Geoffrey Emerick (born 1946 in London) is an English recording studio audio engineer, who is best known for his work with The Beatles' albums Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Abbey Road. He is widely regarded as one of the best engineers in all of recording history.
Early career at EMI
Emerick first started working at EMI at the age of 15, as an assistant to engineer Norman Smith. As an unpaid trainee, Emerick witnessed the first-ever EMI recording session by the finalised line-up of The Beatles in 1962, during which the group recorded for the first time with new drummer Ringo Starr on what would eventually become their first hit single "Love Me Do". As assistant engineer, Emerick worked on numerous early recordings by the Beatles, and also helped record other artists for the label, including Judy Garland. He assisted at the EMI artist test of The Hollies.
After working his way up to the position, Emerick engineered the 1966 number one UK Manfred Mann hit Pretty Flamingo. Emerick took over the Beatles engineering duties from Smith that same spring at the request of producer George Martin when Smith became a producer. The first album Emerick worked on with the Beatles as their main recording engineer under Martin was Revolver, and "Tomorrow Never Knows" was the first track he worked on.
It was Emerick's innovation to record John Lennon's vocal through a Leslie speaker on that song, to get the ethereal sound Lennon wanted. He received Grammy Awards for the engineering of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road. He abandoned work on The Beatles on 16 July 1968, fed up with the tensions and arguments that hampered the sessions.
Despite his departure from the "White Album" sessions, Emerick remained on good terms with the Beatles, particularly Paul McCartney, who invited Emerick to quit EMI and come work for their company, Apple Corps Ltd., in 1969. In addition to engineering duties, Emerick would oversee the construction of the Apple recording studio.
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