Wednesday, June 13, 2018

"Joe Meek's Bold Techniques" by Barry Cleveland (ElevenEleven Publishing)

ISBN: 978-0-615-73600-6 
To enter the world of Joe Meek is like swimming in a pool of liquid but not sure what is in the mixture.  Still, one needs to dive into the deep pool and keep both ears wide open.  To be an admirer of Joe Meek's recordings always leads one to an obsession.  I know very few people who dipped their toes into Meek's work, and not leave without being obsessed with the sounds and odd narrative of Joe's life.   "Joe Meek's Bold Techniques" is a beautiful obsession but tightly controlled by its author Barry Cleveland.   For one, the book's primary focus is on Meek's recordings and his techniques in getting these strange outer world sounds on his records.   It goes into detail the nature of his home studio in North London, as well as the equipment he had, or made/invented for his singular sound.   A total sound/studio geek book, but Cleveland's writing never loses the human behind the machines, and therefore an excellent biography on Joe Meek.  

The other book on Meek is the essential biography "The Legendary Joe Meek: The Telstar Man" by John Repsch is an extremely well-researched book on its subject matter, but what is missing is the narrative skills of the writer.  I feel Cleveland's book is a better narrative piece, even though it has tons of material on equipment, microphones, tapes, and so forth, it's still an overall amazing document on Joe Meek and his life.   Also includes a track-by-track analysis on Meek's legendary and amazing album "I Hear A New World," which the second edition of this book includes the  CD version of the album.   Also has a pretty fantastic Discography that is much needed.  The Joe Meek world still needs a lot of work with respect to discography and research.  I'm hoping that there will be a full overall biography of Meek and his times, as well as the upcoming documentary A LIFE IN THE DEATH OF JOE MEEK, which promises to be extremely interesting. 

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