Recording the Beatles

Dedicated to Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan for having the patience to spend roughly ten years on this project.

On Tuesday, a friend of mine and president of Blue Tom Records (the University of Memphis student-run record label), Nick Black, and I went to a presentation at the Studio in the Square theater in Memphis. The occasion was a Grammy U (student chapter of the Recording Academy) event about a book titled Recording the Beatles.

The authors of the book spent roughly ten years deeply researching the content they felt the public (or Beatles geeks) needed/wanted to know about the recording equipment and techniques the Beatles used.

Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan traveled the world to track down rare recording equipment and met with technical engineers who for the first time in nearly 40 years had a chance to tell their stories about working the Beatles. Until recent years the technical engineers have never been credited on any Beatles albums, as the producers have been. These stories were not faltered because this was the first time the technical engineers had been asked about their experiences. Famous names who worked with the Beatles have had to tell their stories numerous times for the last 40 years; And so, the stories may have changed, unlike the no-names.

During the event the authors explained the research process, displayed and told the audience of their interesting discoveries and shared their passion for the mop tops. The audience was encouraged to ask questions after the presentation.

The amount of detail covered in the book is phenomenal. Personally, I don’t know much about recording technology, but for the technologically savvy, this book is a gold mine. The picture shown is one of the Beatles’ eight 4-track recorders. Contrary to rumor, there were in fact eight; Not seven, not four.

The book costs just $100, which is a great price if you consider the 540 pages and over 500 rare pictures.

Photo Credit: 4-Track


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