REVIEW: Recording The Beatles

I have been putting off my review of this title for a while now.  I simpy have not been ready to review it.  I have been reading Recording the Beatles (RTB), by Kevin Ryan and Brian Kehew for a few weeks now.  I have not been able to put it down. 

Prior to getting this book I didn’t know what to make of it.  I speculated and thought.  Boy, did I think wrong. Anyone who is even remotely interested in the process of knowing how The Beatles crafted their work need to get this book as soon as possible.  Is the price tage hefty, at $100.00 plus shipping? Yes it is.  Is the book an essential purchase? Yes, absolutley it is.  It may take some time for them to get it to you, but it is worth the wait.  Superlatives cannot do this book justice.

Recording The Beatles Deluxe Edition

First, let me start with the presentation.  We have all seen beautifully produced books, but I must say, this is more than just a book.  It feels more like an interacvite museum piece.  The book is housed in slipcover case designed to look like an EMI tape box guarding the treasures inside.  Accompanying the book is a foldout recording console poster, reproduced hand-written lyrics sheets, a color bookmark (which comes in very handy), postcard reproductions, and more…I don’t want to ruin all the surprises. 

Inside the book you are treated not only to gobs of information down to the smallest detail about all of The Beatles recording gear and tehnology, but you are also hit with many photos that I have never seen before.  You get to see everything from the history of Abbey Road studios, to the history of the recording consoles, to in-depth tracking analysis of your favorite Beatle tunes.  You get the whole picture.  The thing that stuck me most about this book is that it really throws you back in time.  There is so much information going on that you really get a recreated sense of all aspects of the Fabs and their studio work, from The Beatles themselves down to the tape operating engineers.  Some of the stories hidden within this book have never been told.

We all know the evolution of the Beatles’ music, this book illustrates, from every angle, how that music evolved.  We not only get to see their evolution as artists, but we get to see their technological expansion develop through this book. One of the most impressive things about this title is the way the authors take this technical jargon (some of which is over my head), and make it read almost like narrative.  There is something in this book for every kind of Beatle fanatic. Books like this, done this impressively (and believe me impressive is an understatement), and this well researched only come along once.  If you are a musician (as most Beatle freaks are), or are an audiophile, then this book is the required reading for you.  I have a very, very, short list of those essential Beatle books that everyone must own.  This one clearly makes that list with this beautiful and impressive thome that is sure to become Beatles gospel.

You can order the book directly from the publishers at Curvebender.


7 Responses

  1. I agree with everything you said about this amazing book. My friend Joe, another “beatlefreak” like me, bought the book, and loaned it to me. I was reluctant to spend the money to buy my own copy, but after reading a good chunk of the book, I realized that I wasn’t willing to give it back, at least until I could order and get my own copy. I think the only thing you left out is that this book is a companion piece to Mark Lewisohn’s Beatles Recording Sessions, filling in all the detail that that book left out.

    Thanks for a wonderful website. By the way, do you have any idea if the new Beatles remixed CDs will include the mono mixes? Everything I read, and the little I have heard (St.Pepper’s in mono) makes me thing it’s a no brainer that they would put the music out in both Stereo and Mono when possible, but you never hear anything about the mono mixes coming out.


    -Mark Summer
    Cellist, Turtle Island Quartet

  2. I am a huge Beatles fan as well a musician. This is by far the most informative book I have ever read concerning the Beatles music. With all the illustrations and diagrams
    included, it’s really fun to see how the Beatles worked at Abbey Road.
    Every section is very interesting. All facets of the studios are thoroughly discussed
    from microphones to mixers. recording equipment and the engineers who recorded the music, and each studio design itself.
    After looking over the book

  3. After looking over the book I realize how much work and dedication really went in to each recording. From the producer on down to the Beatles themselves, once again they prove why their music still stands up today.
    The book is a must read.

  4. $$$ = out of budget, but would LOVE to have this. There was mention in a NYTimes article that Perhaps it will be reprinted with a lower cost edition

  5. […] and if you haven’t gotten the book, Recording the Beatles, why haven’t you.  Awesome is an understatment about the massive […]

  6. color postcard

    Hi. Thanks for the good read.

  7. Hi
    anybody no what mixing console the beatles recorded the album “revolver” on?

    and any other information about the equipment used to record this album


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