Into the Beatles, it is known, it was John, Paul, George and Ringo. There’s also George Martin, their producer, the ” fifth Beatle “. Finally, there are sound engineers : Norman Smith (1962-1965) and then Geoff Emerick. The latter has just died in Los Angeles, have announced the studios at Abbey Road, on Wednesday 3 October. He was 72 years old.

The sound engineer William Zabaleta has explained to Variety that Geoff Emerick, who had heart problems, died while they were talking on the phone. The official account of the Beatles paid tribute to him :

” The work of Geoff as a sound engineer on their music was an integral part of their work. “

Giles Martin, the son of George Martin, head of the reissues of the albums of the group, said about Geoff Emerick that he was ” one of the engineers, the most talented and innovative to have graced a recording studio “.

The Abbey Road studios have also praised his work : “We are extremely honored to be a part of the history of Emerick and we are committed to ensure the sustainability of its legacy in the studios. “


he joined EMI as an assistant engineer at the age of 15, Geoff Emerick began working with the group, from their first sessions at EMI, in 1962, “pushing the buttons” as the second of Norman Smith. He became their sound engineer in the title, from 1966 on Revolver, which marks a break in the career of the group becoming more experimental.

On the Gun, he attacks the title Tomorrow Never Knows, to which Lennon asks what his voice sounds ” like the Dalai lama singing from a mountain top “, with the equivalent of four thousand monks chanting in the background, according to the biographer Mark Lewisohn, in the book The Beatles Recording Sessions (1988).

He had pursued his career with the group on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1968), The Beatles (the “double white” in 1968) and Abbey Road (1969). After the separation of the Beatles, he continued to work with Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison, choosing to work with Phil McDonald, another former sound engineer for EMI.

Geoff Emerick had also worked on the album Odessey and Oracle the Zombies, with Elvis Costello (Imperial Bedroom and All This Useless Beauty), Jeff Beck, Supertramp or Kate.

He had received four Grammy Awards : one for “best sound engineer” for Sgt. Pepper’s (1967), Abbey Road (1969) and Band on the Run Paul McCartney and Wings (1974), and for his work as a whole “Technical Lifetime Achievement” in 2003.