Turn on any classic rock station and you'll soon hear a song that Ken Scott worked on. As one of the preeminent recording engineers and producers of the 20th century, Ken has garnered gold, platinum, and diamond record sales awards; multiple Grammy nominations; and even a Clio award (for his recording of the classic Coke ad "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing"). Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust shares Ken Scott's intimate memories of working with some of the most important artists of the 20th century while crafting a sound that influenced generations of music makers.
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 and/or engineer of six David Bowie albums (including the groundbreaking Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars) as well as other timeless classics, the sound Ken crafted has influenced several generations of music makers that continues to this day. Ken captured the sonic signatures of a who's-who of classic rock and jazz acts, including Elton John, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Duran Duran, The Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, America, Devo, Kansas, The Tubes, Missing Persons, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, Dixie Dregs, and Stanley Clarke.
This is his story, complete with funny, provocative, and oh-so-honest tales of the studio, stage, and even an infamous swimming pool incident. Never-before-seen photographs and technical details make this book a must-have for every music fan.
"This is easily the best book of its sort I've ever read, and it works on so many levels-it's got great stories that give us insights into some of the biggest names in music; it offers a history of recording technology and techniques from the late '60s to the present; and coursing through it all is an unflinching and often self-deprecating biography of our hero as he negotiates the perils, pitfalls and triumphs of a life in
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Early Years 1
Chapter 2 Abbey Road 9
Chapter 3 Engineering The Beatles 27
Chapter 4 Recording The White Album 37
Chapter 5 The White Album Epilogue 57
Chapter 6 The Boys (and Girls) in and with the Band 65
Chapter 7 Engineering Other EMI Artists 75
Chapter 8 I Finally Get Fired 91
Chapter 9 Trident-My New Home 97
Chapter 10 The Hits Keep Rolling, or Not 115
Chapter 11 Enter David Bowie 133
Chapter 12 Elton John 145
Chapter 13 Ziggy Stardust 153
Chapter 14 Bowie Post-Ziggy 165
Chapter 15 The End of the Bowie Team 175
Chapter 16 Elton Take 2: Don't Shoot Me 189
Chapter 17 Jazz Fusion 199
Chapter 18 All That Jazz 217
Chapter 19 Supertramp 227
Chapter 20 Completing 'Tramp's Crime of the Century 239
Chapter 21 Supertramp Take 2: Crisis? What Crisis? 249
Chapter 22 Los Angeles 263
Chapter 23 All That Jazz Again 283
Chapter 24 The Unspecified Genre 291
Chapter 25 Missing Persons 303
Chapter 26 Finally, a Record Deal 315
Chapter 27 Missing Persons: The Downfall 329
Chapter 28 The Downsides of the Business 343
Chapter 29 Duran Duran 359
Chapter 30 George 367
Chapter 31 The EpiK Epic 379
Chapter 32 A Look at the Big Picture 387
Photograph Credits 399
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I lived in the UK in the mid sixties as my father was stationed there with the US Air Force. I was 6 years old when the Beatles came to America and I remember how proud that nation was of their 4 boys making it big. Beatlemania was in full swing. As the Beatles continued to put out albums of more and more sophistication we fans kept growing with them. I continued to discover rock music all through my teens and early 20's and little did I know that most of my favorite groups were either recorded, produced or both by this guy Ken Scott. I remember listening with my headphones so intricately to different parts of the music and I dreamed of becoming an engineer at one time. I even signed up for classes when I got out of the Navy. Alas I never went to the production / recording school I had wanted to. I got an opportunity to do an interview with Ken Scott for my On Purpose Magazine and when I found out the list of groups and musicians he had worked with I jumped at the chance. I got a copy of the book to make sure I had questions to ask and hopefully sounded like I knew something. I had no idea what to expect as the book was published by Alfred Music and they produce everything but story books. I was surprised to find that this book is filled with incredible and interesting stories of the various sessions, Ken's rise in the recording industry and some falls. Ken is a wonderful storyteller which makes the book incredibly readable, but he and Bobby Owsinsky added so much more to this book. You want to be a fly on the wall and get stories that have never been told, by someone that was in the room? You got it. Do you want to hear from the various musicians, producers and other engineers in the room to get their take? You got it. Do you want to hear how certain things were recorded? You got it. Are you a techno geek that wants to know the equipment that was used? You got it and so much more. Ken Scott has worked with some of the most amazing, creative and historic people of our time and he speaks candidly about the people and events. This is a great book for anyone interested in music engineering and production and in the amazing history of these incredible icons of our time.
Wow. Just, wow! There is a lot of buzz about this book online. I couldn't put this down and plowed through its 400 or so pages in a couple of days. Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Procol Harum, Lou Reed, George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo solo albums, Dixie Dregs, The Tubes, Mahivishnu Orchestra, Stanley Clark, Billy Cobham, Kansas, Duran Duran, Missing Persons, and the list goes way beyond even that impressive resume. A better question than "who has Ken Scott produced and/or recorded" would be who has he NOT produced and/or recorded. This is far from a stale techie book by a recording engineer, its an amazing life story. Not only is Ken's story inspiring from an every-man standpoint who got started on an awe-inspiring career path (he was brazen enough to ask for a job in music as a teenager) but this insider look at working with quite literally the biggest names across a generation of popular music from rock to jazz and even CCM (and a lot more) is fascinating. The stars lineup (and sometimes fall) all around his story. Seriously, this is the best auto-biography I've ever read from somebody like this. If there is a musician in your life, get them this book. If there is a music fan in your life, get them this book. Its got all the stuff music lovers would want to know about working intimately with this who's who list of music legends, and sidebars filled with all the music recording studio nerd stuff that give the tech info, neatly arranged in easily-skipable sidebars for those not interested in what kind of microphone was used on Ringo's drum kit. Its an astoundingly good read from cover to cover. Toss in some never-before-seen pics he took himself working at EMI Studios/Abbey Road of the Beatles in their earlier days, and its an all-around smash. Best $15 you'll spend on a book this year.
Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust is an amazing book filled with behind-the-scenes stories of what it was like to record The Beatles, Elton John, David Bowie, Duran Duran, and countless others!! Ken Scott has truly had an amazing career and the stories are wonderfully told. Highly recommended!