Alistair Lawrence - Abbey Road, The Best Studio in the World
Abbey Road The Best Studio In The World by Alistair Lawrence
With a foreword by Sir George Martin
Reviewed by Leyla Sanai
Since The Beatles crossed the road in front of it, Abbey Road Studios have been the most iconic music studios in the world. This covetable tome celebrates eighty one years of recording success there. A large, sumptuous book, every second page is made up of a full page photograph with the opposite page containing information and smaller photos. The introduction is written by Sir George Martin, who worked at the studios for many years from 1950 onwards. This is a comprehensive look at not only the varied acts (classical, blues, soul, pop, rock, etc) who passed through those doors but also, at the start, a brief history of sound recording. Starting with phonographs, clear colour photos and concise, lucid text illustrate the development of gramophones, sound recording, and most other aspects of music recording.
As well as glossy pictures of the stars of each era and their output and careers, due reference is paid to those behind the scenes who enabled everything to fall together to make modern recorded music seem the seemingly effortless art-form it is the engineers, producers, managers, directors, and so on. Chapters deal with decades, surveying the main developments in sound recording and the Abbey Road artists who had the most impact artistically and commercially. As well as musical artists, there are chapters on movie soundtracks, advances in technical development, the different studios within the building. The photos are not publicity mug-shots of the famous. Rather, they illustrate the musical process and the artists and other essential staff at work, rest and unchoreographed play. Its a delight for music fans everywhere.