming. Anyway, in the end, this book turned out to be a giant downer for me. Because after Sgt Pepper the sessions became more & more miserable & rancorous, to the point where engineers were trying to avoid having to work with the Beatles. Allegedly. Imagine that! The 1968-69 period does sound so horrible it's surprising they didn't pack in earlier. We kind of knew all this of course but Geoff describes all the hissy fits and walkouts in detail and it's very uncomfortable reading. And finally : with all books like this you get clunking great factual errors here and there. Why why why why? This is stuff fans know off the top of their heads, so why doesn't this guy or his ghost writer or his ghost writer's editor?? It says, for instance, that Epstein was 37 when he died, but he was actually 32. It says on page 196 Adge Cutler had recently had a Number One hit in England but old Adge didn't even get into the top 30. Etc etc. I really don't want to read any more Beatle books, but I'm gonna have to. Mark Lewisohn's all-time last-word epic is even now at the printers. If there's any mistakes in that one I will have to write someone a very stiff letter.

  2. 4 out of 5

    charlie

    I can only review from the pov of a complete Beatles geek. I have read most of the biographies by various journos and hangers on... and i love the music pure and simple... thats the context. This is my favorite of them all (shout out to Philip Nolan's Shout bio tho). Its the stories I really wanted to know... not the chisme about who did drugs and who was gay - its about the creation of the music sonically. And what is happening behind the scenes when the songs we have heard a million times befor I can only review from the pov of a complete Beatles geek. I have read most of the biographies by various journos and hangers on... and i love the music pure and simple... thats the context. This is my favorite of them all (shout out to Philip Nolan's Shout bio tho). Its the stories I really wanted to know... not the chisme about who did drugs and who was gay - its about the creation of the music sonically. And what is happening behind the scenes when the songs we have heard a million times before were being recorded. Why does one album sound different than another - how were they evolving as musicians - what was the dynamic between them in the studio - why was the White Album so unique compared to Sgt Pepper 1 year before? Anecdote after anecdote - the questions are answered and not by a journalist but a guy who had the best seat in the house. What i love about Emerick is that he is both diplomatic, but also incredibly biased - and he admits his biases from start to finish - Paul McCartney was nice to him the first time they met and they had a professional relationship for years to come... his tendency to praise Paul and affectionately crap on the others (george's guitar solos were a bitch to record, john was a moody prick, ringo was a simpleton) is pretty consistent, but for some reason that i cant define, it all seems believable and honest, not some attempt to sell another book. The critiques are pretty mild and he is the first one to give credit where credit is due. Most importantly, as i read, i went back to the music - and listened to it again, often with headphones and had a new appreciation for each member, the group as a whole and for the contributions of George Martin and Geoff Emerick. Instead of digging deep into speculation about their personal life - he stays with the subject i cared the most about (and he did as well)... the music - and for that he has all my respect as an author... and as a sound engineer -well, that knows no bound.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I really enjoyed this book but I'm also the type that enjoys anything related to the Beatles. Emerick's insider view of many of the recordings sessions informs on the Beatles working and personal dynamics. He's clearly most enamored with Paul McCartney which at times seemed to interfere with objectivity of his stories. But his opinions are obvious and therefore easy to ignore if they annoy you like they did me. I wasn't aware how inseparable John and Yoko actually were. Yoko even had a bed set u I really enjoyed this book but I'm also the type that enjoys anything related to the Beatles. Emerick's insider view of many of the recordings sessions informs on the Beatles working and personal dynamics. He's clearly most enamored with Paul McCartney which at times seemed to interfere with objectivity of his stories. But his opinions are obvious and therefore easy to ignore if they annoy you like they did me. I wasn't aware how inseparable John and Yoko actually were. Yoko even had a bed set up in the studio while she was recovering from a car accident. Despite the stress she put on the sessions, Emerick doesn't see her as the cause of the Beatles split. Emerick frequently comments on how George Harrison often had trouble nailing solos throughout the beginning and middle of The Beatles recording career. The thing I find frustrating about Emerick's evaluation of George is that most of these solos he speaks of are for songs he learned that same day and had a matter of hours to write and then familiarize himself with. Paul and John always seemed more proficient cause they wrote the songs and had already spent time with them. Thus the familiarity is their performing edge. George and Ringo are were constantly on the spot. If you think of bands known for instrumental virtuosity, I doubt there's one that hasn't worked out many of their solos over the course of months. This evaluation shows how Emerick is solely gifted on the technical audio capturing side of music but not on the actual musicianship side of the art form.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jim Cooper

    I got the opportunity to meet the author a few years ago, but this was my first time reading his book, and it is an excellent look at the Beatles from a unique perspective. Emerick was an engineer on most of the Beatles music at Abbey Road, and later at Apple. He never tries to explain or report on anything about the Beatles from outside his experiences with them - in the studio, working on albums. But this is perfect, as it gives us a look at the band that you aren’t going to get anywhere else. I got the opportunity to meet the author a few years ago, but this was my first time reading his book, and it is an excellent look at the Beatles from a unique perspective. Emerick was an engineer on most of the Beatles music at Abbey Road, and later at Apple. He never tries to explain or report on anything about the Beatles from outside his experiences with them - in the studio, working on albums. But this is perfect, as it gives us a look at the band that you aren’t going to get anywhere else. (One small complaint - early in the book Emerick is writing about conversations that happened decades before, and as other reviewers have mentioned, he is obviously making up dialogue. It’s a little jarring, especially if you’ve read a lot of Beatles books and can see where some of it might not ring true. But there wasn’t a lot of this after the first half of the book.) The book really starts to shine in the second half, specifically with his story of working on White Album. This is around the time the Beatles start to fall apart as a group, and Emerick witnesses it in a way that most people don’t. I’ve read so many versions of the breakup of the Beatles, and this is the best by far. He doesn’t try to figure it out, never places blame, he just describes it. Let’s you watch it through his eyes. Because of that, this ended up being the book that I had hoped You Never Give Me Your Money would be. Some other parts of the book I loved: - Emerick was called into work with Phil Spector to help finish Let It Be, and it doesn’t go well. I didn’t realize Ringo was there for this also. - Great story of recording Band On the Run with Wings in Africa. - Paul was having trouble figuring out “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” John got stoned and solved it, running into the studio and banging out the now-famous piano intro. - I was glad this was an honest book, but it’s almost too honest. Emerick really didn’t think George or Ringo were talented, and he just flat out didn’t like George. -Sometimes during recording sessions Ringo would get bored and start changing up the drum style on a song, and often that would solve whatever problem they were having putting the song together. So now I think I would rank the Beatles books I’ve read in this order: 1. Dreaming the Beatles - Rob Sheffield 2. Tune In - Mark Lewisohn 3. Here, There and Everywhere - Emerick 4. The Beatles - Mark Spitz 5. The Beatles from A to Zed - Peter Asher 6. You Never Give Me Your Money - Peter Doggett

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ed Wagemann

    Lately I'm starting to believe that 90% of what makes a good book is the subject matter and the other 10% is the author not being a total ass hat. In Geoff Emerick's Here There and Everywhere it would be hard pressed to find a subject matter that is more interesting to me right now. Emerick was like 15 years old when he started working for EMI and participating on Beatle recordings. He was there in fact for the first ever Beatle recording and eventually became the sound engineer for all of their Lately I'm starting to believe that 90% of what makes a good book is the subject matter and the other 10% is the author not being a total ass hat. In Geoff Emerick's Here There and Everywhere it would be hard pressed to find a subject matter that is more interesting to me right now. Emerick was like 15 years old when he started working for EMI and participating on Beatle recordings. He was there in fact for the first ever Beatle recording and eventually became the sound engineer for all of their later work. All while still a teenager. His love for music and the Beatles comes through in his narative and he conveys a number of fascinating insights and anecdotes. There was a section early in the book that dealt with his youth/background that I didn't find particularly interesting and should have been edited out in my opinion. Also I could have done without some of his judgements and tooting of his own horn, but for the most part this was a very enjoyable read and I give it a strong recommendation.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anton

    Priceless treasure trove of Beatles engineering, musical, psychological, and gossipy tidbits, written by the greatest engineer of pop music, who was instrumental in creating Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's, and Abbey Road. Also a great window into the Abbey Road recording culture of the 60s and recording history in general. He comes off as an amiable guy with excellent ears, good will, and a great memory. None of the Beatles escape quite unscathed, but it's nice to see them described as normal moody hum Priceless treasure trove of Beatles engineering, musical, psychological, and gossipy tidbits, written by the greatest engineer of pop music, who was instrumental in creating Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's, and Abbey Road. Also a great window into the Abbey Road recording culture of the 60s and recording history in general. He comes off as an amiable guy with excellent ears, good will, and a great memory. None of the Beatles escape quite unscathed, but it's nice to see them described as normal moody human beings, and besides, Emerick clearly is bursting with admiration for them.. really brings the music back to life no matter how many times you've heard it, and makes you feel the excitement that was in the studio as they made music history -- especially the chapters on Sgt. Pepper's, which I still adamantly argue (against the 'Revolverist' revisionists) was the Beatles' creative peak--and probably the peak pop album of all time, yes, which sadly puts me in agreement with the totally annoying boomer bible, Rolling Stone. Good companion books: The Beatles Recording Sessions (I think it's called that, by Lewisohn & Emerick), and that huge fat catalog of all the Beatles recording gear and how it was used.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steven Peterson

    This is an interesting look inside the work and world of a recording engineer. Here, especially interesting because the author worked with the Beatles on several of their albums. The reader learns a little about the tricks of the trade of an engineer, how an engineer can shape music and its presentation to the tastes of the artists, and the pressures that go with the job. Much of the book features the author's description of his work with the Beatles from earlier recordings to the transformationa This is an interesting look inside the work and world of a recording engineer. Here, especially interesting because the author worked with the Beatles on several of their albums. The reader learns a little about the tricks of the trade of an engineer, how an engineer can shape music and its presentation to the tastes of the artists, and the pressures that go with the job. Much of the book features the author's description of his work with the Beatles from earlier recordings to the transformational records (Revolver to Abbey Road). Interesting is how the band members changed--from uncertain young musicians who were still growing to professionals with real skills. Also, the social part--from a pretty well integrated group which could work together to, in later years, each person recording his own music alone--with the engineer blending the results into a record. All in all, a really fine book, giving an insight into the process of creating a record as well as the evolution of artists over time (as individuals and as a group).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Definitely not a book for the casual Beatles fan. Emerick was 'balance engineer" on their first, last and most Beatles recordings in between. He knows where the mic's were placed, how the sounds were gotten on those ground-breaking mid/late period recordings. He knows John was an angry guy, Yoko had no business being there, Paul was a pushy pain in the ass (100+ takes of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da would drive any sane person to murder). He never really spoke to George or Ringo, and he seems to have thou Definitely not a book for the casual Beatles fan. Emerick was 'balance engineer" on their first, last and most Beatles recordings in between. He knows where the mic's were placed, how the sounds were gotten on those ground-breaking mid/late period recordings. He knows John was an angry guy, Yoko had no business being there, Paul was a pushy pain in the ass (100+ takes of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da would drive any sane person to murder). He never really spoke to George or Ringo, and he seems to have thought George Martin's contributions were sometimes over-rated, sometimes not. He does realize he was extremely lucky to be there, and he was clearly a talented engineer. Most of the narrative takes place (as one might expect) at EMI's Abbey Road Studios, which was clearly not the place I would have imagined. Cold, harshly lit, with unwelcoming, uncooperative staff and executives, it's really quite remarkable that such fantastic music was made in such a sterile atmosphere. The book is quick read: fast-paced and more or less chronological. A unique perspective on a familiar story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    If George Martin is the 5th Beatle that would certainly make Geoff Emerick the 6th Beatle. Emerick's autobiography mainly details his time as The Beatles engineer and this book provided very keen insight from him about the lads, the recordings, the politics, and everything else that went on during his time working at EMI. Emerick found some records in a closet at his grandmother's house and immediately fell in love with not only sound and albums, but music which he always perceived as visual im If George Martin is the 5th Beatle that would certainly make Geoff Emerick the 6th Beatle. Emerick's autobiography mainly details his time as The Beatles engineer and this book provided very keen insight from him about the lads, the recordings, the politics, and everything else that went on during his time working at EMI. Emerick found some records in a closet at his grandmother's house and immediately fell in love with not only sound and albums, but music which he always perceived as visual images. To him, mixing music was like painting. Before reading the book I had always heard how Emerick favored Paul of the four Beatles and after reading the book I can understand why since Paul was the only one of the four Beatles who was friendliest to Emerick. McCartney even had Emerick work on Band on the Run and other Wings albums. Nice little book!

  10. 5 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN*

    As a Beatle fan for over 40 years I have read about them extensively. I have seen "Engineered by Geoff Emerick" on many Beatles albums and also heard him mentioned in other Beatles books. When a "Beatles Insider" writes a book, that is the one I will buy. This book was an absolute treasure. Mr. Emerick was present at the very first Beatles recording at EMI/Abbey Road Studios, and also engineered their very last album "Abbey Road". His story is an incredible one, and he tells it so humbly. Imagin As a Beatle fan for over 40 years I have read about them extensively. I have seen "Engineered by Geoff Emerick" on many Beatles albums and also heard him mentioned in other Beatles books. When a "Beatles Insider" writes a book, that is the one I will buy. This book was an absolute treasure. Mr. Emerick was present at the very first Beatles recording at EMI/Abbey Road Studios, and also engineered their very last album "Abbey Road". His story is an incredible one, and he tells it so humbly. Imagine being just 19 and your first engineering job is The Beatles' "Revolver" album! The first challenge at that session is John Lennon asking him to make his voice sound like "The Dalai Lama chanting on top of a mountain" on the song "Tomorrow Never Knows." Mr. Emerick tells you about the Beatles' personalities, their musicial abilities and all the inside information on the Beatles recordings. All the engineering tricks and Producer George Martin's techniques are laid bare, like George Martin playing an out of tune piano in sync with George Harrison's guitar solo because Harrison can't nail the solo; the piano synching the exact notes with the guitar blended the sound beautifully, masking the untidy guitar playing (this happened on the guitar solo in the song "A Hard Day's Night"). He was an integral part of creating the Beatles' masterpiece "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," which was the album where The Beatles were unified in the goal of recording the best album of their lives. It was a downhill journey from then on in the Beatles' relationships. Geoff also recalls the first day Yoko appeared on the scene in the recording studio, and the resulting strain of her presence. Things got so stressful during the recording of "The White Album" that he actually resigned from the sessions. The Beatles asked Geoff to leave EMI Studios to be Chief Engineer of Apple Studios, which they entrusted him to design and have built. Geoff travelled to Lagos, Nigeria with Paul & Linda McCartney and Denny Laine (Wings) to engineer the album "Band on the Run." He was engineering a recording session for Paul at George Martin's AIR Studios in London the morning after John Lennon died. He also prepared the Beatles Anthology material for release on CD as well as engineered the new recordings "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love", using demo tapes of John Lennon provided by Yoko for the surviving Beatles to complete. He was there for it all- and I now know why he entitled the book "Here, There and Everywhere."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dane

    I read this book cueing up each song as the making of it was being discussed and listening repeatedly. Geoff Emerick gives such great detail about song after song, album after album, and that is the strength of this book. I will never forget the story, for instance about the recording of the two orchestral effects in A Day In the Life; before, they were just among the many interesting sounds on Sgt. Pepper. Now I listen intently to them, fascinated and smiling like an idiot. There are also lots I read this book cueing up each song as the making of it was being discussed and listening repeatedly. Geoff Emerick gives such great detail about song after song, album after album, and that is the strength of this book. I will never forget the story, for instance about the recording of the two orchestral effects in A Day In the Life; before, they were just among the many interesting sounds on Sgt. Pepper. Now I listen intently to them, fascinated and smiling like an idiot. There are also lots of personal anecdotes of his experiences with each of the Beatles. Interesting stories that to a large degree, back up what anybody already knows about each of their personalities and personal histories. Emerick's accounts of getting the Apple Corps recording studio built are good reading too; attempting to build the perfect studio for all time to accommodate The Beatles anytime they wanted to record, only for the Beatles to break up before it's even finished. They finished it anyway, other artists booked time there and made it a success. It was so superbly built, the workers recording there one night neither felt nor heard an IRA bomb go off next door! Emerick is apparently quite close with Paul McCartney personally; I think the world of Sir Paul too, and it's got to be hard writing about a friend, but the book's biggest flaw is his endless ass-kissing of Paul (and frequent dissing of the others). There's got to be a way to write about your friend glowingly when it's deserved without this thoroughly eye-rolling level of praise, and there definitely is a way to portray your occasional annoyance with someone's behavior or less-than-glowing professional opinion of their talents than by the rude and belittling remarks he makes at the expense of Ringo and George. All in all though, a very good read that gives the Beatles' recordings a brand new life.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Fantastic book that every Beatles fan should read. It makes you feel like you are in the recording studio with them as they record their greatest albums, work endless hours to achieve a specific "sound" and fight over a digestive biscuit. I have a new appreciation for all their albums and the recording process in general. I wish this book was written when I was a teenager, because I would have set out to become a sound engineer, like Geoff Emerick. PS. It's hard to read this book quickly because Fantastic book that every Beatles fan should read. It makes you feel like you are in the recording studio with them as they record their greatest albums, work endless hours to achieve a specific "sound" and fight over a digestive biscuit. I have a new appreciation for all their albums and the recording process in general. I wish this book was written when I was a teenager, because I would have set out to become a sound engineer, like Geoff Emerick. PS. It's hard to read this book quickly because you'll want to listen to specific Beatles tracks that he refers to throughout the book. Before you start reading, make sure you have all the studio albums, the Past Masters albums and Band on the Run on your iPod.

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Sawyer

    Do you consider yourself a Beatles fan? Then you need to read this book. This is doubly true if you have any interest whatsoever in how music is made and recorded. Emerick was the audio engineer for Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road, part of The White Album, and lots of The Fab Four's singles. In the book, he recounts his experiences recording The Beatles. You read about his observations about the individual bandmembers' personalities, and most interestingly, about how the band's creative process Do you consider yourself a Beatles fan? Then you need to read this book. This is doubly true if you have any interest whatsoever in how music is made and recorded. Emerick was the audio engineer for Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road, part of The White Album, and lots of The Fab Four's singles. In the book, he recounts his experiences recording The Beatles. You read about his observations about the individual bandmembers' personalities, and most interestingly, about how the band's creative process of writing and performing became increasingly frustrating and more disjointed after each album. You also read about how Emerick went about capturing and creating the sounds The Beatles wanted while being confined by limited analog technology. He explains some of the very technical parts of the recording process without bogging you down or talking over your head. It's clear that the book is written with The Beatles fan in mind - not audio engineers. Emerick is also thankfully aware that the reader is really only interested in reading about what The Beatles were like, how they made "Strawberry Fields Forever" sound the way it does, etc. While this book in a technical sense is probably considered a memoir, Emerick doesn't touch on much of his personal life, save an initial chapter or two on his earliest experiences with and love for music. 90% of the book's content is true to its title. If you've watched The Beatles documentary and read any other historical material on the band, then some of Emerick's information will not be new. However, he does offer a unique perspective on the band and their sound that isn't found in other sources. In short, every Beatles fan will enjoy reading this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    I loved this book which really surprised me. I was a fan of the Beatles so I thought I'd enjoy the book, but what surprised me the parts I liked the most was when the author was explaining how he the engineer got the sounds that the band was looking for. So come read it for the music but stay to find out about sound engineers. After his descriptions of Revolution and Sgt. Peppers I had to stop reading and go listen to the albums so I could hear for myself what Emerick is describing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Ozawa

    This guy is really impressed with himself. He breathlessly recounts every moment he spends with Paul McCartney and can’t quite stop relaying his impression of George as lesser-than, as second-rate.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark McKenny

    Just fantastic. Surely a MUST READ for any Beatles fan.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Malcolm

    Geoff Emerick has the privilege of being the man who can claim to have done more direct engineering for the Beatles and subsequently the solo artists than anybody else. He also can boast some serious chops as a gifted engineer in his own right. In the book, he talks about his experiences, primarily in the control room during sessions, in and around the Beatles. Imagine that your job involved something historic happening over there, in the conference room, and now you're able to tell stories about Geoff Emerick has the privilege of being the man who can claim to have done more direct engineering for the Beatles and subsequently the solo artists than anybody else. He also can boast some serious chops as a gifted engineer in his own right. In the book, he talks about his experiences, primarily in the control room during sessions, in and around the Beatles. Imagine that your job involved something historic happening over there, in the conference room, and now you're able to tell stories about how the people looked, acted, reacted and changed over time -- that's the intimacy you get with the book. Interestingly, Emerick thinks like an engineer, and as a result most of his book is recalled by way of engineering milestones (he'll say things like "The next night, we began mixing the track. There was a fair bit of discussion about trying to cut it down to make it a bit shorter, but Harrison was adamantly opposed and we never actually attempted editing it."). The history starts in the early 60's and goes through to the present. He stays true to his own memories, and tends to avoid recollecting events of which he wasn't witness, so it's a pretty clear presentation of one man's experiences and not so much a wandering set of opinions and speculations about other people's feelings and attitudes. For example, in general he will choose to observe that John came in and was snapping at the people around him and not talking to Paul than to say that based upon the way they were acting, John and Paul had obviously had a major fight in the morning and were angry at each other. He tends to favor Paul over the others a bit, but it seems to be both a result of his general proximity and emotional relationship with Paul as it is about his value of true musical talent in each musician. My biggest personal take-away was the humanizing of the process of the art - the Beatles would work for hours and hours and hours to get a specific piece of a song right ... which implies that they weren't some sort of master geniuses who made no mistakes and could play anything as soon as they put their hands to it (though, duh, they're still amazingly talented and geniuses all the same); but rather they were gifted artists who came to the table with more abilities than most, but still had to slave away at their craft to reach the heights that they did -- this is heartening to any artist who strives to accomplish something magnificent. Another take-away I had was that, in many ways, "the Beatles" was more like 6 people - especially when they went into their studio years ... John, Paul, George, Ringo, George Martin, and Geoff Emerick ... with George Martin and Emerick somewhat replaceable, but still key elements of the original sound, not the music of course. Beatles music wasn't just 4 lads, it was artists making raw material and others openly and clearly having input into the creative process and final product much more deeply than I thought (e.g. George Martin arranged much of the backing music and played on a number of tracks, even though he was "just" the producer). It gets nominally dry at points when Emerick goes about discussing the engineering and artistic process of each song in some of the biggest albums (e.g. Sgt. Peppers and Revolver), but outside of that, it's a pretty satisfying read. Overall, if you'd like to see the real humanity of people behind the music of the Beatles, including the artists themselves - and you're interested in removing the "shroud of amazing" without destroying the image of the men behind the music, this is a good book to read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Geoff Emerick was the Beatles engineer from the very first record to the magical Sgt Pepper sessions to the horrifying White Album sessions. This book reveals candidly the good, the bad, and the ugly, including George Martin replacing Ringo with an uncredited session drummer, Yoko in bed in the studio, the disastrous trip to India, how Ringo (literally) destroyed the Apple studio, recording "Band on the Run" in a spider infested Nigerian studio, working with Paul the day John died, etc. There's Geoff Emerick was the Beatles engineer from the very first record to the magical Sgt Pepper sessions to the horrifying White Album sessions. This book reveals candidly the good, the bad, and the ugly, including George Martin replacing Ringo with an uncredited session drummer, Yoko in bed in the studio, the disastrous trip to India, how Ringo (literally) destroyed the Apple studio, recording "Band on the Run" in a spider infested Nigerian studio, working with Paul the day John died, etc. There's also lots of technical detail about how the unique Beatles sound was created. If you're interested in the Beatles or studio recording you're going to dig this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tosh

    It's a fascinating document or a bird's eye view of what was happening in the recording sessions with the Beatles. The one thing that turns me off is the author's almost total disregard for George Harrison's personality and songs. Without a doubt he is an important part of the Beatles machinery, and to dismiss Harrison' work seems ... silly. But still it's interesting commentary from one of the chief Beatle engineers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    This book was spectacular! I loved learning about recording the Beatles, and even though I heard their songs a billion times, Geoff Emerick would talk about a certain technique and the result which made me go back to whatever song he was referring to and listen to it again. The book definitely helped me hear new things in Beatles songs that I haven't thought twice about before and it made me love the songs even more! I highly recommend this book to any Beatles fan or any musician as I am both.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    One of the most comprehensive tales of Beatles' history from an insider. Geoff Emerick didn't waste time on gossip and focused on telling the story from a more technical and creative viewpoint. Easily among the top three Beatle books ever written.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    I was going to give this book 2 stars because it's full of cliché and self promotion. However I was fascinated by the old Beatle story, even though it is as familiar to me now as my own family's. Just another angle on the amazing - almost unbelievable - history of the four Scousers, who changed the whole world. I didn't learn much that was new, except a lot of technical detail about how sounds were achieved. This was the man who created the drum effect on Tomorrow Never Knows, and made Lennon so I was going to give this book 2 stars because it's full of cliché and self promotion. However I was fascinated by the old Beatle story, even though it is as familiar to me now as my own family's. Just another angle on the amazing - almost unbelievable - history of the four Scousers, who changed the whole world. I didn't learn much that was new, except a lot of technical detail about how sounds were achieved. This was the man who created the drum effect on Tomorrow Never Knows, and made Lennon sound like the Dalai Lama chanting on a hillside on the same song, so some leeway is given for the imperfect prose, and the partial view. He found George taciturn, perhaps a bit overwhelmed, and unable to do some of the guitar solos required (Paul took over), although by Abbey Road he was more confident and expert; Ringo was also quiet (his memories of Sgt Pepper was he learnt how to play chess); John was up and down, unpredictable, stoned a lot, sweary, funny, pissed off, jubilant. It was Paul he had the most connection with, and he was a steady hand, interested in progressing the band, diplomatic. So far, so usual, but there's some great add ons here though, post Beatles, making Paul's Band on the Run in a dodgy studio in Lagos, Nigeria (where Paul was mugged), and working with Elvis Costello on the brilliant Imperial Bedroom. What strikes you is how young they all were, and Emerick was even younger - he was 15 when he started with EMI, catching the Beatles first session, and was the chief engineer on Revolver at 19! It's incredible, but his youth enabled him to break the rules, and produce such fresh sounding stuff. I don't think I will ever tire of this story, and even though there's a lot of point scoring here, Emerick deserves his moment in the sun for the work he did in making it happen.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Henrik Warne

    Geoff Emerick was the recording engineer on many of the Beatles records, such as Revolver, Sergeant Pepper and Abbey Road (and parts of the White Album). The book has a ton of interesting details on how the records were made, and about the personalities of the four Beatles. In particular it was extremely interesting to learn how they experimented and developed new sounds on Revolver and Sergeant Pepper. There is also a lot of information about John, Paul, George and Ringo, and many other people i Geoff Emerick was the recording engineer on many of the Beatles records, such as Revolver, Sergeant Pepper and Abbey Road (and parts of the White Album). The book has a ton of interesting details on how the records were made, and about the personalities of the four Beatles. In particular it was extremely interesting to learn how they experimented and developed new sounds on Revolver and Sergeant Pepper. There is also a lot of information about John, Paul, George and Ringo, and many other people in their orbit, including many interesting anecdotes. The book is well written, and easy to read. If you are interested in the Beatles, and want to learn more about how their music was developed and recorded, this is an excellent read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Barry Hammond

    Geoff Emerick was only 17 years old when he began apprenticing as a sound engineer at London's EMI studios. By luck, he was in the control room shadowing another assistant when The Beatles had their first recording session under producer George Martin. From there he gradually worked his way up to The Beatles favorite engineer, being behind the board on several of their classic recordings such as Revolver, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album, and Abbey Road, as well as nume Geoff Emerick was only 17 years old when he began apprenticing as a sound engineer at London's EMI studios. By luck, he was in the control room shadowing another assistant when The Beatles had their first recording session under producer George Martin. From there he gradually worked his way up to The Beatles favorite engineer, being behind the board on several of their classic recordings such as Revolver, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album, and Abbey Road, as well as numerous recordings by other artists and Paul McCartney's Band On The Run, London Town and others. His perspective on the band, their circle, the recordings, all the period personalities and the recording industry is unique and he shares it all in this memoir for the first time. An absolutely unique document by an artist in his own right. - BH.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Glenn

    Enjoyable though a bit long. The author was the recording engineer on the Beatles’ albums Revolver through Abbey Road (excepting Let It Be and parts of the White Album). This is a blow by blow description of the sessions, good times and bad. Emerick favors Paul from the start— he was the most talented, the perfectionist who would play all the parts if needed to get it right. John was always moody and unpredictable, pushy, often out of it; George struggled to get any decent guitar solo on tape, a Enjoyable though a bit long. The author was the recording engineer on the Beatles’ albums Revolver through Abbey Road (excepting Let It Be and parts of the White Album). This is a blow by blow description of the sessions, good times and bad. Emerick favors Paul from the start— he was the most talented, the perfectionist who would play all the parts if needed to get it right. John was always moody and unpredictable, pushy, often out of it; George struggled to get any decent guitar solo on tape, and really only cared about his Indian stuff (and the others didn’t care about it at all); Ringo couldn’t sing or drum worth a damn but would work endlessly until he got it right. As is so with many insider music books, this is really only of interest to fans, specifically the ones who care about the details of the songs and how they were made, rather than those looking for biographical information.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Peacock

    In some ways this may be the best book on the Beatles there is. Unlike most who write about the fab four, he was there. Emerick understands their music like no one outside the group and George Martin. While you may not agree with some of his opinions on the individual members of the band, he knows what he's talking about. No matter how much you have read about the Beatles, there will be something new for you in this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zoann

    This old baby boomer loved the behind-the-scenes look at The Beatles. I especially liked the author's matter-of-fact, objective view of the men--not saying what they should have been, just saying what they were. My only complaint--any audio book about music or musicians should, by law, have to include the music they are writing about. I so often wanted to pause the cd and go listen to the music the author was referencing. Lucky, there's Youtube for that. I did start listening to all 217 Beatles' This old baby boomer loved the behind-the-scenes look at The Beatles. I especially liked the author's matter-of-fact, objective view of the men--not saying what they should have been, just saying what they were. My only complaint--any audio book about music or musicians should, by law, have to include the music they are writing about. I so often wanted to pause the cd and go listen to the music the author was referencing. Lucky, there's Youtube for that. I did start listening to all 217 Beatles' songs, in order. About half-way through.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michael Platt

    Recommended. Great stories from one of the Beatles primary recording engineers. Some of the stories don't jibe with other sources, interestingly but there is some fascinating insight into the recording process and how the recording business worked then. Sadly, Geoff Emerick passed away recently. A definite "should read" if you're a Beatles fanatic.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paul Lyons

    Written by Geoff Emerick and Howard Massey... Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles takes you inside the world of The Beatles in the recording studio from 1962 to 1970. Geoff Emerick was only 15 years old when he started as an assistant sound engineer at EMI Studios in London (now known as Abbey Road studios), and was there in the control room when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr first laid down tracks together in 1962. Under the tut Written by Geoff Emerick and Howard Massey... Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles takes you inside the world of The Beatles in the recording studio from 1962 to 1970. Geoff Emerick was only 15 years old when he started as an assistant sound engineer at EMI Studios in London (now known as Abbey Road studios), and was there in the control room when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr first laid down tracks together in 1962. Under the tutelage of early Beatles sound engineer Norman Smith, as well as esteemed Beatles producer George Martin...Geoff Emerick to witness and be a part of Beatles history from the ground up. As an EMI employee, Emerick did not work for the Beatles exclusively, and was by no means present at every session...yet he still played a part in more than a few pivotal recordings in the Beatles early career.. Emerick mentions the madness of Beatlemania, which heightened the energy in the recording of "She Loves You"...and perhaps also drained the energy during the recording of "I Want To Hold Your Hand." At age 19, Emerick was asked to be the Beatles full-time sound engineer, beginning with the landmark Revolver album, and including his Grammy-wining dynamic work on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, as well Magical Mystery Tour. By the time of the miserable, contentious 1968 White Album sessions...Emerick had enough, and abruptly quit before the project was completed. Eventually, Emerick was lured back into the Beatles fold a year later...just in time for their last album together...Abbey Road. Tired of EMI, Emerick soon took up a position at the Beatles label, Apple...where he oversaw the construction of the band's own recording studio, and worked on Apple projects with George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Eventually, Emerick left Apple records to work for George Martin's AIR Studios in London. Since the Beatles, Emerick has engineered or produced a variety of artists including Elvis Costello, Supertramp, Cheap Trick, America, and Jimmy Buffett. His closest, and most fruitful post-Beatles association has been with Sir Paul McCartney. Emerick won a Grammy for his work on the 1973 classic Wings album Band on the Run, and has since worked on several Wings and McCartney solo albums...as well as work on the epic Beatles Anthology series in the mid-90's... In Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles, Geoff Emerick provides a fairly honest (which is not the same as truthful) and opinionated look at the world of the Fab Four. Emerick is lavish in his praise, yet also does not hold back on his scorn either. His portrait of John Lennon is of an immensely talented, yet highly temperamental, undisciplined and naive young man. Ringo Starr is portrayed as dour and aloof, struggling at times with his drum parts and vocals. George Harrison is initially portrayed as a floundering musician...struggling with almost each and every guitar solo, and crushed under the sheer weight of the Lennon/McCartney cannon. Paul McCartney comes off the best...as the disciplined musicians musician...working extra hard to get the best out of everything...yet is also portrayed as closed-minded when it comes to criticism, and going too far with band in the name of perfectionism. George Martin is presented as a talented producer and arranger, yet one who was over-protective of his status and authority. Even EMI Studios is not spared Emerick's wrath..as he bites the hand that feeds him by railing against EMI's stuffed-shirt, old-school, corporate policy when it came down to sessions, equipment, bookings and rules regarding proper attire for the engineers and maintenance workers. All in all, I felt mixed about Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles. True, I had read some criticisms of the book where it accused Geoff Emerick of favoring Paul McCartney in his portrayal of the Beatles and their recording sessions. I suppose I would agree with that to a certain degree...yet one also can't blame Emerick for writing more about the Beatle he knew and has worked with the most. No, what bothered me the most was that I felt I was reading a tome written by an outsider who desperately wanted to be "inside." Though a good portion of what Emerick recalls of the Beatles sessions is quite fascinating...it always felt as if he were coming from the point of view of a Peeping Tom...eavesdropping on things he wasn't supposed to...or sneaking a peek at things he never was meant to see. As a result, I never felt quite comfortable with Geoff Emerick as my narrator and guide. Don't get me wrong, I loved hearing the stories...and getting that fly-on-the-wall look at the making of some of my favorite Beatles songs and albums...yet the writing and storytelling itself was not half as compelling as it should have been. I enjoyed Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles, yet where there should have been Love, I only felt Like...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bob Lee

    I love music, I love recording, I love creativity, I love the Beatles. This book was wonderful to read and learn about Geoff Emerick's experiences working as a recording engineer with the Beatles. As I progressed through the book, I listened to Beatles songs anew and heard things I hadn't noticed before.

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