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Recording The Beatles
AuthorKevin Ryan and Brian Kehew
PublisherCurvebender Publishing
Media typePrint (Hardback)

A massive, gorgeous chronicle of the Beatles' days together, from the producer of the wildly successful The Beatles: Recording Sessions. Exhaustively documents the group's public and private lives from the early days until their breakup.

Recording The Beatles (ISBN0-9785200-0-9) is a book by Kevin Ryan and Brian Kehew, published by Curvebender Publishing in September 2006.

The book's full title is Recording The Beatles: The Studio Equipment and Techniques Used To Create Their Classic Albums. It addresses the technical side of The Beatles' sessions and was written with the assistance of many of the group's former engineers and technicians, chief among them Peter K. Burkowitz,[1] designer of the REDD mixing console.[2] The book looks at every piece of recording equipment used at Abbey Road Studios during the Beatles' sessions, including all microphones, outboard gear, mixing consoles, speakers, and tape machines. Each piece is examined in great detail, and the book is illustrated with hundreds of full color photographs, charts, drawings and illustrations. How the equipment was implemented during the group's sessions is also covered. The effects used on the Beatles' records are addressed in great detail, with full explanations of concepts such as ADT and flanging. The Production section of the book looks at the group's recording processes chronologically, starting with their 'artist test' in 1962 and progressing through to their final session in 1970. The book contains several rare and unseen photos of the Beatles in the studio. The studio personnel and the studio itself is examined.

The authors spent over a decade researching the subject matter and offer up their findings in exhaustive detail. The 540-page hardcover book has been highly praised not only for its massive scope, but also for its presentation. The 'Deluxe' version, released in September 2006, was housed in a replica EMI multi-track tape-box, complete with faux time-worn edges. Rather than a listing of the tape's contents, the back of the box featured the book's contents, hand-written by former Beatles tape-op and engineer, Ken Scott. The book was also accompanied by several 'bonus items', including reproductions of never-seen photos of the Beatles. The first printing of 3,000 books sold out in November 2006, and a second printing was released in February 2007. The book is currently in its sixth printing.

The book has been critically praised by recognized Beatles authority Mark Lewisohn (who also contributed the book's Foreword), The New York Times,[3][4]Mojo magazine (which gave it 5 stars), Beatles engineers Norman Smith, Ken Scott, and Alan Parsons, Yoko Ono, and many other individuals directly involved with the Beatles' work. The release of the book was celebrated in November 2006 with a party in Studio Two at Abbey Road.[5] In attendance were most of the Beatles' former engineers and technicians.


Chapter 1: EMI/Abbey Road Studios
Chapter 2: Personnel
Chapter 3: Mixers
Chapter 4: Outboard Gear
Chapter 5: Microphones
Chapter 6: Tape Machines
Chapter 7: Speakers & Amplifiers
Chapter 8: Effects
Chapter 9: Studio Instruments
Chapter 10: Other Studios
Chapter 11: Production (1962–1970)


  1. ^Peter Karl Burkowitz 1920-2012 Obituary by the AES
  2. ^Recording The Beatles
  3. ^The Beatles - Books - Report - New York Times
  4. ^Waiting to Take You Away on a Fact-Filled Tour - New York Times
  5. ^Recording The Beatles

External links[edit]

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Preview — The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn

This is EMI Records' official diary-format history of every Beatles recording session. Over 350 color black & white photographs and illustrations, including rare photos by Linda McCartney and the first facsimile reproductions of Abbey Road recording sheets, tape boxes, album sleeve roughs, memos, contracts, press releases and much more.
Published August 30th 2006 by EMI Records (first published 1988)
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Recording the beatles pdf
Dec 31, 2018Loretta rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star-reads, my-2018-reading-challenge, favorites, music, the-beatles
Really an excellent book. Chock full of interesting information and insight. A must read for all Beatles fans! Yea, yea, yea, yea! ☺ ...more
Aug 29, 2012Dave rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Still my favorite Beatles book. If you want the Beatles as a story, then Shout! will do very well. I tend to like the oral history approach--Anthology is great but unwieldy, so I prefer Beatles Off the Record, however unreliable. For pictures and side issues, Mojo magazine did a great Beatles book published by DK. And then there's Yesterday: The Beatles Once Upon a Time, featuring fantastic and fun early pictures of the Beatles and Liverpool by Astrid Kirchherr and Max Scheler.
This book, howeve
Nov 04, 2007Paul Bryant rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Shelves: beatles
This is a day by day diary of what the fabs did in the studio at Abbey Road. I would redirect you to a very different book, 'Revoluntion in the Head' by Ian MacDonald - that one is absolutely essential.
A really valuable resource of a book if you are interested in The Beatles.
Jan 08, 2010Lynn rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
An absolute must for any serious Beatles fan. Also a must for anyone interested in the creation of recorded music, and how one band changed the methodology for recording within the course of fewer than eight years. Lewisohn takes you behind the scenes and meticulously describes each step of the multitrack recording sessions that created some of the most enduring rock music of the twentieth century. He also tells some wonderful anecdotes along the way.
The primary sources are informative and enter
Sep 22, 2010Kirk Kiefer rated it it was amazing
Paul McCartney has referred to this as 'The Bible', and that about sums it up. Lewisohn was given every Beatle-maniacs dream job: going through the vast Abbey Road tape library and cataloging every studio recording done by the band.
Taking a day by day approach, Lewisohn details what was record when, who mixed what, how many takes of each song occurred, etc. It's fascinating and indespensible as a reference tool.
Aug 31, 2007Randy rated it it was amazing
This is definitely one of my 'desert island' books. It analyzes — not too technically — every recording session the Beatles ever did at Abbey Road Studios, which accounted for about 99.9% of the band's output. Every read reveals another nuance or another story. Awesome.
Mar 22, 2019Michael Tackett rated it really liked it · review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The author clearly performed ample research into the recording sessions, and though I consider myself a Beatles fan (more than casual, less than fanatic), there were many interesting tidbits I discovered. Also, to my surprise, I enjoyed the opening interview with Paul McCartney. I expected it to be a toss off, but I thought it was revelatory itself.
I have some complaints with the book. In some of the listings it mentions tours or vacations or other reasons certain Bea
Sep 26, 2017Nick rated it it was amazing
Man, I used to pore over this book when I was in high school, reading entry after entry for hours and loving it. Not just for Beatles nerds, it's an immensely inspiring read for any artist (or person!) who loves the dirty details and false starts of a creative process as much as the polished outcome. I still take out my copy fairly regularly and jump around between entries marveling at these brilliant bastards. I also like to use the anecdotes I learned from it to impress my wary and patient dau...more
Oct 12, 2012John M. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: musicians, Beatles fans, recording engineers and producers
Shelves: 2013-reading-challenge, aesthetics-music, beatles
This book is a must read for die-hard Beatles fans and musicians. To get the best experience, I recommend the following while reading this book:
1. When reading about a particular song, it’s interesting to go back and listen. A lot of the time I found little things that I hadn’t heard before, such as different instruments, the mono/stereo contrasts, and the result of different recording techniques.
2. The Beatles Anthology CD set includes a lot of the early takes and mixes that the author refers t
Based on the picture of the cover listed here, I think I have a slightly newer or slightly older edition of this book. It doesn't really matter, though. This is an invaluable book for Beatlemaniacs like myself who are also interested in things like which band members sang or played instruments on a certain song; what recording techniques were used (The Beatles practically invented some of the more modern recording techniques and studio practices); or what other musicians they had play with them...more
An amazing achievement, and a must for serious Beatles fans with a bent toward learning just how each album was made. This is not an easy read; it is arranged, quite logically, in journal fashion, with each day in the studio receiving its own unique entry. A good decision, but it felt like a bit of a slog at times, depending on what was going on. Also, the length of 200+ pages is deceptive; it feels like a much longer.
But I digress - this is an invaluable resource for music historians, which, ha
Feb 16, 2014Jennifer rated it it was amazing · review of another edition

Content, Writing, Presentation: 5 stars.
Subject matter: 10 stars.
To paraphrase a Beatles’ lyric: You think you know their songs, but you haven’t got a clue.
Chris Thomas (producer, filling in for George Martin): “...what [Martin] said to me...‘There will be one Beatle there, fine. Two Beatles, great. Three Beatles, fantastic. But the minute the four of them are there that is when the inexplicable charismatic thing happens, the special magic no one has been able to explain. It will be very friendl
For Beatles fans I highly recommend this book. While it gets exhaustively tedious (as Lewisohn meticulously documents every Abbey Road recording record he can find), the anecdotes and background information are fascinating. To this day I still get chills reading about the entry of the single day the Beatles recorded the 'Please Please Me' album and how they did 'Twist and Shout' literally at the end of a long day of recording; the famous version you always hear is a first take, their attempt to...more
Jun 18, 2013Mike rated it it was amazing
I can't believe I've had this book for so long and not read it much until now. Nearly every other page contains some great story or detail that's funny or interesting, with lots of details about the studio experimentation that went on to make the Beatles' recordings sound as they did. Unfortunately it makes me want to spend more time and money acquiring all the non-album takes that I haven't heard but that this book makes out to be quite something to hear as well.
UPDATE: After reading Geoff Emer
Aug 26, 2014KennyO rated it it was amazing
Leave this home if you're going to the beach or the doctor's office. You won't be reading it straight through since it's pretty much a reference book with annotation. As such, though, it's a real prize for those of us who savor the music of the Beatles and are interested in how it came together (an unintended pun, but I'm proud of it just the same). It could have been dry if it had been only a listing of the recording sessions but the annotation and photos flesh it out nicely. It'll help to have...more
More of a reference shelf item than a book to read per se, unless you're an unreconstructed Beatles nut, like me and quite a few other people I know. Twenty-four years on it's easy to overlook what an incredible eye-opener this was, crushing old myths (and rumored outtakes), shedding detailed light on where the Beatles did their best work, and how they went about it. It's still the essential reference for their recording career.
Feb 25, 2013Brian Andersen rated it it was amazing
I managed to find a used reissue on Amazon for a few dollars but original prints of this book can go for a hundred dollars or more. I finished this book quite some time ago but forgot to mark it Read. If you are a Beatles fan, this book is indispensable to understand how the Beatles worked in the studio and wrote some of the most beloved music of the 20th century in just 8 years of recording. It is a book that I will reference over and over again I am sure.

The Beatles Free Music Download

Nov 23, 2007Gar Ver added it
pure inspiration, cover to cover... 65 takes just to record the basic guitar track for 'across the universe'... no drums, vocals, bass... the very first layer of the song.... and they settled on take #53... they spent 24 hours straight in the studio once playing catch-up, moments before an album was due!
Mar 20, 2007

Recording The Beatles Rapidshare Downloads Full

Chris rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Beatle fans, recording enthusiasts
Well documented - comprehensive - exhaustive tome that covers everything printed by The Beatles from days alpha to omega. Was pretty much the bible and is now the companion piece (old testament) to Recording The Beatles (I'm shouting out here - please... someone... remember my birthday!)
This book follows me around the house - or vice versa.
Sep 05, 2013Winona Patterson rated it it was amazing
Exhaustive, encyclopedic... a must-have for any serious Beatles fan. I read it cover-to-cover once, and since then have referred to it many times to answer a question, decide a bet, etc. Lewisohn had unprecedented access to the Beatles' tapes at Abbey Road Studios and catalogs recording studio happenings day-by-day, year-by-year.
TheJul 14, 2007Mark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, music
One of the best Beatles books ever. It goes over every single session that any of them went to in the years they were together. I'm probably one of the few people who actually read the whole thing cover to cover. (Hey, I was young and didn't have much to do...and I was a dork.)
Amazing stuff, but you better be obsessed.
This is one of the best Beatles books I have ever read (and I have read MANY). If you have never read a book about the Beatles, this would probably NOT be a very good place to start. This is a day by day account of their activities in the recording studio. I have read this book cover to cover, but it is also one I can pick up and read starting anywhere, and it is always intriguing.
Feb 19, 2013Dan Miller rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Being a retired musician and current garage band practicioner, the book answered a lot of questions I had about how the Beatles shaped each song. The book explained how tedious each recording session was, and how the varied sounds were achieved. Its a great book. If you can find it buy it!
Apr 05, 2014Suzanne Hamilton rated it it was amazing
amazingly well researched and a fascinating insight into the day to day recording lives of the Beatles, their working and personal relation ships and how they recorded their music. A must read for any serious Beatles fan.
Absolutely love this book, if I could give it 10 stars I would. I love lists and detail and being a Beatles nut have devoured this book ever since I got it . With the releases of Anthology 1 to 3 and the early sessions cd s it becomes clear Mark did his mob well .
This book is a great introduction to the art of recording music. It outlines the day-to-day activities of The Beatles as they recorded at Abbey Road Studios. Definitely a must read for any Beatles fan who has an interest in how the music was made.
Yes it's pretty geeky, with recording session technical info throughout. But it's also a day-to-day, year to year portrait of creative growth, and with The Beatles Anthology 3-Disc set, makes for a real portrait of musical genius, of the two-man-team kind.
There is no better source for understanding HOW the Beatles composed their songs. It's invaluable. I still have my original first run version from the late 1980s, dog-eared and bent all to hell. It's a classic.
This is the next best thing to being in the studio with is comprehensive and detailed.
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Mark Lewisohn is the acknowledged world authority on the Beatles. Before embarking on The Beatles: All These Years his books included the bestselling and influential The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions and The Complete Beatles Chronicle. He was a consultant and researcher on all aspects—TV, DVDs, CDs and book—of the Beatles own Anthology and has been involved in numerous additional projects fo...more