Sunday, March 22, 2009

Geoff Emerick "Here, There and Everywhere"

The Japanese version of this book is "The Last truth of the Beatles Sound", it is a good selection, I think. This is an excellent documentary, biography, and growing-up story of a young sound engineer. The original title "Here, There and Everywhere" is also good for its contents, whose author is one of the few people who can talk about the Beatles' history because he worked with them.

In short, I would like to say that this is one of the best books about the Beatles history. In particular, I strongly believe that people who have listened to their music enthusiastically will enjoy this book. A friend of mine who loves the Beatles said, "I think that this is the book that gives answers to the questions of the world's beatlemaniacs" I agree with this.

For me, the biggest question was about the sound of "Abbey Road". Each of the Beatles' albums were recorded with a unique sound, this was because of changes in musicianship and recording technology. I feel "Rubber Soul" and "Abbey Road" have totally different sounds. I'm disappointed the former, the author Geoff didn't participated in this album, so the question still remains, but for the later, Geoff wrote the answer clearly. I was so impressed (he seems not to like the sound of "Abbey Road", I love it). about their sound and songs were answered by this book.

The value of this book is high because for the documentary of the Beatles' sound making aspect, in addition to this, the aspect about the describing of the people including four beatles is also distinguishing. The important factor for biographies are love and objectivity, are apparent in this book throughly. For instance, about George Harrison, the author didn't hesitate to write about George's poor techniques and ignorable atmosphere in the early days of the band. But on the other hand, he also didn't hesitate to give applause for George's great works in the later days of the band. And about George Martin, the producer of the Beatles, Geoff wrote the truth - there are many great work by Geoff but people have always thought they were George Martin's - without selfish pride. On the other hand, he wrote clearly about George Martin's prominent works, but he also wrote about how the Beatles sometimes alienated Martin in the later days of the band. This book has good balance of "love" and "objectivity" as above examples.

You can also read this book as the story of Geoff Emerick's growth: just after his high school graduation. He was hired by EMI, he met the Beatles, especially after the "Revolver" album, he developed as a professional sound engineer with the Beatles' music development. This point also impressed me. He responded to the Beatles demand as a professional, sometimes produce results that surpassing the Beatles' expectation under heavy pressure. Reading this book, I asked myself how I do my business with eagerness and innovation like Geoff. It is nonsense comparing genius Geoff to me, anyway, this book encouraged me by Geoff's attitude.

I've read many books about the Beatles, this book is the most intriguing and full of good things, I think. I feel that maybe no other book about the Beatles could surpass this book never be written.

At the end, I felt the following point again: the Beatles' magic. As many fans know, the Beatles didn't have unity as a band when they recorded "White Album" and their teamwork was at a peak when "Sgt. Pepper" was recorded collapsed. Of course this book described that situation without allowance. However, for me, "White Album" is one of the masterpieces of the Beatles. Why? After reading this book, the big riddle still remains.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Top tunes on my iPod in Feb. 2009

1. XTC / Dear God
2. Koichi Sugiyama / Dragon Warriors I Finale
3. namco (Junko Ozawa) / THE TOWER OF DRUAGA
4. My Little Lover / DESTINY
5. Radiohead / Airbag
6. J.S. Bach/ Inventions No.6 (Takahiro Sonoda)
7. J.S. Bach / Inventions No.11 (Takahiro Sonoda)
8. The Beatles / Oh! Darling
9. The Beatles / Lady Madonna
10. Elvis Costello / Radio, Radio
11. The Flipper's Guitar / Goodbye Our Pastel's Badges
12. Guns N' Roses / You Could Be Mine
13. Paul McCartney / Mull Of Kintyre
14. Paul McCartney / You Gave Me The Answer

1. is famous for its lyrics, in my opinion, Richard Dawkins would not hesitate to give applause to the song, the song has also the power of music that can appeal the band's message to listeners even without its lyrics. I like 2., in particular, the second melody. 4. is one of my most favorite songs of the band. 8.'s episode is famous among Beatlemaniacs that John Lennon wanted to sing the song. I seem to be able to understand his desire and I also want to listen to John's "Oh! Darling", however, even John Lennon, could not surpass Paul McCartney's outstanding vocal. 14. is one of my favorite pieces of Paul's old fashioned piano based tunes and I am never bored. When listening the intro piano, I dive into the song's world simultaneously.