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Geoff Emerick (1945 – 2018), Beatles chief sound engineer

by Kirk Fox

The man behind the board for “Revolver,” “Abbey Road,” and “Sgt. Pepper’s.”


Geoff Emerick was an important part of the Beatles sound as the main recording engineer for many of their albums. Starting out as an assistant engineer at EMI, George Martin requested that Emerick become the Beatles main engineer in 1966. Emerick was behind the board on the groundbreaking albums “Revolver,” Sgt. Pepper’ Lonely Hearts Club Band,” and “Abbey Road.”

After the Beatles, Emerick worked with Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Badfinger, Cheap Trick, Supertramp, and many other artists.  


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Died: Monday, October 2, 2018 (Who else died on October 2?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 72, according to Abbey Road Studios.

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In the studio: For the song “Tomorrow Never Knows,” John Lennon wanted his voice to sound like he was miles away from the studio. Emerick recorded Lennon’s voice through a speaker that created a psychedelic classic.

Notable Quote: “Revolver is a high point because of what it represented. It led to Pepper. And perhaps the greatest peak of all was the production of ‘A Day in the Life’ on Sgt. Pepper… John first played an acoustic version of the song for George Martin, and I heard it and told a colleague, ‘Wait until you hear this.’ I still had the shivers. And the night we put the orchestra on it, the whole world went from black and white to color.” —Emerick in a 2017 interview with Variety

What people said about him: “Woke up this morning to the sad news of Geoff Emerick’s passing. He was a great engineer and friend, and even though the Beatles had many great engineers over the years Geoff was the ONE. He was smart, fun-loving and the genius behind many of the great sounds on our records. God bless you Geoffrey – love Paul. X” —Paul McCartney

Full obituary: Washington Post

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