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Bronze Medal, ForeWord Reviews’ IndieFab Book of the Year Award for Performing Arts & Music
Acclaimed Beatles historian Kenneth Womack offers the most definitive account yet of the writing, recording, mixing, and reception of Abbey Road.
In February 1969, the Beatles began working on what would become their final album together. Abbey Road introduced a number of new techniques and technologies to the group’s sound, and included such classics as “Come Together,” “Something,” and “Here Comes the Sun.”
Womack’s colorful retelling of how this landmark album was written and recorded is a treat for fans of the Beatles. Introduced with a foreword by renowned engineer, producer, and musician Alan Parsons,Solid State takes readers back to 1969 and into EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, which featured an advanced solid state transistor mixing desk. Womack focuses on the dynamics between John, Paul, George, Ringo, and producer George Martin and his team of engineers, who set aside (for the most part) the tensions and conflicts that had arisen on previous albums to create a work that boasted an innovative (and, among some fans and critics, controversial) studio-bound sound that prominently included the new Moog synthesizer, among other novelties.
As Womack shows, Abbey Road was the culmination of the instrumental skills, recording equipment, and artistic vision that the band and George Martin had developed since their early days in the very same studio seven years earlier. A testament to the group’s unparalleled creativity and their producer’s ingenuity, Solid State is required reading for all fans of the Beatles and the history of rock ‘n’ roll.
“One of the world’s foremost Beatle scholars takes a fascinating tour through the band’s final masterpiece. Kenneth Womack sheds light on the struggle and strife behind ‘that magic feeling,’ as four artists on the verge of splitting apart somehow came together to make some of their best-loved music. Solid State is a brilliant and essential trip.”—Rob Sheffield, Dreaming the Beatles
“Music writer Womack (The Beatles Encyclopedia) delivers a fascinating, in-depth look at the creation of Abbey Road, the Beatles’ penultimate album released 50 years ago.”—Publishers Weekly