Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Book On the Way From Kenneth Womack
In Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles (Cornell University Press, 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.
"Impeccably researched, Solid State is an accurate history not only of the characters and personnel involved in the Beatles' final album (including myself, I am pleased to add), but also digs deeper behind the scenes into the technical aspects of the recording equipment and the musical instruments used by the Fab Four in the production of this timeless LP. . . . You will become aware of many hitherto unknown facts about the making of Abbey Road and the events that led to the eventual demise of the greatest rock band that ever was," writes legendary producer, engineer and musician Alan Parsons (in his foreword).
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. The book is currently available for pre-order.
Kenneth Womack is the author of several previous books about the Beatles, including Long and Winding Roads and The Beatles Encyclopedia. He is also the author of the acclaimed two-volume biography of Sir George Martin, Maximum Volume and Sound Pictures. Womack is Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University, where he also serves as Professor of English. Follow him on Twitter @KennethAWomack and visit kennethwomack.com for more Beatles history and insight.