The Story of "Abbey Road" and the End of the Beatles
Published by: Cornell University Press
288 pages, 140.00 x 216.00 mm, 5 b&w halftones, 7 color halftones
- ISBN: 9781501746857
- Published: October 2019
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 became their final album together. Abbey Road introduced a number of new techniques and technologies to the Beatles' sound, and included "Come Together," "Something," and "Here Comes the Sun," which all emerged as classics.
Womack's colorful retelling of how this landmark album was written and recorded is a treat for fans of the Beatles. Solid State takes readers back to 1969 and into EMI's Abbey Road Studio, which boasted 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 with 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 same studio seven years earlier. A testament to the group's creativity and their producer's ingenuity, Solid State is required reading for all fans of the Beatles and the history of rock 'n' roll.
Foreword by Alan Parsons, by Alan Parsons
Introduction: "Unmitigated Disaster"
1. EMI TG12345 Mk1
2. Stereophonic Sound
3. Tales of Men and Moog
4. "The Long One"
5. The Wind-Up Piano and Mrs. Mills
7. Tittenhurst Park
8. Letting It Be
9. Solid State
"Womack humanizes and demystifies the mythic status of the album and of the four Beatles, but not by diminishing their achievements... Solid State is as fine a tribute to the Fabs as one could hope for in 2019."~Spectrum Culture
"In the enjoyable deep dive Solid State, Kenneth Womack tells a detailed story of how the album came to be."~FORWARD
"If you are a studio nerd or a Beatles aficionado you will love this book."~Aquarian Weekly
"Womack has created an account of the Abbey Road sessions that is extremely well-researched and well-written. The timing of the publication is perfect, given the recent success of the 50th Anniversary Reissue of the album. It is well worth a read for die-hard fans, and even casual fans, who are interested in how this work of art was created."~Spill Magazine
"Solidly entertaining."~On the Seawall
"Music writer Womack delivers a fascinating, in-depth look at the creation of Abbey Road, the Beatles' penultimate album released 50 years ago.... Womack displays a detailed and insightful analysis that fans will hope he applies to the band's other albums."~Publishers Weekly