Geoff Emerick first started working as an assistant engineer at EMI at the age of 15. To familiarise him with his work, he was placed under the supervision of another assistant engineer, Richard Langham. On his second day of work at EMI, Langham was assigned to be the assistant engineer of Norman Smith, who would be doing the first recording session of the Beatles. As assistant engineer, Emerick worked on numerous early recordings by the Beatles, and also helped record other artists for the label, including Judy Garland. He assisted at the EMI artist test of the Hollies. After working his way up to the position, Emerick engineered the 1966 number one UK Manfred Mann hit ‘Pretty Flamingo’.
Emerick took over as the Beatles’ first engineer, when that spring Smith became a producer, at the request of producer George Martin. His first album Emerick as chief engineer with the Beatles (under producer Martin) was ‘Revolver’. In 1967, Emerick engineered ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!’, one of the most musically complex songs on ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. Emerick remained on good terms with the Beatles, particularly Paul McCartney, who invited Emerick to quit EMI and come and work for their company, Apple Corps Ltd., in 1969. In addition to engineering duties, Emerick would oversee the building of the Apple recording studio.
His post-Beatles career included work with Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Badfinger, Art Garfunkel, America, Gino Vannelli, Supertramp, Cheap Trick, Nazareth, Chris Bell, Split Enz, Trevor Rabin, Nick Heyward, Big Country, Gentle Giant, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Ultravox and many others.
Emerick served as engineer on demo sessions for Kate produced by David Gilmour at AIR London Studios during June 1975. The songs recorded were Saxophone Song, The Man With The Child In His Eyes, and a song known as Maybe.
In 2006, Emerick released his memoir, ‘Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles’, co-authored by veteran music journalist Howard Massey.
On October 2, 2018 he passed away after a heart attack.
Kate Bush about Geoff Emerick
Geoff Emerick was the first engineer I ever worked with. He recorded The Man With The Child in His Eyes along with a couple of other tracks at Air Studios in Oxford St in 1974. He was incredibly sweet and supportive – I’d never been in a recording studio before, let alone played live with an orchestra. He joked around with me and put me at ease. He had a brilliant sense of humour and was really quite mischievous. I’ll always remember him with a smile on his face. What a really lovely man he was, an incredibly gifted engineer and one of the truly great heroes of the music business. It was such an honour to work with him. (A message for Geoff, KateBush.com, 4 October 2018)