Abbey Road: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Famous Recording Studio

Tantor Media. Aug. 2023. 10:08 hrs. ISBN 9798350845624. $19.99. MUSIC
Though many associate Abbey Road Studios solely with the Beatles, British music journalist Hepworth (Nothing Is Real) describes its nearly 100-year history of recording a multitude of artists. In this highly researched account, Hepworth notes that the studio, established in 1931 by Electric and Musical Industries (EMI), initially focused on classical music, considering all other types of music gauche. There were two camps at Abbey Road; one felt that only classical music should be recorded, while the other believed that new music from artists such as Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole also deserved notice. Hepworth takes listeners through the studio’s entire history, as pop, techno, hip-hop, and other music of the 20th and 21st centuries took hold. He provides plenty of detail about the recording artists, the behind-the-scenes music technicians, and the politics involved in the changing times and technologies. Hepworth narrates the book himself, lending a sense of immediacy. Though listeners may notice occasional mispronunciations of proper names and titles of non–English language musical pieces, Hepworth’s enthusiasm for his subject shines through.
VERDICT Music lovers will be enthralled by this rewarding look at the history of recording at Abbey Road, arguably the most famous studio of them all.
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