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Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  245 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Autographed copy by Ken Scott! Ken Scott holds a unique place in music history as one of only five engineers to have recorded The Beatles, but his experiences as a producer may be just as profound. Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust shares the intimate memories of Ken Scott s days working with some of the most important artists of the 20th century while crafting a sound that has ...more
Hardcover, 414 pages
Published June 6th 2012 by Alfred
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Jonathan Chan I was a student at the University of Hull and we had a lecture from him, I believe they do it every year, they might still do it now! Worth asking and…moreI was a student at the University of Hull and we had a lecture from him, I believe they do it every year, they might still do it now! Worth asking and definitely worth dropping in on the lecture if possible!(less)

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Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music
A very easy read from a man who was there. From the Beatles latter period to Bowie's Ziggy days to Elton John's classic years, Ken Scott was there, producing, engineering, mixing. His stories of working with these bands and many others right through to almost the present day are enlightening and entertaining. Do you know what Simon LeBon likes to be called while working in the studio? It's in the book. DO you know what happens when the band doesn't like your wife? It's in the book. The behind th ...more
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This was an okay read. Scott sounds like an amazing gentlemen who was very gracious and forthcoming with his career as an engineer, producer, and even manager at one point for a lot of bands. He has engineered or produced such great albums as Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles "White Album", Elton John's Madman across the water & Honky Chateau as well as Bowie's Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane to Super tramp's Crime of the Century and Crisis ? What Crisis ? albums.
The part I found t
Jan 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: music, memoir
ken scott's memoir is a fun book for people (like me) that don't know a lot about how recording studios work ... it's also a fanboy letter to lots of classic albums that were recorded during scott's tenure as engineer at a few of the more prestigious studios (emi, which later became abbey road, trident, electric ladyland, et al) - where he made quite a few classic records with the beatles, david bowie, elton john and countless others, including lots of prog rock and jazz fusion classics from the ...more
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Ken Scott tells of his days as a recording engineer/producer to The Beatles, Eric Clapton, David Bowie and many others.

I work as a film editor. I was struck by the similarity of the relationship Ken Scott had with the artists. Like him, I may not be the actor or the writer of a show, but I use all sorts of *tricks* of pacing and storytelling to enhance and make the story compelling. Here Ken talks about the careful artistry of recording, using mic placement, double tracking, specialized reverbs,
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was tempted to give this 5 stars. However, Goodreads defines 5 stars as "amazing," and I can't say the book rose to quite that level.

I did, however, find it very fun and a fast page turner. Not only did it provide an engaging engineering-side historical perspective on many classic bands and albums, it was an enjoyable memoir in its own right, with Scott (with help from his co-author) serving as a witty and charming down-to-earth narrator with a pleasant conversational style.

Also, it's amazi
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good and Entertaining, but no Masterpiece

Some very good stories, especially of the early years, but the writing style is often adequate at best. I found Tony Visconti 's and Glynn John's books to be better reads, but this one has it's place as well.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful anecdotes from some of the most influential albums of the period.
Chris Fox
Mar 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Ken was all about the drums, perfect performances and fat audio.
You don't have to be a musician to enjoy this book.
Brett Grossmann
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very little about the man but tons about the sessions he worked. It’s interesting that most of the artists he worked with he didn’t get enough respect from.
Robert Collette
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it
an easy and fascinating read about producing and engineering in the recording industry since the 60's from someone who's worked on some of the biggest classic albums of all time. ...more
Nancy Zorn
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
I think I land somewhere between 2 and 3 stars on this one. A friend of mine worked with Ken Scott, and he sent my friend an autographed copy. My friend decided to pass it on to any interested friends. I understand I was the only friend who expressed interest.

I'll start by saying my husband picked it up and decided it was too boring after the first few chapters. This book isn't for everyone.

Obviously, someone who is into the minutiae/evolution of engineering would LOVE this book. As for me, wi
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-books
I really liked most of this book; I especially enjoyed pulling up samples of the music on youtube to listen to as Ken Scott discussed the various albums (although Scott probably hates the tinny sound of puny computer speakers!) The book also makes one more aware of the compromises modern music fans have made in sound quality (MP3's) for convenience. Graphic equalizers, full-range speakers, etc. used to be priorities, but no longer for the average listener. The book does get technical at times, b ...more
Mason Jones
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Being a musician and recording engineer, I always enjoy reading stories of the recordings and band interactions by those who've been through it. Ken Scott started out at EMI Studios (later rechristined Abbey Road) working with the Beatles, among many others, then recorded with Bowie, including Ziggy Stardust; Supertramp; Mahavishnu Orchestra; and then recorded and managed Missing Persons. There's much more in here too. It's all told through short snapshot-like vignettes, which makes it a breezy ...more
Lovely Rita
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: beatles
I really really liked this book too (I read it right after Tony Bramwell's book about the Beatles). Ken Scott worked at EMI and on Beatles sessions, eventually becoming their recording engineer for the White Album. He also worked with Bowie, Elton John, Duran Duran, and he discovered Missing Persons. He's done a huge range of things, and it was fascinating to hear about his career. I liked how the book was organized, which wasn't strictly chronological, but by artist/era. He also has a lot of te ...more
May 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I couldn't make it through this book. Some of the stories were interesting, particularly ones that gave insight into what it was like to be around the Beatles in some amazing creative moments, but so many of the other bands' entries ended with "I don't remember why, but I guess we did that" that I just couldn't bring myself to keep going. Not quite memoir, not quite scattered journal entries, part venue for airing old grievances against previous employers and artists... It's too bad, because the ...more
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rock-music, biography
Ken Scott is a well-known name in rock music circles. He's worked with the Beatles and produced Elton John, David Bowie, Supertramp, Stanley Clarke and many other individuals and groups. This book not only tells some fascinating and funny anecdotes, it gives the reader genuine insight into the career of a recording engineer/producer, with technical details available in sidebars for those who care about such things. This is not primarily a Beatles book (although it tells some interesting stories) ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting fly-on-the-wall tales told capably by a music producer who began working with The Beatles and David Bowie and progressed through many pioneering bands over the years. The only downside is it starts with the most interesting bands and personalities and progresses through fewer and fewer bands of similar stature and interest. Maybe not as riveting as Geoff Emerick's fine memoir Here, There and Everywhere, but a fine read nonetheless. ...more
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-reads, _garbage
Overall Review: Good Read

This is a memoir of Ken Scott - a recording engineer, record producer and manager whose experiences include recording the Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John, producing Supertramp's Crime of the Century and managing Missing Persons (among many others)

A fun and interesting look into the artists, the albums and how they were recorded, and the industry. Fascinating and fun.
Jeff Schrems
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing glimpse into a world that is forever gone. The Beatles, Bowie, Elton John...the list goes on & on. Ken got to take part in some of the most iconic recording sessions ever to hit tape. If you are interested in any of the aforementioned artists or the recording process in general, read this book.
Aaron Badgley
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the finest books I have ever read about the music industry. He is an insider who gives his honest perspective about the artists and performers with whom he worked. Very readable, and very very enjoyable.
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Fantastic book for anyone interested in the music business. The drugs and sex stories are provided in voyeuristic fashion (Tubes, and Missing Persons), but for me I enjoyed the technical tidbits about how music was made prior to computers and Pro Tools.
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good for the music/trivia nerd, or anybody who is involved with musical production and grew up with the Beatles. Probably too tech oriented for the average Beatles fan, though it's not really all that tech. Lots of nice trivia and stories about what happened 'back in the day'. ...more
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Greta book for those into music production and/or recorded music. Very enjoyable
Jay Clement
Oct 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Blasted through this one. Some interesting recording and industry stuff, but not quite as engrossing as I had hoped. What a musical life Ken Scott had, though!
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
A one-man history of rock'n'roll! A very entertaining read. ...more
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, novels
An interesting memoir of an important first generation rock engineer. Later also producer and manager. Could have been more interesting on the technical bits and making of such great music.
Roy Verhaag
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Mar 01, 2015
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Mar 27, 2017
Alan Welding
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Sep 18, 2012
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There's no question that producer/engineer Ken Scott holds a unique place in music history. As one of only five engineers on The Beatles records, Ken's work has left an indelible mark on hundreds of millions of fans with his skilled contributions to Magical Mystery Tour and The White Album. As producer of four David Bowie albums (including the seminal Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars) and ...more

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