Solid State, The Story Of Abbey Road And The End Of The Beatles

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Abbey Road

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Kenneth Womack is not only a renowned ‘Beatles scholar’ he’s also an excellent writer who, in his latest work Solid State, transports you back to London in the late 1960s to become a fly on the studio glass at the various recording studios in which The Beatles’ final album was hatched. Tales span the zany, 'unlimited track' Apple Studios that the band’s technology guru ‘Magic Alex’ had envisaged way before any such vision could actually be made manifest (and rescued in part by a youthful Alan Parsons, who then co-ordinated the rooftop sessions...), to EMI (before EMI renamed it Abbey Road), to Olympic, to Trident Studios, to where the band had decamped for The White Album. Throughout, Womack delivers enough tech talk for this to be an informatory read (track wars, the awkward birth of stereo and more) and enough personal insight into individual and collective Beatle mindset to satisfy Fab Four junkies looking for hitherto unknown inside scoops.

The cast of supporting characters, many of whom who don’t get a ton of media attention is fascinating in and of itself. Notables include engineers Phil McDonald, Glyn Johns, Geoff Emerick, early Apple artist Mary Hopkin, and Alan Parsons, who also writes the book’s foreword.

Students of both The Beatles and recording technology will love this book. Highly recommended.

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