adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP

Try our newest plan – unlimited listening to select audiobooks, Audible Originals, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
$7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $18.16

Buy for $18.16

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

In Solid State, Kenneth Womack offers the most definitive account of the conception, recording, mixing, and reception of Abbey Road

In February 1969, the Beatles began working on what became their final album together. Abbey Road introduced a number of new techniques and technologies to the Beatles' sound and included "Come Together", "Something", and "Here Comes the Sun", which all emerged as classics. 

Womack's colorful retelling of how this landmark album was written and recorded is a treat for fans of the Beatles. Solid State takes listeners back to 1969 and into EMI's Abbey Road Studios, which boasted an advanced solid state transistor mixing desk. Womack focuses on the dynamics between John, Paul, George, and Ringo and producer George Martin and his team of engineers, who for the most part set aside the tensions and conflicts that had arisen on previous albums to create a work with an innovative (and among some fans and critics, controversial) studio-bound sound that prominently included the new Moog synthesizer, among other novelties. 

As Womack shows, Abbey Road was the culmination of the instrumental skills, recording equipment, and artistic vision that the band and George Martin had developed since their early days in the same studio seven years before. A testament to the group's creativity and their producer's ingenuity, Solid State is required listening for all fans of the Beatles and the rock 'n' roll.

©2019 Kenneth Womack (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Solid State

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    283
  • 4 Stars
    100
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    251
  • 4 Stars
    79
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    267
  • 4 Stars
    69
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

For real Beatle fans

This book is for the fanatic Beatle fan not your everyday Beatle fan. A lot of technical info. A lot of insight I haven’t heard before. If you’re not a study of the Beatles may be a bit boring. I loved it became I am a fanatic. Just make it through the first chapter and it’s all good after that.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It's all about the recording studios

This book is not about The Beatles relationship, music or songs. Focuses 8n unneccessary details about the recording studios and other small details about the recordings. Nothing really about the group.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A detailed look at an AMAZING album!!!

For some reason most books and documentaries about the Beatles tend to gloss over the recording of Abbey Road. Probably because it was recorded last, but released before the horribly Phil Spector produced "Let It Be" album and it doesn't flow into the narrative the way they want. Well this book bucks the trend and goes into great detail about the band and great technical detail about the actual recording process. It shows us how the Beatles really were at the time for better or worse

John: Paul you are too bossy and use all the time in the studio to do your songs!
Paul: We had to record my stuff because you didn't write anything due to you and Yoko spending your time doing heroin!!!

I'm paraphrasing and being cheeky of course. You need to read and learn from the actual book and not my overly simplistic recreation. You will also enjoy hearing about a solid state mixing board, and that is no small feat. Bravo Kenneth Womack for a great book! Also William Hughes provides solid narration.
A must buy for Beatle fans!!!!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Satisfying

To any Beatles fan ( about 90% of us ) a very satisfying audible listen. There are a lot of details on the recording of the iconic Abby Road.
Solid State is also the story of the final days of the Beatles, and the initial days of their solo careers.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good book, nice and detailed.

A fascinating look at the Beatles' last great work. Especially great for sound engineers like myself as it also touches on the technical side of the sessions. Also it's something to hold us Beatle fanatics over until the rest of Lewnson's opus comes :)

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

American accent for a British writer???

Why?? I don’t get it. Can’t imagine what went through the producers mind.impossible to suspend disbelief.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating Book About Abbey Road LP and Studio

This does have a lot of technical stuff in it, but I really enjoyed it. I understood more than I thought I would. Really good acct on how the Beatles ended up quitting their group. Some nice insights as well. As a lifelong Beatles fan I'm glad I found it!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Nothing revelatory here.

If you've read Geoff Emerick or George Martin's book, you won't really need this one. Especially since the author quotes those other books often. Even being a fan of studio tech and the history, I was hoping for a bit more.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A great read for Beatles fans

If you're not a fan of the Beatles, then this book will be a bit boring for you. But it's a great insight into two of their landmark albums and the final days of the band themselves.

At times it does sound like a text book though, and can be a bit drab.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

For hardcore Beatles fans as well as music & film production geeks

Don’t let my three stars fool you. This was a very interesting book because I knew very little of our music production. In this book goes into great detail on how several Beatles albums were made.

There are many interesting stories in here and introduction to a lot of different pieces of names that influenced the production of the last two Beatles albums. People I didn’t know anything about Or their role in the music industry.

I think if you are very technical oriented especially if you work in music or movie production this would be a much more interesting book. I just don’t have a background and therefore I have a very limited appreciation for all of the details that went into the book. However I do think the author did an excellent job of laying out the over arching story to introduce all the technology that was needed to produce the music. Additionally if you’re a Beatles fan he will probably enjoy hearing the various details on How each member labored over various songs and parts of production. I also found it interesting that various interviews with members of the Beatles as well as people working on the Abbey Road album went back-and-forth on whether or not it was horrible or great etc. I also thought it was interesting to hear all the terrible reviews that the records got. I think in many ways reviews even like this are just a personal opinion and people should be careful about letting other people shape their opinion. A lot of music critics got this experience wrong compared to how history is judged this music.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brian Hartgen
  • Brian Hartgen
  • 10-16-19

The Wrong Reader for this Book

I've read a lot of books about The Beatles and was awaiting this one for months. Kenneth Womack always researches his books to a high standard. However, the reader was totally wrong for it. The overall delivery was inept, and in some parts it was as though he was not in tune with the subject. He also mispronounces words. Paul Woodson narrated the two George Martin books by the same author, and although he is American, he really tried hard to do them justice. He was fluent, clear and was obviously interested. But what they really should have done was to get David Thorpe to read it. Now he would have been ideal casting - the master for this kind of work. While I like the book, I'll have to return it because with this narrator, I'll never listen to it again.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Penny Lane
  • Penny Lane
  • 05-08-20

This is something special.

I came to this book hoping to learn something about The Beatles and their final sessions in the studio. I’m interested in the recording process and love The Beatles and always refer back to them as a high point for recorded music, so this looked promising. I got what I’d hoped for within the first hour of listening, but the thing I also got, that I’d not imagined I would, was a narrative as compelling as an excellent novel. I was listening to Murakami’s 1Q84 at the same time as listening to Solid State, and I kept forgetting that one was a novel and one was not. There was just such an incredible narrative pull. I’m sure this was assisted by William Hughes’s excellent reading, and I think it’s important to highlight this. He read with complete engagement and that’s a major plus for a listener.

The Fabs themselves emerge as complex, difficult, and gifted very young men. McCartney’s drivenness comes through very clearly. Ringo’s as much the hero of these recording sessions as anyone, and I’m really pleased Womack chose to highlight this.

Of course George Martin and Jeff Emerick in particular, deserve as much applause as it’s possible to give for their production work, and this book illuminates their (and several others), ‘above and beyond’ ethos, when it came to this album.
Listening to the album now, is an even greater experience.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr. M. A. Yexley
  • Mr. M. A. Yexley
  • 09-06-21

Pity about pronunciation and enunciation

Good book with a lot of detail. If you employ someone to narrate the story of the final Beatles albums - always handy if they can correctly say the words 'Lennon' 'Martin' 'Esher' and 'Zebra'...

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stuart Thain
  • Stuart Thain
  • 09-06-21

If you like The Beatles you’ll definitely enjoy this audiobook

A book such as this, which does give quite a bit of technical detail, could have been rather dry but in fact it’s so well written and narrated that it’s never less than interesting. It fills in a lot of the song writing process and background to the Abbey Road album which l certainly wasn’t aware of, and as such l listened again to the album with a fresh perspective.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gerard
  • Gerard
  • 08-24-21

Good book, bad reader

Terrible choice of reader. Why would you use an American for a book with extensive quotes from the Beatles? It's not hard to direct an audiobook but this director found a way to fuck it up.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for RStreet
  • RStreet
  • 08-09-21

Essential listening for any Beatles fan

This is, quite simply, one of the best books I’ve heard about the Beatles. Not only does it cover the technical aspects of Abbey Road recording, but it has some great details around the end of the Beatles career.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J. Chow
  • J. Chow
  • 12-08-20

Solid account of Beatle’s Abbey Road and the last days

A nice account, well researched. A welcome addition to the Beatles catalogue of books, especially at the end of their career.
Highly recommended for the musical input as well as history.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John Cougar
  • John Cougar
  • 09-09-21

And, in the end ... of The Beatles

This book is a great finisher for the other two books in The Beatles anthology. Informative and interesting.