Alan Parsons, the studio engineer and the former producer of Pink Floyd, recalled the times when he worked with The Beatles and revealed that Paul McCartney was a pretty demanding musician on the recent interview he gave to Sweetwater.
Parsons talked about the first years in his career when he began to work as an assistant engineer on the 1969 album ‘Abbey Road‘ and 1970’s ‘Let It Be‘ of The Beatles. He explained that he continued to work with Paul McCartney and got used to his working style, which was tough.
Alan Parsons, who has worked in 1973 with Pink Floyd on ‘The Dark Side of the Moon‘, mentioned the creation process of ‘Abbey Road’ when he got to know McCartney better. He said:
“Well, yes. As a result of working on the ‘Abbey Road’ album, at least half the time they were there making it, but I got to know Paul a bit better.
And as I progressed from being an assistant engineer to a fully-fledged balance engineer as they were called at Abbey Road at the time, yeah, I was let loose with Paul on some of the sessions for ‘Red Rose Speedway’ and ‘Hi, Hi, Hi’ and ‘C Moon’ as singles.
And I probably got to know Paul and Linda best on the ‘Wild Life’ album, which I didn’t engineer; I did a mix on one of the songs on Wings’ ‘Wild Life,’ and Paul said, ‘It’s fine, we’ll go with it.’
So that was my first real breakthrough, just getting a mix of the Wings onto that first album.”
He continued and talked about his duty as an engineer and what Paul expected of him. Parsons said:
“As an engineer, you have to give the results that the producer is looking for. But I think I would always start by approaching it in such a way that I felt comfortable with it.
If the producer doesn’t comment on the sound, then you can be fairly confident that you’re doing an OK job. I mean, McCartney would always say just as a matter of principle, ‘Make the drums sound better.’
So, what is it that makes the drums sound better? I’d say, ‘OK, I’ll try a different mic, I’ll try a different EQ, I’ll change the balance.’ And eventually, he’d say, ‘Yeah, that’s fine, that works.’
Some artists, some producers are much more demanding than others, but Paul was always pretty demanding.”
You can watch the full interview here.