Adrian Kerridge has been part of the British recording industry for the past 50 years. His revolutionary and often forthright approach within the music industry has put him at the centre of the recording world for half a century. As owner of the eminent Lansdowne Studios — birth place of the Dave Clark Five, and home to numerous household name artists and session stories as well as the cofounding father of the CADAC console brand — he witnessed first-hand the technological changes of an industry transitioning from analogue tape to multi-track to digital recording and editing in the 80s and forwards; was a forerunner in the 60s of the then experimental practice of direct injection — now widely employed by sound engineers and laid the foundations for a more modern upfront sound that was lacking in the 50s and early 60s.
Renown for creating unique sonic signature for bands and other recording artists, Adrian's approach to recording was unlike anything the industry had seen in the years previous. He recorded “hot” while his contemporaries were more conservative in their approach.
This book traces his personal journey from war time Britain to the swinging 60s taking in the technical and social changes that were to shape the way music was recorded. It tells the story of a choir boy from West London who fell in love with Jazz and landed a job at a music shop. A chance invitation to sit in on a studio recording of the Sydney Lipton band sparked in Adrian an interest that was to put him on a path from choir boy to the foremost “Ears” in the business. Adrian describes how his first job at IBC London, one of the UK's largest independent recording studios at the time, led him to work with the legendary and sometimes volatile Joe Meek.
Working with Joe gave Adrian crucial insights into the talented engineer's innovative techniques, which he describes in technical and personal detail,
After a brief stint of National Service, Adrian returned to the recording industry but instead of resuming his old job at IBC he was offered a job alongside Joe Meek at a completely new London studio — Lansdowne Recording Studios — with producer Denis Preston, who ran his own Record Supervision jazz label. Adrian describes his experience of working with Joe and Denis, becoming responsible for his own sessions, and the studios' prolific output.
He paints the picture of Joe's complex character, as well as his ground breaking and highly successful recording techniques.
Joe's premature departure from Lansdowne meant Adrian suddenly found himself catapulted into the job of senior engineer and solely responsible for running the studios.
It was during this time that Adrian, along with the Dave Clark Five, led the British “invasion” of the U.S. music scene in the 1960s pioneering new audio techniques using equipment considered primitive by today's standards.
Adrian relates how in the early 1960s, the Dave Clark Five first came into the studio, and how his contribution to the band's development helped create their signature “Tottenham Sound”. He provides unique insights into the recording of numerous hits such as “Glad All Over” which resulted in huge success for the band knocking the Beatles' song “I want to hold your hand” off the top of the U.K. charts in January 1964, going on to sell 2.5M copies. Nowadays you can get a number one with 10–20,000 copies.
He describes his intriguing experiences in Germany and Belgium, recording material for the KPM Music Library and other music libraries.