My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Monday, June 1, 2009

here, there and everywhere

I am reading Here, There and Everywhere by Geoff Emerick.

Mr. Emerick was a sound engineer at EMI's Abbey Road studios in London and was in the control room during the Beatles' recording sessions in the 1960s. He writes all about the experience of making records with the Beatles in this 387-page book.

I am a Beatles fan and have read many books about the Fab Four. This book is probably one of the best because Mr. Emerick does not hold back. He calls them as he sees them and in some cases, what he calls them is not flattering.

Also, he gets technical and describes the recording process in just enough detail to reveal how the Beatles' records were made, but not enough to leave the reader bored with the intricacies of the recording process.

For example, Mr. Emerick mentions how early on, flubs were often left in the final recordings because the quality of the early recordings were such that the listener would not likely hear and notice the flubs. (John Lennon was forever flubbing lyrics because his memory was bad and he could not read the lyrics because he was not wearing his eyeglasses.) Emerick says that the flubs became more apparent when the recordings were later re-released on higher quality recording media like CDs.

Wouldn't you know that in the very next Beatles tune I hear, I notice a flub in the lyrics that I had never noticed before.

I'm driving to work this morning with my iPod playing songs randomly and up came Hold Me Tight. Paul sings lead with John and George singing backup. About 1:10 into the song, Paul sings "It feels so right now..." while the backup sings "It feels so right to..." Can't tell if John or George or both flubbed the lyrics, but there was definitely a flub that was left in the final recording.

Right after playing Hold Me Tight, my iPod randomly played another early Beatles' tune, I'll Get You, but I did not notice any flubs in that recording.

I have read about one-fifth of Here, There and Everywhere and so far, I am enjoying the read immensely. I don't expect to be let down in the remaining four fifths, so I recommend the book highly.

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