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Abbey Road: The Best Studio in the World

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Overview

Abbey Road studios have been on the cutting edge of recording for eighty years, hosting some of the biggest names in music over the decades: the Beatles, of course, who immortalized it with the title of their 1969 album; Pink Floyd; Kate Bush; Duran Duran; Radiohead; Florence and the Machine. Any number of albums made here have gone gold or platinum, picking up Grammys and other awards along the way.

Famed producers and sound engineers at the studios have developed ...

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Overview

Abbey Road studios have been on the cutting edge of recording for eighty years, hosting some of the biggest names in music over the decades: the Beatles, of course, who immortalized it with the title of their 1969 album; Pink Floyd; Kate Bush; Duran Duran; Radiohead; Florence and the Machine. Any number of albums made here have gone gold or platinum, picking up Grammys and other awards along the way.

Famed producers and sound engineers at the studios have developed groundbreaking new techniques, including automatic double tracking at the instigation of John Lennon. And it's also been a landmark in moviemaking: here were recorded John Williams's original scores for five Star Wars films, as well the scores for the Lord of the Rings trilogy-two of them awarded Oscars.

This gorgeous book includes a full history and time line, facts and figures, a discography with famous album covers from the 1930s to now, and a wealth of never-before-seen photos and treasures from the studio's own archive. It's an incredible document of cultural history, for anyone who values music and how it's made.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Not just the Beatles: folks from Pink Floyd to Florence + The Machine have recorded at the Abbey Road studios, and the scores for five Star Wars films and the Lord of the Rings trilogy were first heard there, too. This cultural history may be gifty (see the price), but check out for music fans.
Kirkus Reviews
Appropriately ambitious biography of the recording studio that gave the world the Beatles' eponymous swan song--but also, lest it be forgotten, the works of Helen Shapiro and Vanessa-Mae. Helen and Vanessa who? It helps to be a music geek, if not of a certain age, to appreciate the depths of BBC music critic Lawrence's history of Abbey Road studios, which has been online for nearly nine decades now. For those who are not such geeks, then the basic bits of essential knowledge, all to be found in his pages, are these: The studio was built in the heart of St. John's Wood, "London's first garden suburb," in a refitted Georgian mansion, and in those august surroundings, was inaugurated under the baton of none other than Edward Elgar, he of "Pomp and Circumstance" fame. It was also a sonic laboratory, a place to test not only gear to help King George VI work through his stutter (the stuff of the hit movie The King's Speech), but also the stereophonic, aurally deceptive goodies that would be put to use in the psychedelic era under the tutelage of good Sir George Martin. Before all that, though, Abbey Road had to make the transition from stuffy classical facility to pop wonderland. If you knew that the first pop hit to emerge from Abbey Road was "Cowpuncher's Cantata" in 1952, then you will not need or profit from Lawrence's considerable labors, but if you did not--or did not know that Pink Floyd, Radiohead and even Mel Gibson recorded here--then this book is certainly worthy of time and exploration. One might quibble with some of his assessments (Was Jeff Beck's Truth really a forerunner of metal? Were the Hollies really just another cover band?), but Lawrence makes up for it with plenty of fine factual writing, especially on the technological side. Lucid and lavishly illustrated--a fine gift for pop and music history buffs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608199990
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 317,212
  • Product dimensions: 12.06 (w) x 11.46 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Alistair Lawrence is a music enthusiast and critic for BBC Music and Kerrang! magazine.

Sir George Martin is a record producer, composer, arranger, and conductor. He has produced thirty number-one hit singles in the UK and twenty-three in the U.S. Martin is perhaps most famed for his association with the Beatles, whom he signed to their first recording contract in 1962, auditioning them in studio three at Abbey Road.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 8, 2013

    Fascinating look at the studio known for far more than this Beat

    Fascinating look at the studio known for far more than this Beatles fan ever knew. Wonderful pictures and text telling the story of this studio through the decades and up to today. A great read!

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