Saturday, October 22, 2011

Here, There and Everywhere - Audiobook Review

Title: Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles
Author: Geoff Emerick, Howard Massey
Narrator: Martin Jarvis
Abridged Length: 7 h, 48 m
Published by Penguin Audio, 2006
Genres: Biography & Memoir, Arts & Entertainment

From the Publisher:
A fascinating memoir featuring never-before-told stories from Beatles recording engineer Geoff Emerick—the industry legend who made music history by crafting the groundbreaking sound of the group’s most famous records, including Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, and Abbey Road

My Review:
I just finished listening to the audiobook "Here, There and Everywhere" by Geoff Emerick. He worked in the EMI Abbey Road Studios with the Beatles from the beginning, becoming their recording engineer at age 19, and engineering their classic albums Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, and Abbey Road. Emerick gives a great insider's view to the Beatles recording of many of their hit songs and albums. As a gearhead, I found the details of how various sounds were made for the songs to be interesting, since this was before the era of stomp boxes and digital effects. It is amazing the sound he got from a 4-track recorder.

The stories were great; whether it was when hundreds of young ladies broke into the Abbey Road Studios during a recording session; the party atmosphere with many celebrity guests in the studio during the recording of Yellow Submarine; or how the name of their album 'Abbey Road' came about (likely not what you think). It's time for me to have a Beatles music listening marathon. This is a must-listen for Beatles fans.

It is voiced by British actor Martin Jarvis, in a straight forward understated manner. He does a good job differentiating characters, but doesn't try to mimic the accents of the Fab Four. To me, it really seemed like this was actually Geoff Emerick telling his story in his own words and voice. The narration was that good. I should note that Martin Jarvis was in the first class to win the "Golden Voice" accolade from AudioFile in 1997.

The audiobook is abridged from the print edition, but that's not a detriment. There is no unabridged version. All stories standalone well and the entire audiobook flows well. If you like the Beatles, this will give you insight from a different perspective than pretty much everything else written about them.  Beatles fans, listen to this audiobook!


  1. Abridgements really bother me, but it still sounds like a really cool listening experience.

  2. Jen, abridgements are common in nonfiction audiobooks, as it is far easier to cut stuff without negatively impacting the listening experience. Often, there is no unabridged version in audio, as is the case with this one. It was a good experience. Thanks for your comment. --JEFF

  3. I really enjoy different stories about the Beatles and there are many. Do you feel that this biography was more factional than fictional. I know it is listed as a Biography and Memoir, but in the times of Drugs, Sex, and Rock n' Roll what you 'think' happened was not necessarily what did happen. At the end you left with the 'yeah, right' feeling.

    Dorothy - The Alaskan Bookie
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  4. I actually think Geoff Emerick told the stories he observed first hand over several years from his own honest perspective and memory. Emerick limits the story to his time in the Abbey Road Studios with the Beatles and others, during recording sessions. This was in an era when the studio staff wore suits or lab coats; were very straight laced. Drinking and drug use among the staff was not allowed.

    Likely, Emerick has one of only two outsider perspectives (the other being George Martin) as they were the only ones in the booth with the Beatles in the studio during the making of several classic albums. It is evident Emerick thought Paul treated him better than did the others, so no doubt that somewhat colors his perspective. --JEFF